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Gov. Dannel Malloy Signs Sweeping Conn. Gun Control Bill Into Law

Measure Gives State Some Of The Toughest Gun Laws In The Country
Conn. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs new gun control bill into law on Thursday, April 4, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

Conn. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs new gun control bill into law on Thursday, April 4, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed into law some of the country’s tightest gun restrictions in response to December’s shooting massacre at a Newtown school.

Malloy signed the bill at a ceremony Thursday alongside family members of some of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, several hours after it won approval in the General Assembly.

The bill passed 26-10 in the Senate and 105-44 in the House of Representatives. Both were bipartisan votes.

“In some senses I hope this is an example to the rest of the nation,” Malloy said. “Certainly to our leaders in Washington who seem so deeply divided about an issue such as universal background checks, where the country is not divided itself.”

“We have come together in a way that relatively few places in our nation have demonstrated an ability to do,” said Malloy.

Some measures in the bill take effect immediately, including expansion of the state’s assault weapons ban, background checks for all firearms sales and a ban on the sale or purchase of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

The measure adds more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported.

The bill would require gun owners who already have those magazines to register with the state police. Lawmakers also agreed to create a system that would require gun owners to submit to fingerprinting, complete a firearms training course and a nationwide background check.

“We can never undo the senseless tragedy that took place on Dec. 14 or those tragedies that play themselves out on a daily basis in our cities,” Malloy said. “But we can take action here in Connecticut and we can make Connecticut towns and cities safer and this bill does that.”

Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan in Newtown, thanked lawmakers for coming together to pass the measure.

“We have said from the outset that we want Newtown to be known not for our tragedy but for transformation and this law marks the beginning of that turning point,” Hockley said.

Connecticut now joins states including California, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts in having the country’s strongest gun control laws.

“Today, Connecticut joins New York and a growing collection of states that are proving we can pass tough, common sense gun control laws that protect our citizens and make us safer,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “The horror of the Newtown tragedy instilled a new urgency across our entire nation that we can no longer accept the unforgivable violence caused by allowing deadly weapons to fall into the hands of the most dangerous elements of our society.”

But some Conn. lawmakers said they felt the legislation did not do enough to address mental health issues.

Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, a freshman Republican lawmaker from Newtown, acknowledged the legislation “is not perfect” and he hoped would be “a beginning in addressing critical mental health needs.”

Rep. Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford, said he felt the bill “doesn’t speak to the issue of gun violence that has permeated our cities,” adding how families in his district who’ve lost children to gun violence have not received the same level of attention from state politicians as the Newtown families.