Legislative Hearing Reached Boiling Point Over Gov. Ned Lamont’s Gun Control Proposal

Monday’s legislative hearing on Gov. Ned Lamont’s far-reaching gun-control agenda, which is being touted as the most stringent since the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, reached a boiling point.

With over 5,000 written testimonies and more than 150 individuals addressing the panel directly, it was a tense affair that was deeply divided.

“Our officers have recovered 218 guns off the streets of Waterbury in 2022,” Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said. “Of those guns, 22 were ‘ghost guns.’”

According to gun control advocates, Connecticut’s laws have too many loopholes.

“We must strengthen the current safe storage and ‘ghost gun’ regulations in our state,” said Laura Kabel of Bridgeport, with the group Moms Demand Action.

SEE ALSO: Connecticut Governor Announces Plans for More Gun Control

According to gun owners, the bill will have minimal impact on reducing illegal firearms. “The bill targets law-abiding gun owners, not criminals,” Zackery Mele told lawmakers.

Lamont’s proposal includes:

  • Handgun purchases limited to one per month
  • New 10-day waiting period
  • Family violence crime disqualifier to obtain a pistol permit
  • Long gun purchase age raised to 21
  • All “ghost guns,” untraceable firearms assembled from a kit, must be registered (Currently, older weapons are exempt)
  • Expanded safe storage law
  • Higher penalties for possessing a “high-capacity” magazine
  • Expanding the “assault weapons” ban to include guns made before 1994 and those modified to avoid Connecticut’s existing ban

“There’s a lot of gun peddlers out there, are trying to sell these things and trying to work around our system every day,” Gov. Lamont said earlier this year.

Lamont also wants to ban “open carry” for pistols, but one crime victim from Tennessee said a similar law left her defenseless.

“[The shooter] pulled a .45 from a shoulder holster under his jacket and shot my husband and killing him,” Nikki Goeser of Nashville testified. “I was disarmed and helpless to stop his attack.”

Other critics said Connecticut does a poor job of enforcing existing gun laws.

New Poll: Majority of California Dems, Independents Worry About Being Victims of Gun Violence

“There was a female from Connecticut that was convicted of straw purchasing numerous firearms – brought them into Connecticut; they were used in crimes,” said Jake McGuigan with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association. “Basically, should have had a federal sentence of 10 years. She was given three years’ supervised probation.”

There were heated exchanges during Monday’s hearing between Judiciary Committee co-chair, State Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven), and two conservative lawmakers.

Connecticut’s present ban on so-called “assault weapons” is being contested in court by Doug Dubitsky (R-Chaplin) and Craig Fishbein (R-Wallingford).

It remains uncertain what will become of Lamont’s proposition. The previous year, he presented several measures, such as stricter regulations on “ghost guns,” but legislators excluded them from his crime prevention legislation.

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About the author: MattyP has been working in the firearms industry for over six years. He previously worked for a prominent manufacturer within the industry where he managed all public relations efforts and worked closely with all major national news outlets. By working with a variety of 2A-friendly and non-2A-friendly reporters, his conviction of what the Second Amendment really is was greatly shaped, and its importance solidified.

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  • ExNuke March 19, 2023, 1:18 pm

    “Our officers have recovered 218 guns off the streets of Waterbury in 2022,” Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said. “Of those guns, 22 were ‘ghost guns.’”

    22 of the 218 guns “recovered” were “Owner Built Firearms” which makes them “Untraceable” just like the rest of the 218 that can only be traced to the original buyer, not the person they were “Recovered” from. If there has ever been a crime of violence that was “solved” by tracing a gun it would have been shouted from the rooftops by the Media.

  • Randy March 11, 2023, 6:05 pm

    Fascinating. California has tried all of these… and the crime is worse than ever.

  • CG March 10, 2023, 2:02 pm

    ” According to gun control advocates, Connecticut’s laws have too many loopholes.”

    Ludwig von Mises has a very astute view of “loopholes”:
    “What is a loophole? If the law does not punish a definite action or does not tax a definite thing, this is not a loophole. It is simply the law.”

  • me too March 10, 2023, 11:12 am

    So how do these bills get past Bruin?

  • Phil March 10, 2023, 9:08 am

    Maybe the legislature needs to get God back in government schools. Darwin needs to be removed. Life is precious and there is a hereafter. Depending on a person’s actions and seeking forgiveness will determine where that hereafter will be spent.

  • DIYinSTL March 10, 2023, 8:19 am

    The unasked question is whether availability of PMFs (a.k.a. ghost guns) reduce gun thefts.

    • MattyP March 10, 2023, 7:20 pm

      That is a great unasked question! What do you think?

  • Analog Man March 10, 2023, 7:55 am

    Merely spanks the federal offender, while putting screws to legitimate owners.

  • James Policke March 8, 2023, 10:39 am

    “…modified to avoid Connecticut’s existing ban…”

    The state listed features on rifles it had a problem with. Gun owners responded by eliminating those features. So how does “compliance” become “avoidance”?

    You can’t please these people.

    • MattyP March 10, 2023, 7:22 pm

      Great point.

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