Gun violence surged in Connecticut’s largest cities in 2020. Policymakers say it’s an epidemic that needs renewed attention.

Gun violence surged in Connecticut’s largest cities in 2020. Policymakers say it’s an epidemic that needs renewed attention.

In this file photo from mid-April, state Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) stands with lawmakers and leaders of violence prevention organizations to decry a lack of resources to stop shootings like the ones that claimed the lives of a 3-year-old boy and a teenager in Hartford. (Submitted by Matthew Reich/Connecticut State Senate Democrats) Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, state lawmakers passed some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws. Yet the toll of gun violence in Connecticut’s largest cities has not stopped, leading for a call for a new state initiative to fund and implement programs to address the issue. “We pay attention to gun violence, but a certain flavor of gun violence,” Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, said during an informational hearing Friday. “Where we fall down is when that gun violence is a more regularized gun violence that happens in certain communities. It’s time we look at this in a more holistic way.” The unusual hearing, held remotely, was not tied to specific legislation. Rather, it brought together experts from various fields, including medicine, law and advocacy groups, who discussed ways to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths in the state’s largest cities. Rep. Steve Stafstrom, a Democrat from Bridgeport, noted that his city had 21 gun homicides in 2020. “That’s a number that has families behind it,” Stafstrom said. “It is a complete epidemic not just in Bridgeport but in many communities across the state and indeed around the nation. As much as this legislature over […]

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