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Connecticut Lawmakers Join Obama In Efforts To Curb Gun Violence

President Barack Obama visits families and takes part in a memorial service in Dec. 16, 2012, two days after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
President Barack Obama visits families and takes part in a memorial service in Dec. 16, 2012, two days after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Photo Credit: Facebook

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Gov. Dannel Malloy and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty are headed to the White House to attend President Barack Obama's announcement Tuesday of new efforts to combat gun violence.

At 11:40 a.m. from the East Room of the White House, Obama will explain his new executive order to eliminate a loophole that allows individuals without a federal license to conduct high volumes of gun sales at gun shows, over the Internet, and elsewhere, all without conducting background checks.

Esty and U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, all Democrats from Connecticut, met with Obama on Monday to discuss the plan.

“I left the White House today thinking that President Obama just gets it. He’s listened to the heart-wrenching stories of grieving parents and spouses. He’s seen the raw pain in the eyes of those who have had their lives shattered in an instant by a murderer with a gun," Murphy said. "He cannot believe that Congress has done absolutely nothing to save the lives of the people they represent. ... He knows it’s time to act."

Blumenthal agreed.

“The president’s executive measures mark a milestone moment in the marathon effort against gun violence in America. In our meeting at the White House today, President Obama outlined critical, overdue steps that treat gun violence as a public health crisis – an insidious scourge that claims 30,000 lives each year,” said Blumenthal. “His actions are bold, legal and necessary – essential due to Congress’s reprehensible failure to act in the face of dire need. The overriding message is our common commitment to keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, including convicted felons, drug addicts and domestic abusers. Sellers of guns in substantial number should be required to conduct background checks regardless of how they make those sales.”

Esty echoed the call for background checks, which she says save lives.

“Every single day, they stop more than 170 felons – as well as domestic abusers and fugitives – from buying a gun,” said Esty. “Today’s action is a necessary, responsible next step to update an exceptionally vague definition in the current background check system that some bad actors exploit in order to sell a high volume of guns without ever conducting a background check.”

Murphy and Blumenthal were joined by 24 Senate colleagues in asking Obama to close the loophole. Esty, vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, committee chair, sent a similar letter signed by 114 of their colleagues in the House.

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