Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is throwing red meat to his anti-gun supporters ahead of Election Day, but he’s also reminding the state’s gun owners of the importance of going to the polls. Lamont is currently leading Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski by 11 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average; a rare bright spot for Democrats this election cycle, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see those numbers tighten up after Lamont this week called on lawmakers to criminalize the possession of semi-automatic rifles… including all those currently in the hands of law-abiding gun owners.
Gov. Ned Lamont said this week that he wants to go after thousands of firearms legally kept in Connecticut under several “grandfather” provisions in the state’s decades-old assault weapons ban, but clarified Thursday that he has not yet discussed specifics with lawmakers.The governor first made those comments in response to questions following Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate, when he tussled with Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski over the issues of crime and gun control.“He won’t touch guns,” Lamont said of his rival on the stage.…“I think those assault-style weapons that are grandfathered should not be grandfathered,” Lamont told reporters during a media session following the debate at Mohegan Sun. “They should not be allowed in the state of Connecticut. I think they’re killers.”When asked whether he was prepared to introduce a bill during the next legislative session to remove the grandfather clause, Lamont said he was but then provided few details when asked how his administration would go about the task of collecting or removing the those weapons that are currently legal to keep.“Start by making them illegal,” Lamont said. “I think that would be a big difference. That is what you start with.”
“It certainly wouldn’t happen overnight, you would need to give folks a period of time to properly dispose of it,” said Judiciary Committee Co-Chair Steve Stafstrom, D- Bridgeport, adding a bill to remove one or more of the grandfather clauses from the state’s assault weapons ban is likely to be considered in 2023.Opponents of the governor’s gun policies, however, said that going after the tens of thousands of legally-owned weapons would be a much more complex and sensitive task.“If you remove a grandfather provision… I guess the government is proposing confiscation,” said state Rep. Craig Fishbein, R- Wallingford, who is also an attorney for the plaintiffs challenging Connecticut’s existing ban.