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Conn. Gun Law to Redefine Assault Weapons

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By Andrew Lu on April 02, 2013 11:53 AM

Legislators in Connecticut have agreed to overhaul the state's gun laws and make them the toughest in the nation.

The proposed bill would change how the state defines "assault weapons." It's partly in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last December.

The new law, if approved, would add more than 100 types of guns to the state's list of banned assault weapons, prohibit high-capacity gun clips and armor-piercing bullets, and require background checks for all weapon sales including sales at gun shows, among other safety measures, reports CNN.

Despite the bill's provisions, critics note that nothing in the bill would have stopped suspected Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, or anyone else bent on murder.

Some other notable points of Connecticut's proposed new gun law include:

  • A new definition of assault weapon. The bill would expand the definition of an assault weapon by reducing to just one the number of specified "physical characteristics" that need to be present for the weapon to be characterized as an assault weapon. The current law requires two characteristics to be present.

  • A ban on high-capacity gun clips. The legislation would immediately ban any further sale, purchase or importation of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. Anyone who currently owns a larger clip will have to register it with the state.

  • A statewide registry, for police eyes only. The bill would create the nation's first statewide registry for people convicted of crimes involving the use or threat of dangerous weapons. The registry would not be public, but available to law enforcement only, writes CNN. Furthermore, the bill would require eligibility certificates for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or ammunition, and would significantly increase penalties for illegal possession and firearms trafficking.

Connecticut's gun bill also addresses school safety, including safety standards for school building projects and mandatory school safety and security plans. Lawmakers are set to consider the bill beginning tomorrow.

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