In some states, debates over gun policy might break along ideological lines but in Connecticut, the split is just as likely to be geographical.
In the Senate, Fairfield County Republicans such as Michael McLachlan and Scott Frantz joined Minority Leader John McKinney in backing the measure.
Meanwhile, two Democrats from rural Eastern Connecticut–Sens. Cathy Osten and Andrew Maynard–voted no.
“There are things in this bill that I could support,” Osten, a freshman from Sprague, said during the floor debate. “But there are many things in this bill that I cannot. Based on what my constituents have said to me, people have a right to bear arms and we already have enough restrictions on them and we do not need anymore.”
Maynard, a veteran lawmaker from Stonington, joined Osten in opposition. “I just wasn’t comfortable going the full distance on this one,” Maynard said after the votes were tallied.
Maynard said he received lots of comments from constituents on both sides of the issue; he estimated the feedback was roughly split between those who support gun control and those who oppose it.
“I think ironically the people whom I’m most normally in agreement will be probably least pleased” with his vote, Maynard said. “I hope that I’ve demonstrated at least thoughtfulness over the course of the discussion…this was not in any way shape or form a knuckling under because of pressure from gun interests…I frankly could care less what official gun rights groups think about this.”