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Groups call for tougher gun control laws, meet with CT lawmakers

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Gun control advocates gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in an attempt to pressure lawmakers to make a move for tighter gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December.

March for a Change and Connecticut Against Gun Violence have come to Hartford multiple times to push for stronger gun control laws.

As lawmakers consider a number of proposals, they said they want their voices to be heard.

"This is Connecticut in effect," said Nancy Lefkowitz of March for Change. "We are committed and we are passionate."

However, this time, there were no signs, and people talked quietly with lawmakers.

People at the event came from all over Connecticut with the hopes that lawmakers will expand a ban on assault weapons and to make high-capacity gun magazines illegal.

Republicans and Democrats have a number of proposals on the table on gun control, and a vote is expected in the coming days.

On Wednesday, Minority Leader Larry Cafero told Eyewitness News that he met with more than 30 people one-on-one. He said it helped with his decision process.

"It makes a difference for me because this issue becomes one that's played out at rallies and in bumper stickers and sound bites," Cafero said.

On Monday, gun supporters were also in Hartford holding their own rally.

Most said they feel a number of the proposals on the table will punish law-abiding citizens wanting to exercise their right to bear arms.

Both sides said there is going to be a change, but at this point they're unsure what those changes will be.

Connecticut gun manufacturers told Eyewitness News they will be paying close attention to what's happening at the state Capitol in Hartford in the coming days.

Officials with Stag Arms, which is based in New Britain, said they are concerned about losing the ability to sell to residents in Connecticut as well as other states.

If Connecticut lawmakers pass an assault weapons ban, the AR-15 would not be completely illegal but it would eliminate certain features, such as the pistol grip.

If that happens, Stag Arms said they would not be able to make a version they could sell in Connecticut.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is eager to get something passed and is aware gun manufacturers are not happy and could leave the state.

"I don't  want them to leave," Malloy said. "As long as they can make a product that's legal in this state, they are welcome to stay in our state."

Malloy added that he sent the company a message that made a similar statement.

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