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Obama Gun Control Proposals Unveiled: What's Your Take?

Branford's state senator, Democrat Ed Meyer, thinks the plan misses an opportunity to outlaw gun magazines and because of that won't be effective. What do you think?

President Obama on Wednesday unveiled what is being called the most ambitious gun control agenda in decades, initiating 23 separate executive actions aimed at curbing what he called “the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” according to The Washington Post.

According to the White House fact sheet, Obama’s plan includes:

  • reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban,
  • restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines,
  • getting rid of armor-piercing bullets,
  • ending a freeze on research into gun violence,
  • providing additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime
  • calling on Congress to pass a $4 billion proposal to help communities keep 15,000 police officers on the streets, as well as new gun trafficking legislation that would “impose serious penalties on those who help get guns into the hands of criminals".
  • Making schools safer by giving communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and school counselors.

Connecticut political reaction came in quickly.

Connecticut SenEd Meyer, a Democrat who represents the 12th District, which includes Branford, North Branfor, Guilford, Durham, Killingworth and Madison, said Wednesday that he's not sure the president's proposals will be effective.

"It’s moving the country in the right direction, but it won’t be very effective because it is continuing the legal use of gun magazines," said Meyer. "And our experience, we’ve been looking at weapons and gun magazines, our experience is that you can change magazines in one- to one-and-a-half seconds. Continuing to allow gun magazines is allowing the bad guys to continue awful assaults."

He also said he does not think any effective national legislation will be enacted anytime soon. 

"From my vantage point, I also don’t see any chance of the president’s program passing House of Representatives, because of Republican majority. This has become a totally partisan issue," said Meyer. He also is assistant president pro tempore of the state Senate.

In addition to the national initiatives, Meyer has been working with other legislators to come up with some gun control measures for Connecticut. Meyer's proposal prohibits the sale or use of any gun magazines, but it does provide for some specific exemptions for their use at gun ranges under certain conditions.

Rich Burgess, the president of gun-advocacy group Connecticut Carry, also weighed in.

"It sounds like President Obama has finally taken the first step in instructing his Federal employees to do their jobs as they should have been doing all along," Burgess said in a statement to Patch. "That we had to wait for the Sandy Hook massacre for President Obama to feel compelled to instruct his employees to do their jobs is shameful."

After a recent forum on gun control held in Guilford, Burgess lodged a complaint against Sen. Meyer and a retired Guilford police officer, alleging that the use of a BB gun during the presentation violated state statute 53-206. The Guilford Police Department said Monday the case has been closed, and after the investigation, no criminal violation was found

"We are glad President Obama came around to accepting the NRA's recommendations of increasing armed security in schools (#18 & #12) and to increase firearms education nationwide (#7)," Burgess continued. "We hope he works with the leader in both areas, the NRA, to implement these programs. We will be happy to assist here in Connecticut as needed through the work we have already been engaging in with regards to education and training."

Other officials also weighed in:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement:

“In the hours after the worst of our fears were confirmed, in the midst of the grief and sorrow over the loss of 20 innocent children and six dedicated educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was one question on the minds of people across Connecticut and around the nation: How do we make sure this never happens again? 

“Today the President took the critical first step toward answering that question.  The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the Vice President for their work on this issue.

“I have no doubt that, state by state, we will deal with the issue of gun violence.  Over the coming months, I will do everything in my power to make sure that Connecticut is a national leader in preventing gun violence.  We will take steps to make sure that our gun laws are as tight as they are reasonable, that our mental health system is accessible to those that need it, and that our law enforcement personnel have all the tools they need to protect public safety, particularly in our schools.

“But we can’t go it alone.  We need leadership at the federal level, and for the first time in a long time, we have it. 

“We will not be able to stop gun violence completely, but we can make our country and our children safer.  We owe it to them, and to all those lost in Sandy Hook, Aurora and every other city that has lost someone to gun violence, to try.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) released the following statement:

These are strong recommendations, and Congress should act on them now—before another mass tragedy occurs. If assault weapons and high capacity magazines were not so readily available, I am convinced there would be more little boys and girls alive in Newtown today. If background checks were universal, our city streets would be safer. There are no longer any excuses for inaction. If the horror of Sandy Hook doesn't move Congress to act on common sense gun laws, I have no idea what will. I’m so appreciative of the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden on this issue, especially their willingness to involve the Sandy Hook parents and families in this effort. Now, it’s time to get to work.

Bill Fasula January 16, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Since when have BB guns been illegal, I had one when I was ten years old. Thank God, I will be leaving the planet soon.
Warren Gould January 16, 2013 at 08:10 PM
No need for magazines except in war otherwise a good proposal and statement. And shame on the NRA on the recent ad that included the Presidents children. They exposed their true identity.
Bill Vincent January 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Any doctor that asks me if I have guns in the house will be told to come break into my house some night, and I'll give you your answer. As for magazines, I'll run through 3 10 round magazines almost as quick as someone with a 30 round magazine. It makes no sense to me, and really doesn't phase me.
Jody f January 17, 2013 at 01:25 AM
Obama demonizing gun owners whove nothing wrong is sickening. His proposals willnot stop madmen
Bill Fasula January 17, 2013 at 01:53 AM
In 2010 there were only 358 deaths involving rifles, not all of which were "assault rifles. Of the 30,470 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2010, 19,392 (63.6%) were suicide deaths, and 11,078 (36.4%) homicide deaths.[8]. His laws will only infringe on the right of Americans and not save any lives.
Daria Novak January 17, 2013 at 04:43 AM
If the government tries to limit the number of bullets in a gun, all it will do is increase gun sales as someone intent on doing harm (should they decide to legally buy a gun and not use a Saturday night special) will simply carry a second weapon in the belt. Any military guy can answer this... how long does it take to change a clip? A second or two? This Administration should instead be talking about the unfortunate individuals who are mentally ill. Why are they ignored? We should be helping them, not violating the US Constitution and curtailing the rights of law abiding gun owners. Don't the liberals care about those people who can't handle life? We should help them and stop messing with gun laws.
donald n. mei January 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Leave it to Senator Meyer to continue his over simplistic nonsense about gun magazines. I own a 1967 Ruger Canadian Centennial 22 rifle with a ten shot rotary magazine. Great little firearm for target shooting. Is he planning on confiscating it and every other firearm that doesn't meet his particular definition of what constitutes a legal firearm? The problem with absurd proposals like his is that they are so extreme they make reasonable discussion impossible with moderate gun owners like myself.
steve January 17, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Shame on Obama along with his anti zealots for using kids as props to further his anti-gun agenda. The Brady bill didnt do anything to curb murders and the muder rate actually fell every year since it expired. Rifles are used in about .02 % of all murders. .02 !!!!! Learn the truth here instead of hysterical emotionalism from people with their new hobby horses who dont know the facts. http://authentic-connecticut-republican.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-is-ar-15-rifle.html
steve January 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Daria, PLEASE run against Ed Meyer and announce NOW!!!!! Get your war chest building right away so you can defeat this extremist.
Arbie January 17, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Daria has my vote, she is well versed in the gun debate subject and hits the nail on the head. Mr. Meyer is 77 according to press articles and he is out of touch with reality to spout the extremist propaganda that he is soap boxing, I would predict this is going to be his last term.
Robert A. Radulski January 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM
We have over 20,000 gun laws in the USA. How many of these do the criminals and psycopaths obey? You're right! NONE!
Jaybee January 18, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Senator Meyer will not get my vote, because of his simplistic, time wasting proposals. Similarly, Daria loses my vote for finding it necessary to drag up the same tired chestnut about law abiding gun toters having their rights abridged. The Obama proposals do include considerations of mental health. Did you consider all of his proposals, or did you see red when he wanted to outlaw extended clips? I know of no military personel who would speak against keeping a 100 round drum out of the hands of a guy like the Aurora, CO shooter. According to police reports, he entered the theatre at 12:38, shot up the place, firing more than 30 rounds in 28 seconds. He shot 70 people, killing 12. He was apprehended by police at 12:45, seven minutes after he began shooting. With all due respect to all irrate gun owners, he could not do that with a hammer, a sword or a ten bullet clip. In the months before he did this, he bought over 3,000 rounds of ammunition. And he had seen a mental health profession, to try and deal with whatever issues he had. Why wouldn't a law abiding gun owner not be disgusted by this? By Newtown? To say yes let's stop this mass killing, but don't inconvienence me seems extremely selfish to me. Put everything on the table.

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