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Gun laws and firearm controls in Connecticut

The latest mass shooting at a school in the US will reignite the debate on gun controls.

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Maryland's new gun laws were prompted by the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 26 children and teachers were gunned down. (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)

As investigations continue into the mass shooting at a Connecticut school, the issue of gun control has once again been reignited.

As in many US states, Connecticut law affirms that "every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

In Connecticut, rifles and shotguns can be purchased by anyone, without the need for a state permit, according to the National Rifle Association. Any person over 21 can also possess a firearm without a permit.

But in order to carry a firearm, a person must apply for an initial permit — either at the local police department, or in some cases the town clerk's office — which conducts background checks and fingerprinting. Anyone with a conviction is automatically refused.

Once a temporary 60-day permit is granted, the applicant must then apply to the Department of Public Safety Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU) for a regular CCW permit, which is valid for five years.

It is apparently more difficult to obtain a permit in larger cities, such as Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven. The Friday massacre occurred in Newtown, a small suburban town with a population of 27,000, the New York Daily News reported.

Connecticut's Governor Dan Malloy said in May he was determined to stop gun violence and the mass shootings that were devastating communities.

He said he would work "collaboratively with local leaders and police forces to develop creative solutions for reducing illegal gun activity and the threat it poses."

"I will also seek to enhance the state's gun trafficking task force and partner with the federal government to trace guns seized in a crime."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121214/gun-laws-and-firearm-controls-connecticut