Saying they made progress in closed-door talks on gun control, the legislature’s top leaders said they will meet again Thursday in the hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal.
Both Republicans and Democrats met at the state Capitol as they tried to reach consensus on reforms following the shootings of 20 children and 7 adults in the Danbury suburb of Newtown on December 14.
The lawmakers emerged from the meeting shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday to declare that they made progress.
“Speaking for myself, this was productive,” said Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, the highest-ranking senator. “I don’t think we’re going to talk a lot about specifics, but I was heartened that we were able to make certainly enough progress to come back and meet tomorrow. … We’re going to take it one day at a time and keep talking. The message, as far as I’m concerned, is we’re seeing some areas of agreement, and that’s a positive thing.”
Lawmakers declined to provide any details about any possible agreements on ordering universal background checks, banning military-style assault weapons and limiting large-capacity magazines.
House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey agreed with Williams, saying, ”It was a good meeting – and productive. I remain optimistic that, by having continued conversations, I’m hoping that we’ll reach a conclusion at the appropriate time. We have to keep working at it, but it was productive.”
Standing nearby, House Republican leader Larry Cafero said, “It was a productive meeting. … We’re all there in good faith, and we’re all working toward the same goal, which is to have a bipartisan, comprehensive, effective agreement.”
Cafero added, “I think everything’s on the table.”
Many reporters waited for long periods in a stakeout outside Williams’s corner office at the Capitol, and the lawmakers spoke for less than five minutes before leaving to vote in both the House and Senate.