Connecticut gun manufacturers mounted their industry’s most robust public defense since the Newtown, Ct., school shootings during a legislative hearing yesterday that also featured emotional pleas for tighter firearms restrictions from parents whose children died in the December attack, the Wall Street Journal reports. At least 1,300 people attended; hundreds of residents lined up outside the capitol in Hartford in frigid weather to attend a meeting of a committee weighing a host of new gun-control measures.
Legislators are expected to pass a broad bill on firearms, mental health, and school safety by the end of February. Before yesterday, the state’s gun makers had maintained a low-profile since the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that claimed the lives of 20 children and six educators. “Banning guns is not going to solve anything,” said Joseph Bartozzi of gun maker Mossberg & Sons Inc., of North Haven, Conn. Bartozzi favored strengthened background checks for prospective gun buyers. “As we’ve seen the number of guns in society have increased, yet the violent crime rate has decreased. To say it’s all about guns I think simply is a disservice.”