A group of Connecticut legislators have drafted gun laws that would ban more than 100 different weapons from the state. The laws will also place severe restrictions on ammunition: magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and armor-piercing bullets will both be illegal. Additionally, Connecticut will leap ahead of the national debate and require background checks on all gun transactions.
They also hope to pass measures that will help people detect mental illness. The proposal will provide teachers with mental health training and it will empower the state to perform more research on mental health issues. The laws will also establish minimum security standards for all schools.
Clearly, these laws aim to address all possible weaknesses in state security following the Sandy Hook tragedy. The laws will shore up perceived weaknesses in gun control, mental health detection, and school safety regulations in order to prevent similar mass shootings in the future.
Connecticut Senate President Don Williams, a Democrat and member of the taskforce who worked on the laws, said, “Nobody will be able to say that this bill is absolutely perfect, but no one will also be able to say that this bill fails the test when it comes to being the strongest in the country and the most comprehensive bill in the country.”
Connecticut’s initiative in the gun control debate could prove beneficial for the rest of the country. National legislators are considering new laws that mirror Connecticut’s legislation. Connecticut could act as a litmus tests for gun control laws at a national level – if these measures statistically reduce instances of gun violence, then lawmakers in Washington will have the confidence to move forward with national gun control legislation.
Of course, the opposite is also true – if the laws fail, gun control advocates could point to Connecticut and argue that gun control doesn’t work. Scott Wilson, the president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said, “There is nothing in this package that would have stopped someone like Adam Lanza.”
With one side claiming that the laws are a panacea to gun violence and the other claiming that they will do nothing, Connecticut could become a proving ground for gun control legislation at the national level.