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Connecticut’s Gun Laws Brokered by Gang of Six

Originally posted on The Oxford Patch

The more than two months Connecticut legislators spent negotiating new gun control laws were fraught with tension, including heavy lobbying by gun advocates and opponents, pressure from the governor’s office to enact something quickly and an ever-watchful eye from the White House, which was hoping the state’s majority

Democrats could provide a framework for national gun control.

With the passage last week of new gun laws in Connecticut, President Barack Obama is set to visit the state today in an effort to revive the national debate on guns while some of the state’s weapons and ammunition makers are considering leaving.

In a recent analysis of the issues surrounding the new laws here, the New York Times says the six Connecticut legislative leaders who brokered the gun bill, signed into law last week by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, have earned the nickname of the “Gang of Six.” Even though Democrats control both houses of Connecticut’ General Assembly, the deal the six leaders hammered out behind closed doors, the Times says, “hinged on issues as large and as small as the intricacies of gun design, the Second Amendment and how to protect popular hunting weapons like the Mossberg 935 Magnum turkey gun sold by a company based in North Haven.”

Democrats knew they could force gun control legislation on the state’s Republican minority, and understood the enormity of the Dec. 14 Newtown shootings required action. But they also realized they needed to proffer their opponents a deal that was as politically palatable as possible, the Times reports.

The new gun control laws ban assault weapons and gun magazines with more than 10 rounds, and requires background checks on all gun sales. But the laws are also noteworthy for what they don’t include: limits on the number of legal guns and ammunition Connecticut residents can own, the newspaper reports.