Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called Thursday for increased gun control as part of a nationwide effort to rally support for stricter measures.
Blumenthal said he was hoping that the Connecticut state legislature could pass new restrictions in the next two weeks so that he would have more momentum on the floor of the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal will offer an amendment banning high-capacity magazines after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there is not enough support to place banning assault weapons in the main gun bill.
“The overwhelming majority of Americans have been on our side,” Blumenthal told the crowd in the rain Thursday morning outside Hartford city hall.
More than 15 uniformed police officers, along with Hartford’s police chief, attended the event. The press conference had been scheduled for inside city hall, but the event was moved outside, where the rain was steady enough that an aide had to hold a large umbrella over the heads of Malloy and Blumenthal.
After the press conference, Malloy released a statement that thanked the chief state’s attorney’s office for releasing the search warrants in the case of National Rifle Association certificate holder Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children and seven adults, including his mother, on December 14.
“In some cases, the facts really do speak for themselves, and in this case they only add starker detail to what we already knew,” Malloy said.
“We knew that a disturbed individual entered a school and fired 154 rounds in less than 5 minutes, killing 20 innocent children and 6 dedicated educators. We knew that he had ready access to weapons that he should not have had access to. We knew that these weapons were legally purchased under our current laws. We knew he used 30 round magazines to do it, and that they allowed him to do maximum damage in a very short period of time. And we now know that he left the lower capacity magazines at home.
“This is exactly why we need to ban high capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault weapons ban. I don’t know what more we can need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence. The time to act is now.”
Blumenthal said, “The sheer volume of ammunition, guns and weapons revealed and retrieved in these searches is absolutely staggering and should provide strong evidence for the urgency and importance of common sense gun safety measures. The apparent easy access to this huge trove of arms and ammunition by a clearly disturbed and deranged individual shows the need for a comprehensive strategy to stop gun violence.”
Blumenthal continued, “This means background checks for both gun and ammunition purchases, as well as a ban on high capacity magazines containing more than ten rounds of ammunition—sensible measures most Americans support. I will use this evidence to help drive the national discussion and the Senate debate for passage of legislation in April. My hope is that it will also help lead to action in our state legislature so that Connecticut can be a model for the nation.”
During the search, police found National Rifle Association certificates that had been issued in the names of Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy. In their court-approved search, police also found a book entitled, “The NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting.”
Despite those NRA certificates, the NRA released a statement Thursday that Lanza and his mother had not been NRA members.
(Video by Christopher Keating outside Hartford City Hall on March 28, 2013).