In wake of Newtown, Connecticut Governor due to sign new gun law
(Reuters) - Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is expected on Thursday to sign a tough new gun law that restricts sales of the sort of high-capacity ammunition clips that a gunman used to massacre 26 people in minutes in a December attack on a school.
Lawmakers in the state's Democratic-controlled House approved the measure, which supporters described as one of the toughest such laws in the United States, early on Thursday morning. The Senate approved the measure hours earlier.
The House debate stretched past midnight, with opponents of the law arguing that it infringed on the rights to gun ownership protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and that efforts to prevent attacks such as the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting should focus on providing better mental-health services.
Connecticut's law passed hours after Maryland's House of Delegates on Wednesday approved their own gun law, which also limits magazine size and requires that gun buyers be fingerprinted.
Connecticut's Malloy, who had advocated for the law, is expected to sign it at midday on Thursday.
The Connecticut law also requires background checks for private gun sales, expands the number of guns covered by the state's assault-weapons ban and establishes a $15 million fund to help schools improve security infrastructure.
It bans the sale of ammunition clips that hold 10 bullets or more and requires owners of such clips to register them by January 1. After that date, owning an unregistered high-capacity clip will become a felony offense.
A poll released on Thursday found that 91 percent of U.S. voters support regulations requiring all gun buyers to undergo background checks. However, 48 percent of all respondents and 53 percent of those owning guns said those checks could lead to the government's confiscating legally owned weapons.
That Quinnipiac University poll of 1,711 registered voters was conducted from March 26 to April 1 and had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)