After more than 13 hours of debate that was at moments impassioned and agonized, the General Assembly early Thursday approved an historic and far-reaching gun-control bill that proponents said was their toughest-in-the-nation response to the Dec. 14 Newtown school massacre.
The state House of Representatives at 2:26 a.m. gave final legislative approval to the bill by a vote of 105 to 44, with 2 absent. Of the 98 House Democrats present, 13 voted no; and 31 of the 51 Republicans in the hall voted no.
About eight hours earlier, the state Senate had approved it by a 26-10 vote – with two of 22 Democrats and eight of 14 Republicans opposed.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will sign the bipartisan bill into law at noon Thursday in the Old Judiciary Room on the third floor of the state Capitol.
“This is a new and historic model for the country on an issue that has typically been the most controversial and divisive. We in Connecticut are breaking new ground today,” Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said near the end of that chamber’s six-hour debate.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, whose district includes Newtown, said that since the mass killings, “I’ve been working, as have others … to see what we can do to heal that community — if we can do anything. What we can do to make Connecticut safer? … I’m proud that we’ve done that.”
McKinney brought a hush to the Senate chamber when he said he wanted to be “the voice” for the Dec. 14 victims – and then slowly recited the names of the 20 first-graders and six women who were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown by a disturbed 20-year-old.
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CT Bi-Partisanship in Action.
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