A legislative hearing on 11 new gun control proposals drew hundreds of people to the state Capitol Thursday morning, including busloads of workers from Colt’s Manufacturing Co.
Outside the workers chanted “Save Our Jobs,” while inside a hearing room lawmakers on the legislature’s public safety committee questioned an official with the National Rifle Association.
John Hohwarter, the state liaison with the NRA, said he views a bill that would strengthen the state’s ban on assault rifles as an example of government overreach and an infringement of the 2nd Amendment.
But Hohwarter said there are measures the state could take to reduce gun violence. He cited a program in Pennsylvania that straw purchasers of firearms in Philadelphia as an example of a program Connecticut could model.
“Those types of programs…they work in other states they’ll work here,” Hohwarter told the committee.
State lawmakers are reviewing state policy on guns, mental health and school safety in the aftermath of the dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 children and six adults.
State Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, cautioned his colleagues against seeking a quick fix.
“If we walk out of here and do some cosmetic thing like we always do and then tell people we’ve solved the problem, shame on us,” he said as the crowd applauded.
Guglielmo continued: “We have to have a little common sense. And it’s very frustrating…we know this cannot be solved totally, because you can’t legislate crazy.”
Rep. David Rovero, D-Killingly, said he’s trying to balance the need to protect law-abiding gun owners with protecting the public.
“To be honest with you…while I don’t want to take guns from any legal abiding citizens, I don’t want to see any more death in the state of Connecticut or anyplace else if we can help it.”