Conn. gov's panel issues early gun control ideas

March 18, 2013 - 5:28 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An advisory panel reviewing the deadly Newtown school shooting for Connecticut's governor on Monday recommended requiring registration of all firearms in the state and mandating all its K-12 classrooms have doors that can be locked from the inside.

There was also enough consensus among the commission members to recommend bans on high-capacity magazines and the possession, sale or transfer or guns — both military-style firearms and handguns — that are capable of firing more than 10 rounds of ammunition without reloading.

Other recommendations in an interim report from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission include limiting the amount of ammunition that can be purchased at one time, requiring trigger locks be provide at the time of sale or transfer and requiring firearms in a home be stored in a locked container.

Malloy, a Democrat, has already expressed concerns about the recommendation concerning the gun ban, which goes further than many of the proposals being considered by state lawmakers as they try to craft a response to the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first graders and six educators dead. Malloy stressed on Friday that he does not support the confiscation of weapons.

Malloy created the commission in January. The group includes mental health experts, public safety officials and educators. They've focused their review on infrastructure design, school safety and security, as well as trauma services and responses to school crisis, gun violence prevention and emergency planning and response.

Hamden Mayor and commission chairman Scott Jackson said in a letter to Malloy that he realizes the governor may agree with some of the interim recommendations and disagree with others. But Jackson said the panel believes the report includes some "common-sense principles upon which short-term change is possible and action should be taken."

Legislative leaders have been meeting behind closed doors, attempting to write a bipartisan bill for consideration by the full General Assembly. A vote may be held this week or next. Besides recommendations from their own legislative task force, the panel has suggestions on gun control measures proposed earlier by Malloy, and this latest interim report from Malloy's commission.

Jackson said the commission plans to spend the coming months focusing on mental health services. Members are expected to present a comprehensive final report within the year, building upon the initial recommendations.

That report, he said, will respond to Malloy's proposals for gun law changes as well as the findings in the State's Attorney investigation into Newtown. Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III has said a report from the state police likely won't be ready until June.