WESTPORT, Conn. — Gun control supporters gathered Tuesday in Westport to praise Gov. Dannel Malloy for strengthening the state’s gun control laws in response to the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“The governor exhibited extraordinary leadership in responding to the Sandy Hook rampage,” said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “From that day forward, he was determined to significantly strengthen our gun safety laws in honor of the Sandy Hook families and demanded that we implement those changes and do it swiftly.”
On April 4, less than four months after the tragedy, Malloy signed into law a comprehensive gun control bill banning the sale of a long list of firearms and large-capacity magazine clips, among other changes.
Pinciaro also applauded Malloy for strengthening the state’s gun laws without infringing on Second Amendment rights.
“We are lucky to have a governor who understands the need to balance Second Amendment rights and the safety of the people of Connecticut,” he added.
When it was his time to speak, Malloy accepted the praise but made it clear that he acted with the help and support of many.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, but it’s you that deserve the accolades and the thanks,” Malloy told those gathered. “Without your hard work, we would not be here today. Without hearing from you all, I might not have taken that step of jump starting the discussion.”
The event, held by members of Connecticut Against Gun Violence and March for Change, also featured state, local and federal legislators, including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District).
Blumenthal applauded Malloy and other state officials for working together in a bipartisan manner to make positive change. He said Connecticut can serve as a model for what needs to happen at the federal level. Himes agreed, saying there is a lot more work to be done at the federal level with regard to gun violence prevention.
“We need to continue to work so that the sanity, the common sense and the humanity you brought to the state of Connecticut can be brought to all 50 states,” Himes said.
At the end of the event, Malloy was presented with a custom political cartoon made by Wilton resident Matt Davies, a Staples High School graduate.