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Legislature Adopts Package Of Changes To Post-Newtown Gun Control Law

The General Assembly approved a measure June 3 making several technical changes to the gun control statute enacted this April in response to last December’s fatal shooting at a Newtown elementary school.

While they enacted a statute two months ago that imposes numerous new restrictions on firearm purchases,  tightens school security and expands insurance coverage for mental health, lawmakers have since discovered numerous problems with that measure.

The House and Senate adopted a series of technical changes Monday with broad bipartisan support.

The changes:

Allow people who purchased assault weapons on large-capacity magazines on April 4 – the day the governor signed the gun control measure  – to register and lawfully possess them.

Allow sworn and duly certified state and local police officers, properly certified constables, and certain officers and inspectors at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office to purchase assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. They must have written authorization from their respective departments to do so and must register the weapons and magazines within 90 days when they separate from active service.

Exempt the law enforcement officers listed from new long gun and ammunition certificate requirements.

Allow federally licensed collectors to buy certain firearms that fall into the category of banned weapons but are more than 50 years old.

Allow federally licensed firearms manufacturers to possess large-capacity magazines for their weapons without declaring their possession.

Allow individuals who legally possess assault weapons to bequeath them to underage beneficiaries, provided the weapons are kept in trust until the recipients reaches age 21.

And clarify that semi-automated rifles that were defined as assault weapons prior to enactment of the April statute continue to be defined as assault weapons.

The bill passed unanimously Monday in the Senate and 131-15 in the House.

Malloy, whose office helped negotiate the technical changes, is expected to sign the bill.

(This story originally appeared at CTMirror.org, the website of The Connecticut Mirror, an independent, non-profit news organization covering government, politics, and public policy in the state.)

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