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CT Cities Join Push for More Firearm Safety

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The American Public Health Association says 40% of gun-owning households with children store firearms unlocked, which contributes to the 2,700 children injured by gunfire and 110 fatal unintentional shootings every year. (Adobe Stock)
The American Public Health Association says 40% of gun-owning households with children store firearms unlocked, which contributes to the 2,700 children injured by gunfire and 110 fatal unintentional shootings every year. (Adobe Stock)
 By Michayla Savitt - Producer, Contact
April 28, 2021

HARTFORD, Conn. - Every year, 39,000 Americans perish from gun violence. A new Gun Safety Consortium is taking an unusual step to curb that number, asking inventors and gun manufacturers to make guns safer by creating new security technology.

At least 30 U.S. cities -- including Bridgeport, Hamden, Hartford, Milford, New Haven and Norwalk -- have signed on to a Request for Proposal for research and development of gun-safety products.

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, a national co-chair for the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign, said he believes the influence and purchasing power of cities and public officials will make a difference.

"We know that when their purchasers say, 'Hey, we are looking for a responsible gun company. We will put our purchasing power towards the gun companies that are reducing the issue of gun trafficking,' we know that the manufacturers will listen," he said.

In 2019, Connecticut saw 181 firearm deaths, according to the state's chief medical examiner. Sixty-one percent were suicides, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's national average for gun deaths.

At the consortium's Tuesday news conference, there also was an emphasis on preventing unsecured guns from getting into the wrong hands. Sheriff Ron Hain of Kane County, Ill., said these are responsible for more than 38,000 shooting deaths nationwide.

"The guns stolen from homes, vehicles and stores typically don't stay local. They enter trafficking pipelines and they feed the gun violence plaguing all of our cities across the country," he said. "A gun stolen from a glove compartment from a car in Atlanta could be used in a homicide in Bridgeport, Conn., a month or two later."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, nearly half the guns recovered from crime scenes in Connecticut come from out of state. The consortium has said it will continue its outreach to more cities and towns, and already is in conversation with some startups working on gun-safety innovations.

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