Two Priority Gun Bills Passed

We’re thrilled to report that tonight the Connecticut House of Representatives passed two of our three priority gun bills, reflecting broad constituent support for tough, but common-sense, measures to keep us safe from gun violence. We expect the third bill to get a vote on Wednesday. 

With record-setting bi-partisan support “Ethan’s Law” passed 127-16. HB-7218 requires all firearms, loaded or unloaded, to be securely stored when minors under age 18 are in the home. We are enormously grateful to Kristin and Mike Song for their tireless advocacy for the bill.

Also on a strong bi-partisan vote HB-7219, the bill to ban ghost guns, passed 108-36. 

In a move that may signal a new dynamic in the legislature, those who opposed the bills kept their rhetoric to a minimum. That allowed both bills to be debated and voted on in less than two hours—a marked change from past years. 

What’s next? On Wednesday, May 8, we’re expecting a vote in the House on HB-7223, to prohibit the unsecured storage of handguns in unattended vehicles. Immediately after we’ll turn our attention to getting all three bills called in the Senate. 

Gun safety bills voted out of Judiciary Committee

We are very pleased to let you know that the four gun safety bills before the Judiciary Committee have been voted favorably out of committee with bipartisan support. This is an important milestone in the legislative process, and a significant accomplishment for gun violence prevention advocates.  

Thank you to all of our supporters who have worked so hard over the past three months by contacting legislators, submitting testimony, attending press conferences and the public hearing. It’s your advocacy that drove today’s success.

The four bills voted out of committee are: H.B. 7218 and H.B. 7223 to strengthen firearm storage requirements, H.B. 7219 to ban ghost guns and S.B. 60 to require individuals openly carrying a firearm to show their permit upon the request of a law enforcement offer.

The priority now is to bring the bills to a vote as quickly as possible. We’ll be coming back to you shortly with a more detailed call to action, but in the meantime if you’re speaking to your state legislators, please ask them to co-sponsor H.B. 7218, H.B. 7223 and H.B. 7219, the focus of our advocacy. You can find your legislators’ contact information here.

Descriptions of each of the bills are below.

H.B. 7218, An Act Concerning the Safe Storage of Firearms in the Home
Expands the conditions under which firearms must be securely stored in the home to include unloaded firearms (currently only loaded firearms are covered) and applies it to homes with minors aged 16 and 17 (currently only 15 and younger).

BENEFIT: Prevents unintentional shootings, firearm suicide by family members other than the gun owner, especially teens (80% of child and teen firearm suicides use a gun belonging to a family member) and school shootings (In 75% of cases, guns used in school shootings came from the shooter’s home or that of a relative).

H.B. 7223, An Act Concerning the Storage of a Pistol or Revolver in a Motor Vehicle
Requires handguns in motor vehicles to be kept in a securely locked safe when the vehicle is unattended.

BENEFIT: Prevents gun theft. Most firearms recovered from crime scenes are stolen.

H.B. 7219, An Act Concerning Ghost Guns
Bans firearms without serial numbers and regulates so-called “ghost guns” (kits that allow assembly of guns at home without requiring a background check and permit) and 3D plastic printed guns the same as Connecticut regulates other firearms.

BENEFIT: Prevents firearms from getting in the hands of dangerous individuals not permitted by law to possess a firearm. Prevents the manufacture of untraceable guns that are sold illegally to other prohibited persons. Prevents the manufacture of guns undetectable by metal detectors.

S.B. 60, An Act Concerning The Presentation Of A Carry Permit. 
Requires individuals openly carrying a firearm in public to show their permit, that they are required to have on their person, upon the request of a law enforcement officer.

BENEFIT: Protects public safety by enabling law enforcement to determine if an individual with a gun visible is legally allowed to carry the firearm in public.

CAGV Endorses Derek Slap for Feb 26 State Senate special election

There’s no question that the midterm elections strengthened our position in the CT General Assembly. Candidates strong on gun violence prevention outperformed their opponents in both the House and Senate. Now a special election is being held on Tuesday, February 26 to fill the open seat in the State Senate 5th District. It’s important we hold this seat that was vacated by Senator Beth Bye, a long-time supporter of strong gun safety laws.

CAGV is pleased to announce that we have endorsed Derek Slap for the 5th State Senate district. Like Senator Bye, Representative Slap has been outspoken in his support for common-sense gun laws. He voted to ban bump stocks last year. But even before he joined the legislature, Derek Slap was involved in gun safety legislation. As Chief of Staff for the Senate Democratic Caucus, he helped to draft the landmark gun safety legislation that passed after the Sandy Hook School shooting.

Because they don’t get much attention, special elections are often overlooked or considered unimportant because they are in safe districts for one party or the other. Don’t be complacent! If you live in the 5th Senate District (Burlington and West Hartford, and portions of Bloomfield and Farmington), please go to the polls on Tuesday, February 26 and vote to elect Derek Slap for State Senator representing the 5th district.