Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
For Immediate Release
March 9, 2018
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Mayor Ganim, Senator Blumenthal Call for Common Sense Gun Reforms in Connecticut and Nationally
Mayor Calls on Connecticut General Assembly to Pass Ban on Bump Stocks and Ghost Guns; Blumenthal Proposing Bipartisan Legislation in Congress to Prevent Dangerous Individuals from Owning Firearms
YouTube Link to Press Conference
BRIDGEPORT, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim today joined Connecticut US Senator Richard Blumenthal and a number of Bridgeport community leaders in calling for common sense gun safety reforms at the state level in Connecticut and at the national level in Congress. Specifically, Mayor Ganim is calling on members of the Connecticut General Assembly to pass legislation that has been proposed to ban so-called ‘bump stocks’ or other hardware enhancements which can attach to a semi-automatic rifle and can turn it into a rapid fire military type automatic assault rifle. Ganim is also calling on Connecticut lawmakers to ban so-called ghost guns – weapons that are untraceable, have no serial numbers on them, and can be purchased in pieces over the internet and assembled by the consumer. Senator Blumenthal has recently proposed bipartisan legislation with South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham this week proposed the “Federal Extreme Risk Protection Act” that would take numerous measures to allow the federal government to prevent someone deemed a danger to themselves or others from purchasing, acquiring or possessing a firearm.
“Connecticut has been a leader in enacting common sense gun laws and now we need to go one step further to keep all of our communities safe,” said Mayor Ganim. “We have already banned military style assault weapons and enacted various other safety measures that have made a real difference in reducing gun violence. Now we clearly need to ban bump stocks and other attachments that can turn semi-automatic rifles into killing machines. This is what we saw tragically in Las Vegas. It should never happen to anyone else. We also need to make illegal the ‘ghost guns’ that our law enforcement community cannot even trace because they have no serial numbers. Taking these two steps will help reduce the risks of gun violence that have tragically taken too many lives here in Connecticut and across the country.”
“Something has changed in this country. People have seen enough and now they want something done. The only question is – will be have the political strength to break the vice-like grip of the NRA and the gun lobby on Congress to follow Connecticut’s model?” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “We will need the courage of people all across Connecticut and this country who stand up and say enough is enough. The bill that I have introduced with Senator Lindsey Graham will allow ordinary citizens to do something when they see troubling signs of potentially dangerous behavior. No one who poses a danger to themselves or who threatens others should have a firearm. This bill allows people to seek a court order that would bar dangerous people from possessing a firearm.”
Bridgeport State Representative Ezequiel Santiago said, “Youth in Bridgeport have been losing their lives to illegal guns for decades. These reforms are long overdue, but are very welcome and extremely important. I am fully committed to doing my part to enacting this common sense tightening of our gun regulations. It will be a challenge, because the gun lobby is very strong not only in Washington but right here in Connecticut as well. But our duty to protect the lives of innocent people from illegal guns is stronger and will prevail."
State Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, House vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said, “In the wake of the Parkland shooting, the demand for stricter gun laws is stronger than ever. To address the national epidemic of gun violence, it is crucial that we pass legislation that further limits access to weapons of mass murder. This year, the legislature’s Judiciary Committee has introduced a series of bills that will prevent additional people from falling victim to gun violence and will help keep guns out of the hands of those people who should not possess them. By banning bump stocks and prohibiting people who cannot purchase a gun from ordering ‘ghost guns,’ we honor the intent of our existing law prohibiting possession of an automatic weapon and requiring a background check to purchase a firearm, thus making our schools, public places and streets safer.”
Bridgeport State Representative Jack Hennessy said, “As a military veteran, I do not want people to be able to possess weapons of war in our communities, putting innocent people at risk. I am totally in support of banning bump stocks and ghost guns. Connecticut needs to continue to lead the way towards sensible gun control.”
Jeremy Stein, Executive Director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said, “Five years ago we had one of the most horrific tragedies that happened in our country right here in Connecticut. Just like Parkland only a few weeks ago, Sandy Hook rocked us to our core, to our foundation. These mass shootings are not stopping or slowing down, it is only getting worse. Our communities are never the same after such tragedies. All we are asking for here is just common sense gun reforms to save lives. That is all we are asking for. After Sandy Hook, we all came together to change the law, and we banned assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and we strengthened background checks. As a result, Connecticut became one of the safest states in the country because of our strong gun laws. Strong gun laws save lives. And we did this without arming a single teacher. More guns equals more gun deaths.”
Bridgeport State Representative Charlie Stallworth said, “Instead of guns empowering bad people to terrorize our neighborhoods, our communities must take control of the countless untraceable, illegal firearms that have plagued generations of kids. These sensible legislative ideas give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to curtail gun violence in Connecticut and we must do everything we can to make these reforms the new law in our state."