State Senator and Majority Leader Philip Baruth has jumped on the bandwagon of exploiting the Connecticut tragedy by introducing legislation that will only affect law-abiding gun owners. Instead of concentrating on meaningful measures relating to school safety, mental health issues, marketing of violence as entertainment for our children, and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals, Senator Baruth has introduced Senate Bill 32. This would outlaw the manufacture, possession, sale and transfer of thousands of popular semi-automatic firearms and would also ban ammunition magazines which hold more than ten rounds.
In a misguided attempt to stop firearms from falling into the hands of criminals, Senator Baruth's legislation would instead only stop law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Criminals -- by definition -- violate laws, especially gun control laws. They neither obey gun bans, nor register their firearms, and absolutely do not comply with any gun control schemes whatsoever. As a result, innocent, law-abiding citizens are the only ones who pay the price and are left defenseless.
The study of the federal “assault weapon” and “large” magazine ban of 1994-2004 mandated by Congress concluded that “the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders” even before the ban, and that the law’s 10-round limit on new ammunition magazines wasn’t a factor in multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes.1
Senate Bill 32 would also mandate that all gun owners purchase expensive storage equipment or face jail time and harsh fines. This needless provision is unenforceable without house-to-house inspections and would severely limit the ability of a homeowner to use a firearm in defense of their home and loved ones. Also, expensive trigger locks, cables, and other devices could actually reduce safety by encouraging gun owners to rely on technological mechanisms rather than the proven principles of gun safety and responsible gun handling.
SB 32 has been referred to the state Senate Judiciary Committee, however, a hearing date has not been scheduled at this time. Your NRA-ILA will continue to update you as more details become available. In the meantime, please e-mail state Senator Baruth. Tell him the state Senate would do better to consider legislation to protect our future – our children – by spending time and resources on viable, meaningful solutions rather than restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
State Senator Baruth can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Roth, Koper, et al., “Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994,” Urban Institute, March 13, 1997.