Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Witkos: Firearms bill is a 'kneejerk' reaction


State Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-8, is voicing his opposition to legislation moving through the Capitol that would prohibit minors from handling firearms under any circumstances.

The bill, which would bar anyone from letting a minor handle a gun even if it is not functional or placed in a locked container, was crafted in response to the death of an 8-year-old Ashford boy who lost control of a machine gun at a Massachusetts gun show last fall, causing the gun to discharge and killing the boy.

Witkos said the bill, which passed the State Senate Thursday by a count of 35-2, is a kneejerk reaction to an isolated incident, and won’t do anything to prevent similar accidents.

“We had one incident in the entire country. What about all the school shootings? We don’t react to that, but this because it’s in our back door?” he said. “What happened in Massachusetts was an accident and this legislation will not prevent accidents from happening.”

Only Witkos and state Sen. Tony Gugliemo, R-35, opposed the bill, which will now head to the House of Representatives and, if passed there, to the governor’s desk for approval. The bill would impose penalties ranging from a fine to 10 years in prison for a child under 16 and their parents if one was found to have handled a firearm, which Witkos said is excessive.

Advocates say the bill is just common sense and would prevent children from even handling guns, which is how accidents occur.

“It is unclear under current law whether children are strictly prohibited from possessing assault weapons and machine guns and this legislation would leave no doubt that Connecticut will protect its youth from this obvious danger,” said Sen. Martin Looney, D-11, in a Thursday press release.



Anonymous Famileeguy said...

This bill is patently absurd.
The state legislators do know that Boy Scout camp includes learning how to handle and shoot safely using .22 caliber rifles.
In addition I am sure that the moment this is signed, every time some kid winds up in the school counselor's office the first question asked will be "are there guns in your home and have you ever been allowed to even touch one?" If he /she says yes then BINGO the DCF will step in. I bet this will play big in child custody cases also.

May 16, 2009 at 6:54 AM 

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