Greenwich's Frantz Stays Neutral In Gun Debate At Testy Forum

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State Sen. L. Scott Frantz, right, addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting in Stamford on proposed gun control legislation. Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich), center, and Rep. Mike Molgano (R-Stamford), left, also spoke. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron
About 100 Greenwich and Stamford citizens turn out to Monday's town hall on the 2013 legislative agenda at the Harry Bennett Branch Library in Stamford. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron
Lewis Dale of Stamford listens to legislators at Monday's town hall meeting. Dale summed up the frustration of many in the crowd. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich's State Sen. L. Scott Frantz said it would be "inappropriate" to reveal his position on proposed gun control legislation Monday at a town hall meeting at the Harry Bennett Branch Library in Stamford.

Frantz, a Republican who also represents Stamford and New Canaan, said he did not want to speak out until a task force currently deliberating proposals reveals its findings.

"If I come out and start telling everybody my song and dance, it completely pulls out the rug from underneath the whole process," said Frantz, who is a task force member.

But he also told the crowd that he was not undecided on the matter. He chided the media on several occasions, specifically a poll printed by the Hearst newspapers, for stating that he was undecided on the issue of gun control.

But when pressed by the crowd of about 100 – three-quarters of which were vocally in favor of stricter gun control – Frantz maintained a "wait and see" position, much to the displeasure of the assembly.

His question-and-answer session was derailed on several occasions as supporters and opponents of gun control began to argue their points in the crowd. It took several minutes for order to be restored on multiple occasions.

Although the argument was heated, the crowd left peacefully when Frantz concluded the meeting.

Those who were disappointed with the forum may get their answers soon. The gun control task force is scheduled to release its findings this week.

"We will have those recommendations possibly as soon as [Tuesday] night, maybe Wednesday," Frantz said. "We absolutely want to do the very best we can. But whatever comes out of the General Assembly and is signed by the governor will withstand some serious constitutional challenges."

Frantz said he was worried about the speed at which the gun legislation could move, arguing that if the bill went through a proposed emergency certification there would be no time to hold public forums.

Although the first half of the town hall meeting, which also featured state Reps. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich) and Mike Molgano (R-Stamford), focused on the state budget, the crowd indicted by a show of hands that it was there to address both sides of the gun debate.

Lewis Dale of Stamford summed up much of the crowd's frustration with Frantz.

"It's not new to us that you want to keep it quiet up until the presentation is made," Dale said. "But I think that's wrong. I think we deserve from you, our representatives, honest answers to how you feel when you are asked an important question."

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