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Blumenthal calls for background checks to buy ammo

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NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -

Another senseless shooting is giving gun control supporters another example to point to as they make their case in their quest for gun law changes on a national level. But with the recent shooting in Norwich, mental health is also being called into question.

Norwich officers were called to the Cedar Glen Apartments on Cedar Road about 2:45 p.m. after a man who was armed expressed suicidal thoughts to dispatchers. When officers tried to talk to Jason Razzino, 30, he fired several shots and hit Jonathan Ley, a 14-year veteran, four times.

Following the shooting of Ley, an 11-hour standoff began and in the end, Razzino was found dead in his bathtub from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

However, there were warning signs, according to officials. Razzino posted a series of disturbing messages on Facebook leading up to his suicide.

On Dec. 21, Razzino wrote "Ready to just off something." On Dec. 25, he posted the message, "I can honestly say this was the worst xmas ever ... Happiness seems 2 b an illusion at this point."

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he wants legislation that would require instant background checks for the sale of gun ammunition. He is expected to take up the proposal once Congress reconvenes.

"They can be done in 30 seconds," he said. "The vast majority are, and they would prevent people who should not have ammunition or firearms from actually buying it."

This would be in addition to the national push to ban assault weapons. But, Blumenthal admits there's one slice of the demographic that continues to slip through the cracks.

"We need to have a strategy on mental health," he said.

Razzino and Adam Lanza are not believed to have any previous arrests. It is unknown if the weapons used by Razzino were purchased legally, while many of the guns Lanza used belonged to his mother.

Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother while she slept at her home before he went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and six adults on Dec. 14. He killed himself as police made their way into the building.

Since the two incidents, people want to know how to keep guns away from a disturbed person who has previously been a law-abiding citizen.

"The identification of people and the diagnosis of them is often hobbled by insufficient resources or attention, so we need to have a strategy on mental health," Blumenthal said.

Since the Newtown school shooting, Blumenthal has introduced gun law proposals that would include background checks on ammunition purchases, a national assault weapons ban and restrictions on high-capacity magazines. He is expected to propose other anti-gun laws in the near future.

"This proposal is one piece in a larger strategy that has to include mental health initiatives," Blumenthal said.

However, opponents such as Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson said those measures are toeing a very fine line.

"Without infringing on the rights of gun owners or potential gun owners, it's very hard to determine where you can draw the line on these things," he said.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League has joined up with gun groups from 26 other states to stop the ban on any firearms.

"It's not stopping the criminals from getting what they want to get anyways," Wilson said. "All it's doing is making more expensive for law abiding citizens to be able to go in and purchase the types of ammunition."

Eyewitness asked Wilson how he'd filter out those that may have malicious intentions.

"It's very hard to tell or look into the future what someone is capable of," he said.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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