April 23, 2019

Senator Haskell Stands With Constituents Advocating for Gun Safety Legislation at the State Capitol


State Senator Will Haskell meets with advocates from Moms Demand Action during a Tuesday event advocating for gun safety legislation.

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) stood alongside Moms Demand Action advocates, including many of his constituents from the 26th District, in the State Capitol’s Old Judiciary Room to endorse legislation that will increase gun safety. Haskell and many assembled political leaders, including Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven), Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), and State Senators Derek Slap (D-West Hartford), Christine Cohen (D-Guilford), Mary Abrams (D-Meriden) and Julie Kushner (D-Danbury), voiced support for key legislation that would restrict access to untraceable firearms and ensure responsible possession and ownership of firearms.

“Today, dozens of my constituents flooded the halls of the Capitol to advocate for common-sense gun safety bills. Together, we’re fighting for new laws that will keep us safe. We can’t let unregistered, homemade guns continue to threaten our safety,” said Sen. Haskell. “We can’t let Ethan Song be just another victim of an unsecured gun. We can’t leave guns sitting out in homes with children who might think they’re toys, or in cars, ready for the taking by those who wish to do harm. I stand with Moms Demand Action and will do all I can to advocate for gun safety reform when these bills reach the Senate floor. It’s time to do the job that our constituents elected us to do. We know it’s going to be a tough fight, but as Kristen Song said, ‘Bring it on.’”

Moms Demand Action advocated for three bills Tuesday, all of which Sen. Haskell sponsored. They include the following:

House Bill No. 7218, commonly known as “Ethan’s Law,” proposes that all firearms being held in any home with a minor under the age of 18 be responsibly stored in a lockbox or gun safe. Current Connecticut law only requires loaded firearms to be stored, and only when a minor is under the age of 16, a resident in a home is ineligible to possess firearms, or a resident poses risk of injury to himself or others.

The bill is named after Ethan Song, a Guilford teen who was killed by a loose firearm in a friend’s house in early 2018. Ethan was one of hundreds of American children who, each year, gain access to firearms not properly stored and unintentionally shoot themselves or others. This legislation would also protect against illegally trafficked guns by making firearms more difficult to steal from homes.

House Bill No. 7219 is intended to prevent access to “ghost guns,” which are made with parts created by 3D printers, and works to ensure all guns have serial numbers and are traceable. Currently, retailers can sell firearm receivers freely. Those receivers need further work before they are completed, but an individual can finish creating necessary parts to build their own gun. This law prohibits the assembly or manufacturing of a firearm without a serial number, preventing undue access to firearms and ensuring all firearms are identifiable and traceable by law enforcement if necessary.

House Bill No. 7223 requires owners of pistols and revolvers to keep their weapons in locked containers whenever they leave their firearms in vehicles. This legislation would work to improve responsible storage of guns and prevent firearm thefts from vehicles, as nearly 25 percent of stolen guns are taken from vehicles – and that number has doubled since 2006.

Moms Demand Action also advocated for increased funding for Project Longevity, a program that uses group violence intervention to deter gun violence in the state, specifically in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford. Between 2012 and 2016, homicides in those three cities declined by more than half, and the New Haven Police Chief has specifically cited Project Longevity as helping that decline. However, funding for the program is currently at $574,000, well below its previous appropriations; Moms Demand Action asked for it to be fully funded at $1.2 million annually.