GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich state legislators expect the topic of gun control to dominate the agenda as they look ahead to the possible passage of bills in 2013.
State Reps. Livvy Floren and Fred Camillo and State Sen. L. Scott Frantz, all Republicans, agreed that in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, state legislators need to take a long, hard look at possible changes to gun laws.
"Certainly I will support reasonable restrictions on assault weapons," Camillo said. "I don't think there's any place in society for them. I also want people to know that there's no way to really 100 percent stop all this – but that's not a reason to not try."
Camillo and Floren both expect a bill banning large magazines for guns to come to the floor of the statehouse at some point. Currently a bill proposed by State Sen. Beth Bye (D–Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington & West Hartford) is being discussed that would tax ammunition at a 50 percent rate.
Frantz said he has "yet to see anything specific on school safety."
"I will be paying close attention to the hearings associated with school safety, as well as the findings of all investigative efforts in Newtown before deciding on what legislative efforts to support when they become more concrete," he said.
Floren said she hopes requiring more stringent background checks will be a priority.
"Anything we do would be a step in the right direction," Camillo added. "But I also want to look at access to mental health and how local law enforcement officials are hamstrung in enforcing gun laws."
In addition to gun control laws, all three legislators expressed concern about the state budget and said they were wary of tax increases.
Some proposed bills are more personal to the legislators.
Floren hopes the ban on pesticides at schools will be protected, something she says gets threatened to be removed every year.
Camillo hopes to pass the "Buddy Bill," named for a German Shepherd shot in the head by its owner, which would require people who kill a pet to prove it was an exigent circumstance or face fines or jail time.
Frantz hopes to pass a bill providing more assistance to disabled veterans.