The governor’s gun advisory commission called Friday for limiting ammunition magazines to no more than 10 bullets in the wake of the Newtown massacre by a shooter with multiple 30-round magazines.
The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission will release its formal, interim report on Monday, and it will include widespread recommendations that the governor sought by the self-imposed deadline of March 15. The report will be written throughout the coming weekend, said Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, who was handpicked by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to chair the commission.
“The consensus was to limit magazines to no more than 10 rounds,” Jackson told Capitol Watch after the meeting. “There will probably be 40 recommendations in the interim report, and probably 60 percent of them were unanimous.”
On Friday, Malloy’s 16-member commission reached consensus on some issues without casting formal, roll call votes. The commission also did not make recommendations on many other issues, such as mental and behavioral health, because the commission will continue to do its work after issuing the interim report. The commission is not even halfway finished with its work, Jackson said.
The commissioners debated back and forth over whether to potentially ban guns that could fire more than 10 rounds without reloading, but Malloy quickly clarified his view later Friday.
“Today’s deliberations by the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission mirror the conversations taking place in living rooms and towns halls across Connecticut on how best to make Connecticut safer,” Malloy said in a statement. “While I appreciate their hard work, I want to be very clear on one point – I do not support, and will not advocate for, the confiscation of firearms by law-abiding citizens. Again, I appreciate the hard work of the commission in reaching these interim recommendations, and look forward to receiving their final report.”
Concerning the importance of the consensus on magazines, Jackson said, “It’s a point. Obviously, firearms and ammunition have become a flashpoint. No pun intended. There’s a lot of gut-level interest, but it just doesn’t make it the whole story.”
“There was a long and broad discussion pertaining to weapons able to fire more than 10 rounds,” Jackson told Capitol Watch. ”Originally that came in as an attempt to redefine assault weapons, based on function. … But then the conversation moved a little bit to the issue of [gun] culture and whether it makes sense to separate out something called an assault weapon from something of equal lethality that is not an assault weapon. Aren’t we really talking about firearms here? And not slicing and dicing too finely.”
Through the years, there has been disagreement over the precise definition of an “assault weapon.”
Concerning recommendations on mental health, Jackson said, “It is a much trickier issue, and it needs a lot more time.”