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Obama in Hartford to push Congress on gun control

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President Barack Obama is expected to urge Congress to approve expanded federal gun regulations in a speech this afternoon at the University of Hartford.

The visit marks Obama’s second to Connecticut since the Dec. 14 slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and comes a month and a half after a similar appearance by Vice President Joseph Biden at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

While several states, including Connecticut, have recently passed or are pursuing stricter gun controls, Congress so far has balked at adopting any changes, leading many gun control advocates to drop their push for an assault weapons ban in order to focus more on universal background checks and other more broadly accepted reforms.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats, applauded the new regulations passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law last week by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and called on Congress to follow the state’s example.

“This state legislation, now law 110 days after a gunman used a military style assault weapon and high-capacity magazines to take 26 innocent lives in Newtown, is a model for federal legislation,” Murphy said in a statement. “A majority of the American people support these measures, many of them overwhelmingly so. More than 9 out of 10 Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases. How could Congress possibly act against the wishes of 90 percent of the country?

“Connecticut has proven that Republicans and Democrats can come together to pass tough, common sense gun laws, and I hope my colleagues in Congress will join me in the coming weeks to get this done for our country,” Murphy said.

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