Hello Bethel: HB5542: Bill to Ban Bump Stocks

Yesterday, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed by a large majority HB 5542: An Act Concerning Bump Stocks and Other Means of Enhancing the Rate of Fire of a Firearm. The purpose of the bill is “to ban the sale or transfer, possession, manufacturing or use of bump stocks or other accessories to increase the rate of fire of a firearm. Bethel’s representatives were split on their votes. Stephen Harding, R-107, supported the bill. Will Duff (R-2) voted against the bill.

Duff’s office issued the following statement regarding his vote: “I’m empathic [sic] to those who are passionate about this issue—and like everyone else I serve with in the legislature; I want every Connecticut community to be as safe as possible. But in pursuit of their well-intentioned goal, proponents of the legislation considered in the House last night created a scenario that’s simply unfair for law-abiding residents who, through the text of this bill, would wake up one day and find themselves branded a criminal because they had in their possession something that was legal to own the day before. What happens to these residents? Their bump stock under the law will be confiscated without any due compensation. Connecticut’s gun laws are among the strictest in the nation, and the legislature should instead focus on ensuring that the level of enforcement of those laws matches the intent described when they were adopted. Last night, I supported amendments that would have delivered funding for school resource officers and gun trafficking enforcement—both examples of the types of concrete proposals I will continue to pursue in the ongoing debate on public safety.”

Raghib Allie-Brennan, who has declared his candidacy as 2nd District Representative, responded to Duff’s no vote: “In Will Duff’s Connecticut, bump stocks – devices that enhance a firearm’s rate of fire – should be available and accessible to anyone. Bump stocks were a major aggravating factor in last year’s devastating attack in Las Vegas. Some of the staunchest gun rights advocates have denounced the availability of bump stocks. Yet Will Duff, in a recent House vote, sided with the gun lobby and voted AGAINST a bill to ban bump stocks in Connecticut. Fortunately, the legislation passed by a vote of 114 to 35, supported by a bipartisan coalition, including Bethel Rep Steve Harding. Time and again, Will Duff proves just how out of step he is with the rest of Connecticut and – in this instance – his own Party, in advocating for the most extreme policies. In November, we have the chance to show him that this is NOT Will Duff’s Connecticut.”