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Call for gun reform has been louder Senators say

Sen. Murphy and Sen. Blumenthal stood beside gun reform activists at the legislative office building in Hartford and called this moment a test of our democracy.

CONNECTICUT, USA — The Uvalde Texas school shooting has sent a ripple effect across the country. As funerals are held and a federal investigation into what happened continues, political winds are swirling in Washington. The chant for change has never been louder.

On Tuesday, Sen. Murphy and Sen. Blumenthal stood beside gun reform activists at the legislative office building in Hartford and called this moment a test of our democracy. They said it’s a moral inflection point for the country, but also a political one.

December of 2022 will mark 10 years since Sandy Hook.

RELATED: Calls for action ring out in a Southington church in wake of Texas elementary school shooting

 “Since my 7-year-old Daniel was shot to death in his west grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Newtown parent Mark Barden.

Post Sandy Hook gun reforms led to Connecticut having some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, but it didn’t move the needle much federally. 

“Is this what we want to protect or are we going to do our jobs and protect our children?” asked Jeremy Stein, the head of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, as he held up a picture of an AR-15 beside a collage of the 19 children killed in Uvalde.

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Sen. Chris Murphy said, “We simply cannot allow this to become the new normal in this country.” 

Sen. Murphy said the house is poised to pass legislation aimed at updating red flag laws, requiring universal background checks, funding school security improvements and mental health. He sent a warning to Republicans. 

“But if we can't compromise then we are going to go ahead and put everyone on the record and show the American public who is taking this threat seriously,” said Murphy. 

Happening Thursday, the house judiciary committee will also hold an emergency meeting on another omnibus gun reform act called the Protect our Children package. It’s legislation that would raise the purchase age for semi-auto rifles to 21, ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks and put in place new requirements for safe gun storage at home. 

RELATED: 'Enough is enough' | Newtown community pleads for change after Uvalde, Texas shooting

That last measure is otherwise known as Ethan’s Law. Ethan’s Law was passed in Connecticut in 2019 in memory of Guilford teen Ethan Song, who was tragically killed in an accident with an unsecured firearm. 

His mother Kristin said, “The first person I wanted to tell was Ethan. He was the one I made the promise to. So I drove to the cemetery in my pajamas and I ran across the cemetery yelling ``Ethan, we did it!”

Sen. Murphy told FOX61 that realistically, it’s a difficult path to find the 60 votes needed to pass sweeping gun reform, but he noted that no single piece of legislation needs to end the epidemic. He said he just wants to break the political log jam.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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