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Lawmakers urged to support gun control measures to reduce violence

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Hundreds of people marched during a rally at the state Capitol Wednesday morning for a change and to come together to show their support for proposed gun control measures.

"Newtown is sad, but we have gun violence all the time in New Haven," said Kim Mozell, whose 19-year-old son Thomas was shot and killed while sitting in his car.

The organization, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, urged lawmakers to focus on closing loopholes that allow illegal guns and assault weapons to make their way into Connecticut.

They want all handguns to be registered annually, a purchase limit of one gun a month and permits required to buy ammunition.

"All you are doing again is imposing on legitimate citizens," said Robert Crook of the Connecticut Sportsmen Association.

Gun rights supporters said instead of going after lawful gun owners, the state should crack down on illegal trafficking and take guns away from those with mental illness.

At one time, a gun could not be taken away from someone considered unstable, if they were not a convicted criminal.

However, that changed after the Lottery Shootings 15 years ago. A law passed two years ago that allows guns to be seized, if a judge agrees that a person is a threat to themselves and others.

Since that law passed in 1999, there have been 277 warrants and more than 2,000 guns have been seized.

"It's kind of like the law on terrorism, if you see something - say something," said Michael Lawlor, who is the governor's criminal justice advisor. "Leave it to law enforcement to see if there is enough evidence to take action."

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