Somebody is going to get shot today in Connecticut, and we’re just not paying attention to it.
In Connecticut, on average, someone is killed with a gun every two days. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in 2023. In the wake of the Nashville Covenant school shooting, we cannot help but think back to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown. How many more children’s lives will be taken away before we can have any common-sense gun reform?
A new bill in the Connecticut General Assembly, SB 433: An Act Concerning Firearms Safety, will prevent these tragedies in the future.
This bill would reduce gun violence in four fundamental steps: prevent bulk firearm purchases that are indicators of firearms trafficking, require microstamping of bullets to help trace crime guns, require firearms owners to carry liability insurance for the damage they could cause, and remove the four grandfathering exceptions for ghost guns so that we can enforce this ban on ghost guns completely in Connecticut.
There is an immediate need for gun reform in Connecticut. A report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that in an average year, 191 people die and 576 are wounded by guns in Connecticut. There have been over 146 mass shootings nationwide this year, which is more than the days in 2023 so far. From the Lunar New Year mass shooting in Monterey Park to the Club Q nightclub shooting, gun violence targets the most vulnerable marginalized BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. There were 648 mass shootings in 2022 nationwide. We need gun reform now.
First, SB 433 would prevent “bulk two firearm purchases,” which is defined as the multiple sale of two or more guns to the same purchaser within five business days. Data indicates that approximately 20–25 percent of all handguns recovered at crime scenes were originally purchased as part of a multiple sale, so these sales are a significant indicator of firearms trafficking. We must prevent bulk two firearm purchases to reduce gun trafficking.
Second, the bill would require firearms owners to carry liability insurance. Just like car owners must buy liability insurance for the damage their machines wreak, guns should be required to have mandatory liability insurance for the damage they could cause.
Third, the bill would mandate microstamping of bullets to help trace crime guns. Microstamping imprints a unique marking or a microstamp on the bullet casing of a firearm. When law enforcement discover the bullet casing at a crime scene, the microstamp will allow them to access the make and model of the firearm, helping them trace these crime guns. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 2847 into law on September 29, 2020, requiring microstamp markings. Microstamping is precedent in many states, and Connecticut must follow suit.
Fourth, the bill would crack down on ghost guns, which many violent criminals use. “Ghost guns” are unserialized, privately-made firearms that are increasingly discovered at crime scenes in Connecticut. Although ghost guns are banned in Connecticut, those that were manufactured prior to 2019 were grandfathered in, making the law nearly impossible to enforce. We must remove the grandfathering exceptions for “ghost guns” in order to enforce this law completely. At least 10 states have done so and some cities have sued ghost gun manufacturers. President Joe Biden has proposed to control ghost guns and ban the manufacturing of untraceable firearms as well.
In addition to the benefits S.B. 433 will bring to everyone affected by gun violence in Connecticut, it will also, over time, prevent violent people from owning guns. Contrary to what Republicans say, gun reform like S.B. 433 does not infringe on the second amendment and your right to own a gun. Bills like S.B. 433 target gun violence at its core: making it harder for dishonest and violent people to own Guns, not honest, law-abiding people.
I urge you to help stop gun violence now. Our government must fulfill their responsibility to protect citizens. There are countless Connecticut residents who have their lives tragically cut short by gun violence. I urge you to act now and get involved, by contacting your representatives at or Gov. Ned Lamont to urge them to pass S.B. 433.
Quinn Luong is a student at Yale University.