The full legislature will get an opportunity to vote on two key gun control bills this session. Measures that would ban so-called ghost guns and bump stocks both passed out of the Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
A bump stock device was used by the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre last year when almost 60 people died. It enhances the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon.
Ghost guns are weapons that are assembled afterparts are bought online - such guns do not have serial numbers and can’t be traced by law enforcement.
Republican state Representative Rob Sampson spoke strongly against the bump stock legislation during a meeting of the Judiciary Committee, accusing lawmakers of acting from emotion rather than logic.
“I don’t believe banning bump stocks makes anyone one iota safer, period," he said. "If a criminal is intent on doing something he was either going to illegally obtain a bump stock, or drive over the border and get one and bring it back. Or he’s going to use something else. Taking things away from law-abiding citizens does not solve any problems ever.”
But Representative Robyn Porter, a Democrat, said changing gun laws can make a difference.
“This bill was born out of the mass shootings, ok, we can admit that," she said. "And when we look at mass shootings, the most recent ones that I can recollect — these are not guns that have been acquired by people illegally. The Parkland shooter bought his gun from Dick's Sporting Goods.”
Governor Dannel Malloy has made passage of the bump stock legislation in particular a top priority on his agenda this session, and he welcomed the vote.
"The legislation passed today is the definition of common sense," he said in a statement. "These cheap and deadly devices – which allow weapons to fire at machine gun-like speeds – have no place in our society."
If the bump stock bill passes the full General Assembly, Connecticut would become the sixth state to ban the devices.