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‘Connecticut has been a leader’: Biden to headline Hartford gun safety summit Friday

President Joseph R. Biden at dedication of The Dodd Center for Human Rights at UConn.
Tyler Russell
Connecticut Public
FILE, 2021: President Joseph R. Biden at dedication of The Dodd Center for Human Rights at UConn.

President Joe Biden plans to travel to Connecticut on Friday to headline an event celebrating gun safety legislation at both the state and local levels, according to the White House.

“Connecticut has been a leader on gun safety legislation in the decade following the tragedy, as you know, at Sandy Hook,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“So he’s going to highlight the progress at the state level and call for state legislators across the country and Congress to take additional action,” Jean-Pierre said. "That’s what you’re going to hear from the president.”

The National Safer Communities Summit at the University of Hartford will take place one year to the month since Biden’s signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most major gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.

Appearing on Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition on Thursday, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said his state is an appropriate host for the event.

“Connecticut has one of the lowest gun violence rates in the nation,” Murphy said. “We're right up there with states like Massachusetts and California, and the reason that we have less gun violence is because we have tougher laws. We make sure that dangerous people, people with serious mental illness don't get guns in Connecticut. We don't sell those assault weapons.”

“And so we're really proud to host this summit in Connecticut and have President Biden join us because we're proof that if you tighten your laws as a state or as a nation, you will get results,” Murphy said.

The summit comes less than two weeks after Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law a tightening of the state’s gun restrictions, the most comprehensive reform since those enacted after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown.

In addition to Lamont, Murphy, and Biden, speakers at the event will include Connecticut’s senior U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal; former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011; U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona; Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., who entered politics after the shooting death of her son in 2012; and Nelba Márquez-Greene, an advocate whose daughter was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

According to the White House, Biden will also attend a campaign event in Greenwich on Friday.

Connecticut Public Radio's Lori Mack contributed to this report.

Chris Polansky joined Connecticut Public in March 2023 as a general assignment and breaking news reporter based in Hartford. Previously, he’s worked at Utah Public Radio in Logan, Utah, as a general assignment reporter; Lehigh Valley Public Media in Bethlehem, Pa., as an anchor and producer for All Things Considered; and at Public Radio Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., where he both reported and hosted Morning Edition.
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