The Herald Bulletin

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April 1, 2013

Connecticut reaches deal on tough gun laws after Newtown

(Continued)

HARTFORD, Conn. —

Connecticut should be seen as an example for lawmakers elsewhere, said Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., a Brooklyn Democrat.

"In Connecticut, we've broken the mold," he said. "Democrats and Republicans were able to come to an agreement on a strong, comprehensive bill. That is a message that should resound in 49 other states and in Washington, D.C. And the message is: We can get it done here and they should get it done in their respective states and nationally in Congress."

The proposal was revealed to rank-and-file lawmakers Monday after weeks of bipartisan, closed-door negotiations among legislative leaders. A vote was expected Wednesday in the General Assembly, where Democrats control both chambers, making passage all but assured. The bill would then be sent to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has helped lead efforts to strengthen the state's gun laws but has not yet signed off on the proposed legislation.

Earlier in the day on Monday, Malloy voiced support for the Newtown families and their desire to ban the possession of large-capacity magazines.

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said his group will live with the lawmakers' decision not to ban them as other states have done. He said the leaders made their decision based on what was politically feasible.

"We have to be satisfied. There are still other things that we want, we'll be back for in later sessions," he said. "But for now, it's a good thing."

Robert Crook, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen, contended the bill would not have changed what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the gunman fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle within five minutes. He went through six 30-round magazines, though half were not completely empty, and police said he had three other 30-round magazines in addition to one in the rifle.

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