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Sandy Hook Commission Sends School Safety Report to Governor

Originally posted on Newton Patch

Gov. Dannel Malloy said Monday he had received an interim report from the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, the group he convened in January to explore legislative responded to the 12/14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“The interim report from the commission represents another step in identifying the policies and laws that will make our children and, indeed, our entire state safer,” said Malloy. “The commission’s recommendations on school safety are especially worthy of consideration this session as we negotiate the biennial budget, and I look forward to working with legislative leaders to implement such measures.”

Malloy has proposed a similar set of what he says are “strong, common-sense measures,” including universal background checks, requirements on storing guns, restrictions on magazine size and a ban on the “sale or purchase” of the kinds of weapons used in the Sandy Hook shooting, weapons capable of firing more than 10 rounds without reloading.

Malloy said he would not go as far as to suggest a ban on possession of such weapons, which members of the commission recommended in the report.

“The Commission takes seriously the rights afforded under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, but balances those rights against the language of the Preambleto the Constitution, which includes assurances of ‘domestic tranquility’ and the obligation to ‘promote the general welfare’,” the report said in justifying the call, which would also ban armor-piercing bullets.

The commission acknowledged some sporting events use high-capacity magazines and weapons, but said “[t]he spirit of sportsmanshipcan be maintained with lower capacity magazines.”

“While I appreciate their hard work, I want to be very clear on one point–I do not support, and will not advocate for, the confiscation of firearms by law abiding citizens,” said Malloy in a statement last week.

In Monday’s statement, he added, “[T]heir views, along with the views of the staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment, have a place in this conversation.”

Chaired by Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, the commission has heard nearly 40 hours of testimony from experts in the fields of school safety and gun violence since its inception in January. In its next meeting, scheduled for Friday, it will hear from mental health experts.

Connecticut’s Gun Laws Brokered by Gang of Six

Originally posted on The Oxford Patch

The more than two months Connecticut legislators spent negotiating new gun control laws were fraught with tension, including heavy lobbying by gun advocates and opponents, pressure from the governor’s office to enact something quickly and an ever-watchful eye from the White House, which was hoping the state’s majority

Democrats could provide a framework for national gun control.

With the passage last week of new gun laws in Connecticut, President Barack Obama is set to visit the state today in an effort to revive the national debate on guns while some of the state’s weapons and ammunition makers are considering leaving.

In a recent analysis of the issues surrounding the new laws here, the New York Times says the six Connecticut legislative leaders who brokered the gun bill, signed into law last week by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, have earned the nickname of the “Gang of Six.” Even though Democrats control both houses of Connecticut’ General Assembly, the deal the six leaders hammered out behind closed doors, the Times says, “hinged on issues as large and as small as the intricacies of gun design, the Second Amendment and how to protect popular hunting weapons like the Mossberg 935 Magnum turkey gun sold by a company based in North Haven.”

Democrats knew they could force gun control legislation on the state’s Republican minority, and understood the enormity of the Dec. 14 Newtown shootings required action. But they also realized they needed to proffer their opponents a deal that was as politically palatable as possible, the Times reports.

The new gun control laws ban assault weapons and gun magazines with more than 10 rounds, and requires background checks on all gun sales. But the laws are also noteworthy for what they don’t include: limits on the number of legal guns and ammunition Connecticut residents can own, the newspaper reports.