NEW YORK – The state legislature of Connecticut, where a gunman massacred 20 young children and six adults in December, passed the toughest gun bill in the U.S. on Wednesday.
The Senate voted 26-10 in favor of the bill, which was drafted after bipartisan debate, the majority Democrats said. The House of Representatives passed it eight hours later, with Gov. Dannel Malloy planning to hold a signing ceremony at noon Thursday.
The legislation will give a boost to the country’s beleaguered proponents of stricter gun controls. Under the measure, more than 100 makes of rifles — including the Bushmaster used by deranged loner Adam Lanza in his Dec. 14 mass killing in Newtown — are added to an existing, but now vastly expanded, ban on assault weapons. In addition, ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds must now be registered, while new sales of them are banned.
The measure raises the minimum age for purchasers from 18 to 21 and tightens the procedure for background checks. It also creates the first state registry in the U.S. of people convicted in gun-related crimes.
Connecticut is set to become the third state, with New York and Colorado, to vote in new rules following the Newtown killings.