TODAY

TODAY   |  April 04, 2013

Conn. passes tough gun legislation

Early Thursday morning, the Connecticut state legislature passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country, expanding background checks and adding 100 guns to the list of banned assault weapons. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> early this morning, lawmakers approved some of the tightest gun control legislation in the country as president obama is pushing for tougher laws nationwide. nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is traveling with the president, she's in san francisco this morning. kristen , good morning to you.

>> reporter: savannah, good morning to you. president obama will spend the day fund raising , but the first part of this trip was campaigning for stiffer gun laws . something that's virtually stalled in congress. but it's a different story in the states in the wake of the newtown tragedy. this morning, the connecticut state legislature passed some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, expanding background checks and adding 100 guns to the list of banned assault weapons. following the vote, reaction was swift.

>> now with the governor's signature, a lot of the strongest gun safety laws in the country. hopefully that is some measure of comfort to the victims of newtown.

>> reporter: earlier on wednesday with federal gun laws , president obama ramped up pressure on congress.

>> we must do something to protect our community and our kids.

>> reporter: surrounded by denver police officers just miles away from the aurora movie theater where 12 lives were claimed last summer, the president called on lawmakers to do what states like connecticut and colorado already have, pass stiffer gun laws .

>> every day that we wait to do something about it, even more of our fellow citizens are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

>> reporter: despite the gridlock in washington, a new poll shows 60% believing law covering gun sales should be more strict, but stiff opposition remains. on wednesday, a pro gun lobby in boston, and the nra continues against gun control . they say there's a reason the states have been quick to act in the states.

>> the states are more in their face. the governors are dealing with this every day.

>> reporter: 87% of americans support expanding background checks , but even that faces a tough road in congress. as for connecticut, the governor is expected to sign the legislation into law later today. the president will visit that state on monday and continue to press for new federal gun laws . matt?

>> all right, kristen welker in san francisco this morning. thank