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Connecticut leads the way, passes historic gun control bill

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signs new legislation at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn. on April 4, 2013, that includes new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, a response to last year's deadly school shooting in Newtown. ...
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signs new legislation at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn. on April 4, 2013, that includes new restrictions on weapons and large...

Connecticut's Democratic Governor Dan Malloy signed the state’s bipartisan gun control bill into law Thursday—a bill proponents say is the toughest response to the Newtown shooting in the country.

“We have come together in a way that relatively few places in our nation have demonstrated an ability to,” Gov. Malloy said, surrounded by victims' families and first responders.

The legislation requires universal background checks for all firearms purchasers and adds more than 100 firearms to Connecticut’s existing ban on assault weapons, including the Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle—the weapon Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It also sets eligibility rules for buying ammunition; creates the nation's first dangerous weapon offender registry; and bans the sale and purchase of high capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, prohibiting the 30-round magazines Lanza fired.

Gov. Malloy said he hoped the legislation would serve as an example to political leaders in Washington who seem so deeply divided, even though Americans themselves are not divided on issues like universal background checks, which 92% of Americans support.

Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the Newtown shooting, expressed her gratitude to the legislators who have supported gun control efforts since Dec. 14.

“Working to save the lives of others is one of the ways I am honoring Dylan’s life,” she said. “We want Newtown to be known not for our tragedy, but for our transformation.”

Gov. Malloy set August 1st as the target date for the bill's mandates to take full effect.

Connecticut’s General Assembly approved the wide-ranging bill late Wednesday. The state’s Democratic majority House of Representatives approved the bill at 2:26 a.m. by a vote of 105 to 44; the Senate passed the legislation earlier that evening.

“There were some who said the ‘Connecticut effect’ would wear off—that it would wear off in Connecticut and it would wear off across the country,” Connecticut Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams said Monday. “What they didn’t know was that Democrats and Republicans would come together and work to put together the strongest and most comprehensive bill in the United States to fight gun violence, to strengthen the security at our schools, and to provide the mental health services that are necessary.”

Gov. Malloy's office tweeted out this photo of the bill:

Gov. Malloy has signed SB 1160 into law.…— Governor Dan Malloy (@GovMalloyOffice) April 4, 2013

Read the full text of the legislation here.