Supporters and opponents alike of gun control will point to this fact in the coming days: Connecticut already has some of the toughest restrictions on gun laws in the United States.
For gun control supporters, the shooting at a Newtown elementary school will be one more piece of evidence that even stronger laws are needed, including at the national level.
"We have some of the strongest gun laws in the United States, but if you don't have strong federal gun laws, that makes it that much more difficult," said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.
But advocates for gun owners and sportsmen say that shows that the law can only do so much.
"In general, the laws here are pretty strict, and they're working," said Bob Crook, executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen. "But I don't know of any law that would prevent someone like at Columbine or an Aurora or here in Connecticut from committing these offenses which are clearly psychologically based."
Connecticut's laws are strict by comparison to many other states, but they still fall short of what many gun control advocates want. In 2011, Connecticut was rated the fifth toughest by the pro-gun control Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on a scorecard which gave points for each restriction the group favors.
But the state scored only 58 points out of a possible 100, below the 81 points of top state California but far ahead of most other U.S. states. Thirty-one states didn't even score in the double digits.
To buy a gun, Connecticut law requires residents apply for a local permit, typically with the town's police chief, have their fingerprints taken and submit to a state and federal background check with a 14-day waiting period. To buy a handgun, residents also are required to take a gun safety course.
The state is also one of seven to have an assault weapons ban that specifically lists more than 35 semiautomatic and automatic weapons. It does not appear to cover the .223 caliber rifle used in Friday's attack.
Pinciaro said the state weapons ban, which dates back to 1994, did not go far enough because it did not also include restrictions on high-capacity magazines, which allow users to fire off dozens of shots before stopping to reload.
After the 2011 shooting in Arizona at a constituent event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Connecticut lawmakers proposed a restriction that would limit magazines to 10 rounds. But after hundreds of protesters showed up at the state capital for a hearing, the bill died in committee.
Crook said the restrictions would not stop people carrying out mass shootings such as the one Friday.
"Restricting the number of rounds in a magazine is not very smart," he said. "You can change a magazine in less than a second, so all you've got to do is carry more magazines."
Pinciaro said he wasn't sure if such a restriction would have helped in the Newtown shooting.
"It's hard to say, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it," he said.
Ultimately, gun control advocates say their best hope is Congress.
Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control group started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, noted that the vast majority of guns found in New York City crime scenes come from other states.
"We have some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but guns don't respect boundaries any more than criminals do," he said. "When one state has weak gun laws, that opens the floodgate of guns into the stream of commerce and they end up in communities in other states."
"That's a federal problem and it needs a federal solution," he added.