The Connecticut Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would ban children under 16 years old from handling or shooting machine guns.
The legislation, which passed on a 31-2 vote, stems from the October death of an 8-year-old Ashford boy who accidentally shot himself in the head with an Uzi at a Massachusetts gun show.
"For a young person, a minor, to handle an automatic weapon ... it's like saying that it's OK to pick up a rattlesnake and that it is somehow going to be safe," said Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn. "It's not going to be safe and it should not be legal and I would think that a lot of folks would be shocked that there was not a law."
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.
The boy, Christopher Bizilj, was killed Oct. 26 when he lost control of the powerful automatic weapon as it recoiled while he was firing at a pumpkin at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club. Christopher's father was 10 feet behind him and reaching for his camera when the child fired the weapon.
Three men, including Pelham, Mass., Police Chief Edward Fleury, whose business promoted the gun show, and two men who brought the Uzi, have been charged under Massachusetts law with involuntary manslaughter. Fleury was also charged with four counts of furnishing a machine gun to a person under 18.
All three have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.
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