In beginning our research of gun legislation being submitted for 2018 legislative cycles around the country, it's clear that Democrats have a very simple early goal - to impose bans on bump stocks. The firearm accessory that enabled the Las Vegas massacre has been on the agenda for lawmakers from red states like Kansas to purple states like Colorado, and now, in blue Connecticut, it is at the top of the agenda:
Gov. Dannel Malloy is proposing legislation to ban the purchase and sale of “rate of fire enhancements,” including bump stocks, binary trigger systems and trigger cranks.
“Bump stocks are cheap, they are deadly, and they have no place in our society,” Malloy said in a statement. “In Connecticut, we refuse to allow federal inaction to endanger the lives of our residents, despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from the NRA. Our state has long been a champion in the fight against gun violence, and today we take a step towards further cementing our reputation as a leader in smart, safe, and commonsense gun reform.”
While a national bump-stock ban is ostensibly being taken up by Congress, states are obviously moving ahead with plans of their own. Massachusetts and California have already banned the devices, and as we've outlined, states like Kansas and municipalities like Denver are moving forward on their own bans. Malloy's will include a number of "rate of fire enhancements" that seek to turn legal firearms into what are, for all intents and purposes, illegal automatic weapons.
In their way, as usual, are local pro-grun groups like the Connecticut Citizen's Defense League, whose statement that "[t]he devices in question are not needed to replicate the rapid rate of fire" seems designed to make absolutely nobody feel better about what has become a convoluted attempt at legalizing automatic weapons.
Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), one of our "LEAPers" thanks to his exemplary record on firearms regulation in the Senate last year, echoed the governor's sentiments:
"Connecticut is once again poised to lead the nation in the face of Congressional failure-- a chance to prove again to the nation that it is possible to pass commonsense, serious solutions to protect our communities from the scourge of gun violence," Blumenthal said in a statement on Tuesday. "But gun violence does not stop at the state line, and states like Connecticut with strong laws will remain vulnerable until Congress acts. I will not give up the fight."
The legislation has yet to be submitted to the Connecticut legislature, but once it is and we're assured it does what Gov. Malloy has set forth, we will be grading it and urging support.