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Connecticut governor signs new gun control restrictions into law

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy [official website] signed [press release] a comprehensive gun control bill into law Thursday, placing new limits on the sale of firearms. One of the most far-reaching gun control laws in the country, the Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety Act [text, PDF] adds 100 firearms to the state's assault weapons ban, prohibits the sale or purchase of magazines holding more than 10 rounds and creates the nation's first dangerous weapon offender registry. The bill was drafted by the leaders of both major political parties in response to the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. The 139-page bill was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly [official website] early Thursday morning with bipartisan support after 13 hours of debate. Parts of the legislation, including background checks for all firearm sales, will be effective immediately.

The Newtown, Connecticut shooting [WSJ backgrounder] prompted a national gun control debate [JURIST comment]. Last month, President Barack Obama urged [JURIST report] Congress to pass three bills which would require background checks for all private gun sales, renew a grant to improve schools security programs and make the act of buying a weapon for someone barred from owning one a federal crime. Several states have also taken steps to apply stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting. Last month, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed [JURIST report] three bills mandating background checks for gun transfers and prohibiting the sale of large magazines. Also last month, the Maryland state senate approved [JURIST report] a bill that would impose tougher restrictions on obtaining a license to buy a firearm. In January, New York became the first state to amend their state laws in response to the shooting when Governor Cuomo signed [JURIST report] the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act which imposed stricter limits on ammunition and gun sales.

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