Introducing a Bill to Combat Gun Violence

January 17, 2019

In Connecticut, gun violence ranks as the second leading cause of death to children and teens; alongside Senator Will Haskell, we have proposed a bill hoping to combat these numbers in the future.

This is a public health crisis. Connecticut ranks 5th in the country for having the lowest rate of gun deaths because we have been a leader on bold public policy. But, even one preventable death is too many. We must continue to take the lead in order to eliminate gun violence.

The bill, which would tax ammunition at 50 percent its cost, is a small but strategic solution to combat the rising numbers of gun incidents we have seen across the country. If implemented, the bill would exclude ammunition sales to law enforcement and military.

“Ending gun violence requires new and innovative thinking,” said Sen. Will Haskell. “As new members of the General Assembly, I think Rep. Gilchrist and I have proposed a bill that would reduce the amount of deadly ammunition in circulation and at the same time provide funding for gun safety measures. We've taken Daniel Patrick Moynihan's words to heart when he observed that 'guns don't kill people, bullets do.' Every child in our state deserves to grow up safe and free from the fear of mass shootings."

Despite lower average incidence numbers, 179 individuals died from gun violence in Connecticut in 2017. Connecticut is also home to the third deadliest mass shooting by a single person – the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown which claimed the lives of 20 children and 7 adults. Following the tragedy there was renewed discussion about gun control that would include new restrictions to the state’s existing assault weapon ban. The law banned the sale or purchase of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition and required universal background checks for all firearm purchases.

Among gun deaths in the state – 83 percent were ruled a suicide. Nationally, suicides account for roughly 2/3 thirds of gun deaths. Access to a gun and ammunition increases the risk of death by suicide by three times.

As a Senior Policy Analyst for the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut (PCSW), I helped to pass legislation to remove firearms from individuals who have a temporary restraining order taken out against them. As a candidate, I ran as a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate.

Press Release: Rep. Gilchrest and Sen. Haskell Introduce Bill to Combat Gun Violence