(NECN: Brian Burnell, West Hartford, Conn.) - In the wake of new, tougher gun laws passed in Connecticut this week, the state has become a beacon for gun control advocates. The President will be there Monday to make his case for national legislation.
Last December's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Pat Llodra's town of Newtown, Conn., started the outcry that lead to the new, tougher gun laws in Connecticut But the first selectman wasn't there when the governor signed the bill on Thursday.
"Choosing instead to witness the birthday celebration of Ana Marquez Greene who would have turned seven on April 4. Ana and the other children who died on December 14 deserved to celebrate their birthdays for decades to come," Llodra said.
Twenty children and six adults were shot and killed at the school. Llodra is one of many people from town lauding the state's new laws and hoping to bring the bi-partisan effort it took to pass them to Washington.
What they want is...
"A bill that bans gun trafficking, that imposes universal background checks and takes some of the most dangerous weapons and ammunition off the streets," said Sen. Chris Murphy.
The lobbying effort starts next week with a presidential visit to Connecticut. Sen. Richard Blumenthal held up a pen used by the governor to sign the bill.
"When the President comes to Connecticut this Monday I'm going to show this pen and say, ‘Mr. President, it can be done,’" said Sen. Blumenthal.
With Sandy Hook as a rallying cry, perhaps it can despite intensive lobbying in Washington against gun control. Polls show some 90-percent of Americans favor universal background checks for gun purchases. CT Against Gun Violence has been working for tougher laws for 20 years and its director says chances of success have never been better.
"Because of the enormity of what happened and also because of where it happened I think that could be said but if I could go back and change it so it didn't happen I would certainly do that," said Ron Pinciaro.
It was the NRA that coined the term "The Connecticut Affect" after the massacre at Sandy Hook. The organization may wish it hadn't. The President will be counting on the Connecticut Affect when he comes here to the University of Hartford on Monday to build a national consensus for tougher gun control laws.