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Editorial State Senate must support gun bills for public safety

May 15, 2019

The issue: Connecticut has the opportunity to make the state safer for all, most notably young people, without infringing on anyone’s rights. To take such action should be a no-brainer.

But when the steps to safety involve guns, common sense often is left at the door of the State Capitol.

Fortunately, enough legislators from both parties supported three bills to move them from the House to the Senate last week. Two address safe storage of firearms and the third would ban so-called ghost guns, which are home assembled without permits or registration and therefore cannot be traced.

Last year a similar ghost guns bill failed to come up for a vote in the House.

What we said: “Ghost guns are unregulated and therefore untraceable. Anyone — including teenagers — could procure one. These guns have no serial numbers because they are bought through the internet partially assembled, then completed without much effort at home. The equivalent of an AR-15, banned in Connecticut, could be obtained this way.

“Ghost guns are a way to get around the law. The law must catch up with them.”

Editorial — April 13, 2018

“Gun enthusiasts have every right to buy a weapon through the channels that society has spent decades fine tuning in an effort to balance the rights of gun owners with considerations for public safety. Freelance gun making throws that balance way off.”

Editorial — May 6, 2018

“Gov. Ned Lamont, while a candidate, pledged support to ban ghost and 3D-printed guns, which are made of plastic, have no serial numbers and therefore are untraceable.”

Editorial — Jan. 25, 2019

“To hear or read Kristin Song’s testimony about a state gun safety bill is to feel the anguish of a mother whose teenage son died needlessly because a gun was unlocked and loaded with a bullet. ...

“The safe storage bill in Connecticut should be a protection all would want. This bill could save lives.

“From 2001 through 2018, 126 children through age 17 died from gun-related injuries, Sarah Healy Eagen, the state’s child advocate, said. ...Pass the safe storage bill, pass Ethan’s Law.”

Editorial — March 14, 2019

What has happened: The bill to ban ghost guns passed the state House of Representatives May 7 in a 108-36 vote. “Ethan’s Law,” named for 15-year-old Ethan Song of Guilford who died from an accidentally discharged .357 Magnum last year, passed with more support, 127-16.

But a third bill, which requires firearms to be locked when unattended in vehicles, drew more than five hours of debate before finally passing 98-48. How this could be controversial is difficult to see. It is no one’s right to leave a gun in a car. The bill calls for firearms to be locked in a portable safe or the trunk or, by amendment, a metal tool box or locked glove compartment.

All three bills moved to the state Senate.

What you can do: Now is the time to contact your state senator and urge them to vote yes for public safety.

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