ORANGE – After a nearly 15 hour filibuster by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, gun owners in his home state reacted to his call for a vote on several gun measures, which Republican lawmakers have agreed to take up.
Among Murphy’s measures: universal background checks, laws against those on terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns and a ban on the AR-15 or similar guns. None of these proposals are new, but the debate surrounding gun laws reignited after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history occurred last Sunday at an Orlando nightclub.
“If we don't need semi-automatic rifles and pistols, that shoot 20 rounds or whatever at one time, why do we need that?" asked Grace Cribbins
a Shelton gun owner, who had just finished target practice at Greyson Guns Shooting Club and Range in Orange.
Cribbins, as most Democratic lawmakers believe, thinks these particular guns should be restricted to military use, because they’re designed to kill en masse.
“As fast as you can squeeze the trigger, rounds will come out,” said Gregory Geiger, a gun owner from Orange.
The gun used in Sunday's massacre is reported to have been a Sig Sauer MCX rifle, which is an AR-style gun, but not an AR-15 as many have reported. The two are similar, but there are differences. The Sig Sauer typically has a 30-round magazine, according to a rundown from Rolling Stone, so the shooter would have had to reload several times. The report also states that video from inside the club indicates that in one 9-second period the shooter fired 20 shots.
It is also important to note that it is not an automatic rifle, but a semi-automatic rifle, meaning you need to pull the trigger each time you want to fire one round.
On the other side of the debate, many gun rights advocates say by making even one more gun illegal--as many want for ArmaLite Rifles--that's going to open the door to even more restrictions.
“The eventual future is total disarmament,” asserted John Jackson, a Milford gun owner, who had a message for state and national lawmakers: “Disarm yourself first and then we might follow you. But, we the people are telling you disarm yourself first.”
While gun owners support Murphy’s efforts, it is believed that a potential bill would never pass because the NRA would bully lawmakers by threatening to derail their reelection campaigns.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, tweeted he would meet with the NRA to discuss Murphy’s proposals.