HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines Thursday in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, a bipartisan deal that gun control proponents hope will spark action in Washington and state legislatures across the country.
Just four months ago, the governor broke the news to shocked parents that their children had been slaughtered in the Newtown school. On Thursday, four of those parents joined him as he signed the bill during a somber ceremony at the state Capitol, giving Connecticut some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.
Malloy hugged each of the parents and gave them a pen he used to sign the bill.
"We have come together in a way that relatively few places in our nation have demonstrated an ability to do," he said.
Malloy said he has become friends with some of the parents since the Dec. 14 shooting in which 20 children and six educators were killed, and promised to keep working with them to enact further law changes that address gun violence.
"Today does not mark the end of our efforts," Malloy said.
Malloy and gun control advocates said they hope the new law, crafted by legislative leaders from both parties, coupled with President Barack Obama's planned visit to the state Monday, will spur action in Washington.
In an interview on Fox News, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre criticized the legislation.
"The problem with what Connecticut did is the criminals, the drug dealers, the people that are going to do horror and terror, they aren't going to cooperate," he said.
The new law added more than 100 firearms to the state's assault weapons ban, effective immediately.
The new law also immediately bans the sale of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. People who purchased those guns and magazines before midnight Wednesday will be allowed to keep them, as long as they're registered with the state police before Jan. 1. Required background checks for private gun sales also take effect.
Md. approves strict gun controls: Maryland's already-strong gun laws will become among the strictest in the nation with a measure passed by the General Assembly on Thursday, sending the bill to the Democratic governor who proposed the legislation in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
Maryland will become the first state in nearly 20 years to require people who buy a handgun to submit fingerprints to state police. Only five other states have a similar requirement: Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.