State Sen. Will Haskell (opinion): Enough talk. Let’s take action.

State Sen. Will Haskell speaks at a news conference last year.

State Sen. Will Haskell speaks at a news conference last year.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

This routine feels grossly familiar. A shooter buys a legal firearm or two, or three, and decides to end the lives of people shopping at a grocery store or students sitting in a classroom. We are outraged. We are heartbroken. But we are not surprised.

How could we be? It’s only been a few months since we last grieved. So we march again. We take out the orange T-shirt that we haven’t worn since the last tragedy. The chants spill right out of us, unchanged since the last time we did this: “Enough is enough.”

I’m tired of attending vigils and waiting for Congress to act. As an elected official, I have a responsibility to do more than that. We have the enormous privilege of living in a state where voters have elected Democrats who are unafraid of standing up to the National Rifle Association. With the partnership of gun violence prevention advocates, we’ve passed some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, and seen firsthand how they’ve saved lives.

But our work isn’t done. It’s time for Connecticut to finally ban the bulk purchase of firearms. Did you know that handguns purchased alongside other handguns are up to 64 percent more likely to be used in crime when compared to handguns that are sold individually? Too often, individuals who pass a background check purchase guns in bulk, and then sell them into the hands of folks who wouldn’t pass a background check.

How can we keep guns from falling into dangerous hands? Well, we should follow the examples of Virginia, Maryland, California and New Jersey by permitting only one gun to be purchased per person each month. It’s a simple yet effective policy that will reduce mass shootings and stem the daily cycle of gun violence in urban communities. And it wouldn’t impact the vast majority of legal gun owners, which may help to explain why 65 percent of Americans support a one-handgun-per-month policy.

Banning bulk purchases will save lives in Connecticut and help end gun trafficking in our region. In Virginia, researchers found that their one-handgun-per-month policy sparked a meaningful decrease in the number of firearms from Virginia trafficked into other states. And more broadly, it will demonstrate to the rest of the country that what works here could work everywhere.

The shooter in Texas purchased two guns just a few days before walking into Robb Elementary School and cutting 21 lives short. While Congress may be stymied by partisanship, state legislatures have an opportunity to step up to the plate and ensure that these lives were not lost in vain. We have a responsibility to demonstrate through actions, not words, that enough is enough.

State Sen. Will Haskell represents the 26th Senate District, which includes Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.