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Murphy, Blumenthal push for federal assault weapons ban

The legislation would ban 205 assault weapons and increase the age to buy a lawful assault weapon from 18 to 21 years old.

HARTFORD, Conn. — U.S. senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal are pushing for federal legislation to protect people from certain assault weapons, saying a federal law will make communities and schools safer nationwide and save lives.

This goes hand in hand with the legislation Gov. Ned Lamont has already proposed and will fully unveil next month to stop shootings and mass shootings on the state level.

"The quickest way to kill as many people as possible is for someone to get their hands on an AR-15,” said Murphy. 

The re-introduced bill would ban the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of 205 military-style assault weapons across the country.

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Legal owners of these weapons already are allowed to keep their guns under the legislation. 

An assault weapon is a broad term, the bill does exempt more than 2,000 types of guns that are used for hunting and other defense purposes. 

Murphy said with this bill, the Second Amendment and increased gun restrictions can co-exist. 

"In this country, we will allow people to own guns to protect themselves or for hunting or for sport but we will not allow guns for the purpose of mass murder,” said Murphy.

Lawmakers called attention to several mass shootings that were committed by people under 21 years old with military-style assault weapons.

In the bill, lawmakers are including a change to the minimum age to purchase a lawful assault weapon from 18 years old to 21. 

Lawmakers said if they don't have the support to ban these 205 guns altogether, there should at least be restrictions for younger buyers. It's a backup plan for Murphy and Blumenthal. 

Blumenthal said there's a big difference between most guns and an assault weapon like an AR-15, which was first used in the military and is three times faster than a handgun. 

"Taking these guns out of the hands of people specifically 21 and under will save lives unquestionably,” said Blumenthal. 

Murphy and Blumenthal are preparing for a tough uphill battle getting this bill passed but are hopeful they'll end up with enough support to make this a federal law. 

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


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