A 16-member Connecticut panel tasked with making recommendations for how to prevent gun violence in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting released its interim report this week, urging lawmakers to pass a ban on high-capacity magazines and limit ammunition purchases. The proposals, which came just one day before a state committee unanimously approved a bill requiring background checks for all guns sales in the state, have sent gun groups into overdrive, with some directly lobbying families in Newton to oppose the measures.
Newtown Action Alliance — a Sandy Hook-based, all-volunteer organization working to reduce gun violence and death — reported on Thursday that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is making robocalls and sending post cards to Newtown families asking them to oppose any new measures. The messages, first obtained by Christina Wilkie of the Huffington Post, warn that “Connecticut General Assembly are aggressively forging ahead with numerous proposals that are designed to disarm and punish law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen”:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation — a group which represents gun manufacturers — has also begun airing radio ads claiming that restrictions will “punish law-abiding citizens” and threatening that gun manufactures will leave the state and take away “thousands of jobs”:
Meanwhile, a recent Quinnipiac poll finds that Connecticut voters — and gun owners — overwhelmingly support universal background checks (93 percent, including 89 percent of gun owners) and stricter statewide gun safety laws. The Newtown families are also not taking kindly to the pr-gun advocacy. One resident told the Huffington Post, “The idea that this message could have been delivered to a sibling of one of the families who lost children at [Sandy Hook Elementary School] is just appalling.” “You’d think they could have scrubbed the list, just to be decent. Instead, you’re making an unsolicited call with no opt-out that my children could answer.”
The Connecticut panel, formally called Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, recommends: requiring registration, including a certificate of registration, for any firearm, a ban on the sale, possession, or use of any magazine or ammunition feeding
device in excess of 10 rounds, limiting the amounts of ammunition that may be purchased at any given time, and requiring that trigger locks be provided at the time of sale or transfer of any firearm.
Since the Newtown shooting, lawmakers proposed close to 100 gun safety measures, but have yet to enact new reforms.