Blumenthal, Murphy renew push for stronger gun controls in wake of Vegas massacre
NEW HAVEN (AP) — Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation on Friday renewed their calls for tighter controls on guns in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Rosa DeLauro spoke to dozens of people at a rally in New Haven.
The three Democrats said they will be submitting new legislation and resubmitting old bills on universal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and prohibiting so-called "bump stock" devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to perform more like fully automatic weapons.
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used bump stocks as he killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 attending a country music concert before taking his own life Sunday night.
This week, the Trump administration, top congressional Republicans and the National Rifle Association surprisingly embraced regulating bump stocks. Most Republicans and the NRA have stood firmly against stricter gun laws in recent years, despite a series of mass shootings including the killings of 20 children and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown in 2012.
Some parents of the slain Newtown children were among the crowd Friday.
The Connecticut lawmakers said their proposals wouldn't infringe on people's Second Amendment rights, but rather keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. They've been pushing hard for gun control measures since the Newtown shooting.
"In no other country are there mass shooting after mass shooting with 20 and 30 and 50 people perishing in a matter of minutes," Murphy said. "The data tells you only one thing: If you keep dangerous people from getting their hands on weapons and if you keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of civilians, you will save lives."
Blumenthal said he also wants to close a loophole that allows people to buy guns without a background check, if the check isn't done within three days. That loophole helped Dylann Roof obtain the pistol authorities said he used to kill nine worshippers at a church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015, despite a pending drug charge against him.
"We will not accept Las Vegas or any mass shooting as normal, nor will we accept that gun violence cannot be stopped," Blumenthal said.