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As Promised, Connecticut Democrats Introduce Gun Control Bills

Connecticut’s Democratic lawmakers have released several pieces of federal gun control legislation, following through on a promise they made to act in the wake of the deadliest gun massacre in modern American history.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy joined more than 20 of their colleagues Thursday and introduced a bill to close a gap in gun laws that allows gun sales to proceed without a background check if one is not completed in 72 hours.

“No check, no sale must be the rule,” Blumenthal said.

“This is a commonsense bill to give law enforcement the time it needs before a gun leaves the store,” said Murphy.

The gap has been referred to as the “Charleston loophole” because Dylann Roof, the gunman who killed nine people at a South Carolina church in 2015, was allowed to purchase a firearm despite an incomplete background check. Roof would have failed a background check if one had been completed, the senators said.

Separately, Blumenthal, Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty re-introduced legislation to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun manufacturers from lawsuits.

“Gun manufacturers have hidden behind PLCAA’s liability shield for far too long, with disastrous consequences for families in Connecticut,” Esty said.

Families of some of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting had sought to sue Remington Outdoor Co., the manufacturer of the gun used in the massacre, but a judge dismissed their lawsuit, citing “the broad immunity" provided to gun manufacturers and dealers by federal law, specifically PLCAA.

On Wednesday, Blumenthal, Murphy and other Democratic senators announced legislation to prohibit so-called “bump stocks,” the device the gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas this week used to allow his semi-automatic rifle to achieve a near fullly-automatic rate of fire.

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