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CT Gun Laws Could Serve as Example for Massachusetts

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Attorney Jason Chan

267 North Beacon Street, Suite 3
Boston MA 01235

Phone: 781-343-1DUI (781-343-1384)
Fax: 617-226-7986

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut has passed a new law making it more difficult for potential owners to acquire guns and banning a hundred weapons previously available for sale. The law, targeting the loopholes that made it possible for the shooter to use legal weapons last December, is rekindling conversation about more effective gun control all around the country, and especially in Massachusetts, where gun crime is the one type of crime to have increased in recent years.

New CT Bill Response to Sandy Hook Mass Shooting

Connecticut’s gun control laws have been under national scrutiny from both journalists and politicians since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, which took the lives of twenty children and six school faculty. The shooter in that instance, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, acquired his weapons through his mother, using registered firearms to commit his crime.

Officials at every level in the state have begun to design new measures to fill the loopholes that made it possible for Lanza to receive training in gun use from his mother and subsequently use her legally-purchased weapons to kill children. The store that sold the guns used in the massacre has since lost its license to sell firearms, and while the ATF did not specify the reasons why, they noted that “poor keeping of the records” probably played a role. Meanwhile, individual boards of education have begun taking measures to secure their schools, with the Board of Education of Enfield, CT being the firstto come to an agreement on the implementation of armed guards throughout the school system.

New Law Receives Mixed Response

On April 4, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law the aforementioned bill, which, among other things, bans a hundred arms not previously listed on the assault weapons ban list, limits the sale of high-capacity magazines, and beefs up background check requirements. The response to the new bill has been mixed; while polls show that, nationally, a large plurality of voters support more thorough background checks on gun owners, gun manufacturers have objected to the law’s limitations. One manufacturer even announced it would be moving its operations out of state to one with more hospitable laws for its business.

MA Gun Crime Up In Past Decade

The successful push for new legislation in Connecticut has sparked talk of more gun control in neighboring Massachusetts. Massachusetts enjoys a reputation nationally as having some of the toughest laws against gun crime on the books, but statistics show that recent years have been less kind to the efficacy of those laws than the reputation that precedes them. While Massachusetts has enjoyed a general drop in crime, especially in Boston, gun crime in particular is up. As WWLP explains, the number of gun murders in 2011 was almost double that in 1998. In Boston, nonfatal shootings are up 20% this year, and arrests related to guns is up 11% from 2012 to 2013. As a result, local groups in the Boston area have began to call for more gun control, with the celebration of the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord hosting a rally in favor of more legislation in response to a rally celebrating the Second Amendment.

While it is too soon to speculate whether the Connecticut law will trigger a domino effect of gun legislation across New England, it has certainly opened a door to further conversation as to what our state officials can do to prevent further crime of any magnitude, from the low-level gun crime Boston Police routinely prevent to the tragic use of rudimentary bombs to cause the heinous tragedy at this year’s marathon. Expect this to be the beginning of a long—and, hopefully, fruitful— conversation on the prevention of violent crime.


  1. John says:

    Citizens demanding gun control need to counter the noise on the other side with an equal or louder voice. This voice need not threaten or intimidate but it must be persistent. We must not forget Sandy Hook.


  2. Rod Bosley says:

    if existing laws were enforced, we’d be building a new jail a month!! The US Gov’t has dropped the prosecution rate for gun violations to a level previous to the Clinton Presidency.
    For every hit that prevents a criminal from purchasing a gun, a prosecution should follow!! It’s against existing law for a felon to even TOUCH a firearm or ammo!

    More laws will only make criminals out of the law abiding gun owners, we’re tired of being treated like a parasite

  3. John Belcher says:

    Normally I wouldn’t even know about your blog. Yet apparently your sponsored ad on Boston.com directed me here.

    Please refrain from insulting the intelligence of the citizens of the Commonwealth with your on personal agenda. One might have hoped for a more factual understanding of the law and facts surrounding the use of firearms in criminal acts.

    What part of “shall not be infringed” is up for discussion? SCOTUS has affirmed this Right of an individual. Simply banning firearms because they look scary, or the suggestion that individuals can skirt significant restrictions already in place in the Commonwealth will have zero impact on violent crimes. The notion to the contrary is simply insane.

  4. TR says:

    Has it occurred to any of you legal rocket scientists that the gun crime is going up in major cities like Boston because of the drug wars?

  5. Patrick Douglas says:

    Instead of having the courage to try and pass an amendment to the Constitution repealing the Second Amendment, gun grabbers are hoping to make gun ownership more and more difficult hoping that those who use weapons for all legal purposes will give up owning/purchasing them out of shear frustration.

  6. LS says:

    Wow. I cannot believe the comments responding to this article which is actually quite sensible. Have a look at the stats: gun availability = shootings. It’s that simple. Look outside of America to learn a lesson for once. The rest of the world thinks the US is crazy to have people everywhere having guns. How many massacres will it take for Americans to wake up!!? I know that gun manufacturers sprend a lot on spreading nonsense, but look at the statistics (the graph in point 5 here is particularly telling http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/), and think for yourselves. Americans should have the freedom to not be shot.

  7. Mr. Public says:

    You must have paid someone to take the bar exam for you. Because you are a complete moron.

  8. Nemo says:

    MA has some strict gone laws, especially a mandatory minimum if you are caught in possession of a firearm without a license. Problem is, it’s the first law bartered away by the DA. They don’t enforce the laws, so what good are they?

  9. Jason says:

    Calm down people. This intellectual titan is just trying to drum up more customers with more laws to violate (Mass is a maze of laws as it is so a lot of the time it’s accidental)…


    Crappy from an integrity standpoint but smart from a business standpoint.

  10. No says:

    Did you skip con-law in law school?

  11. Concerned Citizen says:

    The fact that gun crime has increased despite some of the toughest laws on the books shows that additioanl laws just won’t work. Why you ask? Because criminals don’t follow the laws. New laws only penalize duly licensed, and responsible gun owners. You know the good guys?

  12. Taco says:

    The shooter did not obtain the guns he used at Sandy Hook legally…he MURDERED his mother and stole HER guns…that is not a legal way to obtain guns. Having a nutter for a son you’d think she would keep them locked up better…but she didn’t…and the kid murdered her to get them…not exactly legal in my book.

  13. DPM says:

    The law, targeting the loopholes that made it possible for the shooter to use legal weapons last December”

    Dear Attorney Chan,

    Could you please explain which loopholes allowed the Sandy Hook massacre to happen?

    Feel free to leave out the laws creating the gun free zones that prevented the adults in the building from defending themselves effectively, as the proposed CT legislation did not seem to address that.

  14. Commonsense says:

    This is hilarious. MA has some of the toughest gun laws, NH has very few. NH has almost no gun crime, MA has an increasing rate of gun crime.

    Could it be that criminals DO NOT FOLLOW LAWS, and gun laws only affect the law-abiding, making them helpless?

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