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To the Editor,
As reported in your article, “Candidates for 19th State House District Debate Economy, Guns, Environment and More,” Bob Margolis, the Republican candidate running in the special election on Tuesday, shows a disturbing lack of knowledge about the dangers of firearms.
In response to the question about proposed legislation to ban ghost guns, Margolis said he doesn’t think ghost guns are very popular in Connecticut, and that he is not aware of their being used for any crimes in the state.
Connecticut shouldn’t wait until untraceable guns, which can be assembled at home by individuals prohibited from owning firearms, are “popular” before banning them.
Ghost guns have been used in shootings across the country. In 2017, a California man prohibited from possessing firearms made high-powered rifles and then used them to kill four and injure 10, including seven children at a school. Last year, an 18-year-old student was arrested near Philadelphia with a handgun he had assembled and 1,600 rounds of ammunition he’d purchased online. He was caught only because he told a classmate he intended to go on a shooting spree at their school.
Perhaps by saying ghost guns haven’t been used in crimes in Connecticut, Margolis means they haven’t yet been used to kill or injure anyone. While that may be true, ghost guns are turning up regularly in Connecticut. In November 2018, a Willimantic teen was arrested for selling multiple Glock pistol and AR15-style ghost guns, telling an undercover agent demand was so high, he couldn’t keep up. In 2018, police confiscated seven ghost guns from the streets of Bridgeport. In January 2019, a Southington man was convicted in connection with selling a ghost gun on armslist.com, advertising it as “No serial. Completed from 80 lower. No paperwork.”
Reported elsewhere, Margolis opposes the ban on high capacity magazines enacted following the Sandy Hook School massacre, remarking, “I honestly don’t know if anything they passed would have stopped Sandy Hook from happening again.” Bans on high capacity magazines are meant to reduce the carnage that comes when dozens of rounds can be fired in minutes. Research by Everytown for Gun Safety found twice as many fatalities and 14 times as many injuries when large capacity magazines are used in mass shootings.
If we care about keeping Connecticut communities safe from gun violence, the clear choice to represent the 19th Assembly district is Tammy Exum. She understands the importance of strong gun laws and puts public safety over unfettered access to firearms.