Connecticut legislators announced that they've agreed on broad new gun-control laws, more than three months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown. All who understand our dire need for sane gun regulations must be heartened by this bipartisan legislation:
It would require new state-issued eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition; mandate that offenders convicted of any of more than 40 weapons offenses register with the state; require universal background checks for the sale of all firearms; and substantially expand the state’s existing ban on assault weapons.
But the package did not include everything that anti-gun forces had asked for. It includes a ban on the future sale of high-capacity magazines with more than 10 bullets. But despite a dramatic plea on Monday from relatives of 11 of the victims killed at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, legislative leaders did not include a complete ban on their ownership, although they agreed on new requirements requiring their registration. Legislation passed by New York in January included a ban on the ownership of high-capacity magazines.
The legislation in Connecticut, however, agreed to after several weeks of negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, was hailed by gun-control proponents as a landmark package and an appropriate response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook.