Saying that Connecticut can help the national effort on gun control, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy came to the state Capitol in Hartford to congratulate Democratic senators for passing one of the strongest gun control bills in the nation.
Both Blumenthal and Murphy said Connecticut’s vote Wednesday will give them momentum in Washington, D.C. for a federal ban. Opponents, however, say that votes by state legislators in Connecticut will have no impact on U.S. Senators from states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi who are skeptical of gun efforts.
“It’s bipartisanship. It’s a tremendous example for the United States Senate,” Blumenthal told Capitol Watch in an interview. “For Republicans here to stand up to the NRA and the special interests will send a resounding message in Washington and around the country. By the way, we need all the Democrats. It’s not just about Republicans.”
“We’re drawing inspiration from the bipartisanship,” Murphy said outside the Democratic caucus room. “We can’t pass a bill without Republican support. This is the most visible display of Republicans willing to support gun control in the nation. This is a really important moment because it shows Republicans in Washington that it’s OK to support sensible gun measures.”
When reminded that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there was fewer than 40 votes in the 100-member Senate for reinstating the assault weapons ban, Blumenthal responded, in a tongue-in-cheek remark, ”That was before Murphy and I went to work.”
Murphy said, “There are a lot of members who oppose the assault weapons ban who will support a ban on high-capacity magazines. Our job now is to make sure there are enough of those members to get that passed.”
Earlier Wednesday, some gun and magazine manufacturers said they were uncertain about their futures in Connecticut after knowing that one of the nation’s toughest gun laws was going to be passed. Since the bill bans the possession of high-capacity magazines, they questioned whether a truck that was leaving a magazine manufacturing plant in New Britain could be stopped under the law banning possession.
“I don’t think transporting either assault weapons or magazines from the point of manufacture to an ultimate destination is possession as intended by the legislature,” Blumenthal said. “That would be my view as a prosecutor. The enforcement of the law, like the law itself, has to be reasonable, and I’m assuming it will be.”
Murphy added, “I think these companies are going to stay because they have lots of reasons to stay in Connecticut, but our first obligation always has to be protecting our citizens.”