STAMFORD, Conn. — About 100 people were urged to make their voices heard in Hartford if they want the state to enact stricter gun control laws, at a Stand Against Violence Effectively meeting Monday night in Stamford.
“Write letters to all of them,” said state Sen. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford and Darien, telling attendees that if they want to see changes, they must get in the ears of legislators. He added that personal stories make the biggest impact on his colleagues.
“We can only change it if you are with us,” said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, told the crowd at First Congregational Church of Stamford. The meeting was held for people to learn about ways they can help get stricter gun laws in the state.
Pinciaro said people can’t let the deadly shooting in Newtown go without changes being made. He said he hoped the state would enact measures similar to what Australia did 20 years ago, which led to a big decrease in gun violence there.
“You cannot tell me guns are not the problem,” Pinciaro said.
Both the state Legislature and the governor are putting together committees to begin discussing what has to change with gun control, state Rep. Gerald Fox III, D-Stamford, said. While the state wants to act fast, it does want to keep people informed in the process, he said.
Connecticut has the fourth strictest gun laws, Pinciaro said, and he would like the state to change the assault weapon ban to get rid of the “grandfather clause,” ban large-capacity magazines, meaning more than 10 rounds, and require universal background checks for gun buyers.
Leone, who served in the military, said he has seen what assault rifles can do, and doesn’t want to see them in the hands of civilians. “I don’t want to be fourth, I don’t want to be third, I want to be first,” he said.
State Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, New Canaan, said he may not know everything about guns or owning them, but he does know what it is like to send children to school and hope they are safe when they are not with you.
“Every parent in the city and the state deserves that peace of mind,” Tong said.