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Connecticut gun permit law prompts federal legislation

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HARTFORD — Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation are introducing new federal legislation to encourage states to develop handgun permitting programs similar to one in Connecticut.

U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, along with U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, unveiled the bill Thursday.

The legislation authorizes a new grant program to help offset the cost of development programs that require individuals seeking handguns to apply at a law enforcement agency in their state. Applicants would also have to submit to background checks and fingerprinting.

Connecticut’s 1995 law is the basis for the bill. A study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research says the law contributed to a 40 percent decline in Connecticut homicides involving a firearm in the first decade it was in effect.