Following the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, gun control has taken the forefront of public and political debate. President Obama has called on Congress to enact measures tightening gun control. Law makers from around the country are pushing for stricter gun laws. But how strict is too strict?
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proposed a gun regulation that would ban DUI offenders from owing a firearm. Currently, Connecticut prohibits felons from owning a gun. People convicted of specific misdemeanor offenses such as negligent homicide, drug possession, and assault are also prohibited from possessing a firearm. Malloy has proposed to extend that list to include DUI offenders. According to Malloy, the ban would affect future DUI offenders as well as those who have been convicted in the last five years.
According to CT News Junkie, a Connecticut new site, Malloy’s criminal justice adviser, Michael Lawlor has supported the proposal citing prior measures that broadened of the list of crimes for which the convicted is prohibited from owning a gun. Malloy, Lawlor, and others in support of the proposals including Connecticut democratic senator Martin Looney, have expressed concern regarding the possession of firearms by people who have demonstrated “irresponsible behavior” and a “willingness to break the law.”
I’ve never been one to advocate for gun rights, but Malloy’s recommendation makes no sense. The current misdemeanor convictions for which a person can lose gun rights at lease have a causal link to potential future gun violence; assault, possession of narcotics, stalking. Driving under the influence, however, does not.