Newtown’s legislative body rejected three proposed gun ordinances that backers say were intended to address armed intimidation at protests.
The proposals would have limited the open carrying of firearms in town and banned guns on town property as well as during protests.
The failed measures were the work of the Newtown Action Alliance, a group that came out of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting that left 26 dead.
Po Murray, chairwoman of the group, says the idea originated a few years back with high school activists.
“We have faced armed intimidation over the years,” Murray said. “It’s not necessarily them carrying guns openly, but the counterprotesters end up arriving early and letting us know that they are armed.”
Paul Lundquist, the town’s Legislative Council chairman, cast the deciding vote as the sole Democrat to reject the measures. He voted no because he believes they go far beyond the problem of armed intimidation and impose a preference, rather than solving that problem. Still, he said the proposals opened up a conversation about how Newtown can address armed intimidation.
“The council is now looking at a more focused version of what could be considered something to be solved by a local ordinance,” Lundquist said.
The council has asked the town’s attorneys to weigh in on the matter.
Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Ali covers the Naugatuck River Valley for Connecticut Public Radio. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @ahleeoh.