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Connecticut Gun Control Hearing Shaping Up to Be Showdown

Groups and individuals on both sides of the debate are gathering today for a public hearing in Hartford on possible gun law changes in the wake of the Dec. 14 school shootings in Newtown.

Connecticut's gun control debate is kicking into high gear today.

Groups on both sides of the issue are rallying their supporters to travel to the state Capitol today for a public hearing of the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety. The hearing, the first of the task force's gun control subcommittee, starts at 10 a.m.

The task force was formed earlier this month in response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the life of 20 first graders and six educators.

You can watch a live broadcast of the hearings here.

Rhetoric has become so loaded in the oft-divise gun control issue, and so many people are expected to attend the hearing, that police have put added safety measures in place at the Legislative Office Building, including metal detectors.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, has put out an action alert to its members, urging them to make every effort to attend the hearing in Hartford.

The foundation, which is based in Newtown, writes:

"This Monday might be the only chance for your voice to be heard before legislators craft legislation that will seriously affect not only your Second Amendment rights, but also rifles and magazines you currently own."

According to an article published by the Hartford Courant, NSSF plans to hold a press conference in the Legislative Office Building prior to the start of the hearing. The foundation will be joined by Connecticut-based gun manufacturers Colt and Mossberg & Sons, among others, the Courant reports.

On the other side are organizations like Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV). The nonprofit says it is dedicated to making Connecticut communities, families, and children safe from gun violence through a common sense approach to public education and legislative advocacy.

In addition to organizing a rally in Hartford on Feb. 14, CAGV has proposed legislation that:

  • Requires that all weapons defined by law as assault weapons must be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from Connecticut
  • Does not grandfather existing weapons
  • Large capacity ammunition magazines of more than seven rounds are to be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from the state

“The eyes of the nation are on Connecticut. We hope that our elected officials will act swiftly on these measures because the horrific tragedy in Newtown compels Connecticut to pass the most comprehensive legislation in the nation," Ron Pinciaro, executive director of CAGV, said in a press release. "Extended delays will endanger the passage of the type of gun violence prevention measures that will make our communities safer.”

Today's hearing will be the second of four the task force is holding. The first covered school safety.

The next one, on mental health, will take place tomorrow in Hartford, and the final hearing, featuring all 50 members and covering all topics, will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Newtown High School. Turnout is expected to be high for the final hearing, too.

greg kaminski January 31, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Fred, I"ve been waiting for your reply to substantiate your 1-28 blog.Is there a problem? I bet you can't do it.I'll give you a couple more day's as I am very disappointed on how the Patch has been turned into right wing fringe group of bloggers for the most part, and I have decided to not continue to filter through this to see intelligent conversation.
Fred February 01, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Dear Greg Look it up yourself, all true regards
Ron February 19, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Funny that liberal gun haters don't consider the staggering statistics of shootings in inner cities, especially democratically controlled Chicago which had over 400 killings of young and school age Blacks in 2012. I guess liberals don't feel they can evoke the same emotions that they can by exploiting the Newtown tragedy. CT lberals must feel proud in alienating so many law abiding citizens with their selfish and inane agendas.
Ron February 19, 2013 at 01:14 PM
This nationwide attack on our basic gun rights is nothing nore than "make work" for our overpaid and privileged politicians. It also keeps the media busy. If our lawmakers were intent on truly solving societies ills they would be focusing on the mentally disturbed as well as the evil doers within our society. Liberal politicians know they can jump on tthis anti gun platform and get immediate and unthinking support from their democrat followers. The only ones getting hurt are law abiding citizens.
Ron February 19, 2013 at 01:40 PM
James M wants to know what "advantages" there are to owning an "assault" rifle. My answer to him is that it's not the issue of "advantage", it's the issue of individuals rights v an unfair and over reaching government. It's also an issue of government not doing the job they are paid to do. The American voter is given two choices to vote for politicians with their own personal agendas and biases. Do you honestly feel that politicians truly represent truth and a real quest for solutions? We know that they're all about chasing the money and insuring that their team always wins. The gun issue is just convenient fodder to rally the troops.

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