How the NRA (National Rifle Assc) Successfully Fought Gun Control Measures By Connecticut Legislature
Connecticut’s 30-Bullet Magazine Ban Failed After NRA PressureMagazines that fed bullets into the primary firearm used to kill 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school would have been banned under state legislation that the National Rifle Association and gunmakers successfully fought.
The shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with magazines containing 30 rounds as his main weapon, said Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance at a news conference yesterday.
A proposal in March 2011 would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state. Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organized by the NRA and other gun advocates, said Robert Crook, head of the Hartford- based Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which opposed the legislation.
“The legislators got swamped by NRA emails,” said Betty Gallo, who lobbied on behalf of the legislation for Southport- based Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “They were scared of the NRA and the political backlash.”
Proponents abandoned the legislation, which drew opposition from gunmakers including Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) In addition to the e-mails and letters, more than 300 pro-gun activists, including many NRA members, attended a committee hearing to oppose it, said Gallo, a Hartford-based lobbyist for more than 35 years.
The Fairfax, Virginia-based NRA, which describes itself as the nation’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, works to defeat gun limits nationally and in states, and has successfully championed permissive firearms laws.
Since a 1994 federal assault-weapon ban expired in 2004, Congress hasn’t enacted major firearms regulations other than a law aimed at improving state reporting for federal background checks. The gun lobby’s power was illustrated during the 2012 presidential campaign when, after mass shootings, neither President Barack Obama nor his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, called for restrictions on gun ownership.
In Newtown, Lanza also had two handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, and fired hundreds of bullets, said Vance. Authorities also took a shotgun from the car he drove, Vance said. The guns belonged to Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, according to a law- enforcement official who asked for anonymity because of a continuing investigation.