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.