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Woodbridge passes ordinance banning guns on town property

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WOODBRIDGE -

Town leaders in Woodbridge have banned guns from all town-owned property and buildings with a new ordinance that is similar to what a handful of other municipalities in Connecticut have already adopted.

The Woodbridge Board of Selectmen unanimously passed the ordinance. First Selectman Ellen Scalettar says many residents already expected guns to be banned at public spaces like local playgrounds, hiking trails, libraries and town hall.

Woodbridge teacher Jean Molot worked on the measure with Scalettar. She says she was affected by the mass shooting in Newtown and expected federal gun safety legislation to pass in its wake.

When that didn't happen, Molot say she looked at what could be done locally. She says the response from people who live in the town has been positive.

"There were several people who spoke at the hearing in favor of the ordinance," Molot says. "I've gotten a lot of positive reinforcement."

But legal gun owners say the law may be ignored by criminals.

"Woodbridge residents are less safe now because criminals will simply ignore this ordinance if they mean to cause harm," says the president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League. "Criminals will also instinctively know that law-abiding people will not have the means to effectively protect themselves." 

He calls the ordinance "a feel good measure" that he argues sends the wrong message.

RJ, a gun-owning former Woodbridge resident who still spends time in the town, says he doesn't personally carry his own weapons in many of the places in question.

"I'm not going to be walking into my town hall or my library to read a book with my firearm on me," he says. "The people who do carry these guns, with these permits, I don't feel are the ones that we need to be worried about."

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