Source say the bill, which is expected to be taken up by the General Assembly on Wednesday, would:
• Expand and strengthen an existing prohibition on semi-automatic assault rifles;
•Ban the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds;
•Mandate registration of existing high-capacity magazines;
•Create a “dangerous weapon offenders registry,” available only to law enforcement;
•Require a “certificate of eligibility” or gun permit before buying any ammunition. Certificates of eligibility could only be obtained after undergoing a national criminal background check;
•Institute a universal background check for all purchases of firearms, including private sales.
Gun Deal Allows High Capacity Magazine Owners To Keep Them
Sandy Hook Parents Demand Changes
The deal sets up a potential conflict between those legislative leaders seeking a gun-control compromise and a coalition of the most outspoken parents of victims of the Newtown school massacre.
A group of those parents held a press conference in the State Capitol Monday morning to demand an up-or-down vote on an amendment that would ban the high-capacity magazines outright and not allow existing owners to keep them under a so-called “grandfather clause,” as the agreement negotiated by the leaders reportedly provides.
They said that if Lanza had been limited to 10 rounds at a time, he would have had to stop shooting more often to reload, and he might not have killed as many people.
“We specifically want an up or down vote on the banning of these large-capacity magazines with no grandfathering clause,” said Nicole Hockley, whose son, Dylan, 6, was killed Dec. 14. “Because we learned, the way that no other parents should learn, that the most dangerous, dangerous part of an assault weapon is the magazine.”
“The horrible, brutal truth is that 154 bullets were fired in four minutes, killing our children, our daughters, our wives. The shooter carried 10, 30-round large-capacity magazines,” Hockley said. “We have learned that in the time it took him to reload in one of the classrooms, 11 children were able to escape. We ask ourselves every day – every minute – if those magazines had held 10 rounds, forcing the shooter to reload at least six more times, would our children be alive today?”
Hockley said that she thinks a more reasonable approach would be to give owners of high-capacity magazines six months or a year to give them up. “My personal opinion is six months to a year is a reasonable point for hand back or buyback – whatever method is decided on that gives people enough time to do what they need to do.”
While legislative leaders have declined to comment on specifics of their gun-control agreement, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy responded quickly to news about the compromise.
“I have been clear for weeks that a ban on the possession and sale of high capacity magazines is an important part of our effort to prevent gun violence – simply banning their sale moving forward would not be an effective solution. This morning, we heard from victims’ families on that very point. They’ve asked for an up or down vote on that provision and, whether it’s in the larger bill or as an amendment, the families, and every resident of our state, deserve a vote. We know this is an issue that has bipartisan support, including from Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. We cannot lose sight of our ultimate goal – improving public safety for all of our residents, including our children.”