Sen. Witkos Says Bill Limiting the Transfer of Machine Guns Misses Target

April 20, 2009

Says we should be encouraging gun safety rather than additional legislation

State Senator Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, today voted against legislation that would prohibit the transfer of guns to minors. According to Witkos, the legislation is unnecessary because there are already laws in place that limit the use of guns in Connecticut. The bill is in response to the death of an Ashford boy who last fall lost control of a machine gun at a Massachusetts gun show and accidentally shot himself.

“As someone who has over 20 years in law enforcement, I can say that this bill will do nothing to prevent incidents like the one that happened last year in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Witkos. “What happened in Massachusetts was an accident and this legislation will not prevent accidents from happening.”

Sen. Witkos said that the bill goes too far in that it also prohibits the transfer of such firearms even if they do not work or are safely locked in a container. He said that the penalties, which range from a fine to up to 10 years in prison, go too far. “The family of the boy who was killed is suffering a great deal. Prosecuting someone who is going through something like this would be like throwing salt in the wound,” said Sen. Witkos.

“What we should be doing is promoting gun safety through education,” said Sen. Witkos. “What we shouldn’t be doing is reacting to a tragedy like this with legislation that won’t do anything to fix or prevent what happened.”