But momentum on federal legislation has stalled in Congress, and President Barack Obama has planned a trip to Connecticut on Monday to step up pressure to pass a bill.
A silent majority in favor of stronger gun control has emerged following the Newtown massacre, Gallo said.
Among the gun control advocates were Dan and Lauren Garrett, of Hamden, wearing green shirts in honor of the Sandy Hook victims. The Garretts traveled to Hartford with their 10-month-old son, Robert, to watch the bill’s passage. They said they hope lawmakers will build on the proposal.
‘‘It’s just the beginning of this bill. In six months from now, it’s going to get stronger and stronger,’’ Dan Garrett said. ‘‘I think they’re watching us all over the country.’’
But gun rights advocates and some lawmakers questioned whether the legislation would have done anything to stop Adam Lanza, the gunman who blasted his way into Sandy Hook Elementary. State police say he fired 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle inside the school, then killed himself with a handgun. He had shot to death his mother, Nancy, before going to the school, and search warrants of the Lanzas’ home showed it was packed with weapons and ammunition.
In a state where gun manufacturing dates back to the Revolutionary War, law-abiding gun owners are paying the price for the actions of a deranged young man, said a Republican state senator, Tony Guglielmo.
‘‘The problem is I can’t connect the dots between Adam Lanza and the good guys. So I think we need to do something, but I guess we should be doing something that does good, not something that just feels good,’’ he said.
Associated Press writers Stephen Kalin and Michael Melia in Hartford and John Christoffersen in New Haven contributed to this report.