Connecticut’s legislative session begins tomorrow, and state lawmakers have the opportunity to take up common-sense gun legislation. Gun violence prevention is more important than ever in the new year as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence, and after a year of increased gun sales, increased calls to suicide and domestic violence hotlines, and an increase in city gun violence.
Here’s what to know on two policies that could prevent future gun violence in the state if enacted:
Extreme Risk Protection Order Modernization — Connecticut was one of the first states in the nation to enact a law that helps keep firearms out of the hands of people in crisis – and one study showed that the law reduced the state’s firearm suicide rate by 14%. Connecticut lawmakers have an opportunity to continue the work they started last session and strengthen this law to empower family and household members to ask a court to temporarily remove firearms from dangerous situations.
Funding for Local Violence Intervention Groups — In 2020, shootings increased across American cities, including Hartford and New Haven. As pandemic continues to exacerbate the root causes of violence, there’s urgent need for more action on this ongoing public health crisis. State lawmakers can support the ongoing work of local gun violence prevention groups by passing an ammunition tax, which would fund gun violence interruption programs.
Last year, Connecticut Moms Demand Action volunteers supported both policies before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the legislative session to adjourn early. As another session begins in Connecticut, lawmakers should continue prioritizing gun violence prevention and address both common-sense gun safety policies.