Gun Legislation Task Force: All Options Are on the Table

It is the areas where there is common ground that they will seek to take immediate action, according to all six legislators.

While the question of ‘when’ loomed large at a town hall meeting organized by Newtown Action Alliance Tuesday night, the other topic on people’s minds was what are the proposals is leaning toward. And like with the timeline, residents had different ideas about what is needed — and what isn’t.

While the Task Force is looking at three issues, much of the discussion centered around guns, gun laws and gun violence.

All six legislators repeatedly said that they have talked about every angle and possibility that one can come up with, and that all options are on the table. It is the areas where there is common ground that they will seek to take immediate action.

One such area, legislators said and the majority of residents who spoke seemed to agree, is putting in place a permit process for purchasing “long guns,” like rifles and shotguns. Currently, in Connecticut, a permit is only required when purchasing a handgun — and that includes a background check as well as a mandatory safety class.

Other gun-related proposals discussed, some similar to those proposed by President Barack Obama, include:

  • Assault rifle ban
  • Magazine limits
  • Universal background check
  • Tighter regulations around sales
  • Gun offender registry program
  • Gun buy back programs

Other residents urged legislators to first review existing gun laws and better enforce them before enacting new ones, some noting that criminals do not follow laws and, therefore, law-abiding citizens are the ones who suffer and who, potentially, could be put at greater risk.

Another resident suggested that legislators consider using civil liability as a tool. “We have strict liability for dog owners, but not for gun owners,” she said.

Donald Borsch Jr., of Bethel, a self-described “filthy, registered Libertarian Independent,” posed a series of rhetorical questions, asking legislators if they will be able to guarantee no more gun violence, and then said, “You can’t legislate morality.”

In response, McKinney drew the loudest applause of the night when he said he would never stand up and say legislation will stop all gun violence, but that the state should do whatever it can to make Connecticut safer.

The Process Moving Forward

The Task Force has already held four hearings, including one in Newtown, as it has sought to gather public input on the issues. The subcommittees are working on their final proposals, which will then be considered by the full task force.

Legislators in attendance Tuesday night said they expect the full package of proposals to be the subject of a final public hearing before it goes to the floor for a vote. They further related that it’s likely there will be at least three separate bills, one for each issue, and possibly other related bills that will move through the process, too.

A Model for Washington

As the meeting ran its course, legislators and residents began to remark and compliment each other about how civil and open-minded everyone was being. “I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing tonight,” said one gun owner.

“These issues and this event hit all of us in a way that we realize we shouldn’t be doing those types of things,” McKinney said, referring to the partisanship that has plagued Washington and, at times, reared its head in Hartford.

“Meaningful change can arrive in Connecticut, and Newtown can drive it,” said state Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, R-106, who districts includes about 90% of Newtown.

Reflecting on the night, Murray said she was appreciative of how cordial the speakers were. She was particularly pleased that gun owners had come to share their thoughts. “I think it went really well. I’m feeling optimistic,” she said.

Admittedly new to the entire process, earlier in the evening, Murray called herself and those involved in Newtown Action Alliance “accidental activists.”


Edmund Burke February 25, 2013 at 09:24 PM
LOL, If I had a Porshe I wouldn't be eating alone.
Cliff Cuming February 25, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Sorry about the opening advert but this is interesting: THIRD amendment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F584p5kJL-U
Donald Borsch Jr. February 26, 2013 at 03:44 PM
WR2A: We Are The Second Amendment goes all social media-ish! Stop by and say Hello, will ya?! ;) http://wr2a.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/social-media-alert-facebook-page-and-twitter-now-active/
Sanchez February 27, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Or that books would be restricted?
Bill C March 08, 2013 at 08:16 PM
New post on CCDL Blog S.B. 1076, An act concerning gun violence…… has nothing to do with gun violence…… by Chris This is a guest post by Jonathan Hardy who handles permit and legislative issues for CCDL. You can email him at permitissues@ccdl.us He also has his own website, and his own blog. First, I will preface this article with a serious call to order: WE MUST be at the legislature Thursday, March 14th. There is a public hearing for this bill and details can be found at the CT General Assembly website, or click here. I know many of us are planning to be at the legislature next week on various days, and the opposition is well aware of this fact. They want to break us down, let’s show them that we WILL NOT stand silent anymore. Let’s make them aware this is not a bill about gun violence, it’s about gun control – period. http://ccdl.us/blog/2013/03/08/sb1076/#more-781 http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/TOB/S/2013SB-01076-R00-SB.htm Sec. 32. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) Every person in this state shall register each firearm he or she owns or possesses in accordance with sections 31 to 43, inclusive, of this act. Sec. 33. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) On and after July 1, 2014, no person shall purchase or possess ammunition without having first obtained a registration card identifying a firearm suitable for use with that ammunition. Too much for this post....Its at the bottom of the bill. After definitions.


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