Governor Dannel P. Malloy stopped in Stamford Monday to have a closed-door meeting with city officials on his recent gun control legislation proposals.
On his first stop to communities across Connecticut, Malloy met with Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia, Police Chief Jon Fontneau, Asst. Chief James Matheny and Public Safety Director Ted Jankowski briefly before the group made public statements about Stamford's readiness to deal with gun violence.
"I want to thank the governor for stopping first in Stamford to explain the initiative that he's sponsoring before the legislature," Pavia said. "We recently attended the U.S. Conference of Mayor's, and the theme throughout every discussion and seminar was: "Demand A Plan." Demand a plan on gun control. And we have one. There is a plan now, in Connecticut."
Malloy said Stamford was an important stop on his itinerary as he prepares to present his gun control ideas to various local governments and seek feedback from those officials. He said being so many months out from the Sandy Hook tragedy, it was time to do something, as Connecticut should be a "leader, not a follower," in the discussion on gun control.
"I decided to make my first stop in Stamford, where I used to have a job, to talk about what we're trying to do with respect to gun safety," Malloy said. "I was impressed, immediately following the last U.S. Conference of Mayors, [Pavia] signed on to Mayor Bloomberg's [Mayors Against Illegal Guns]."
Malloy said he wanted to come and express his personal thanks to the current mayor for joining the group, which Malloy himself had previously joined as well. Malloy said he and the other officials had a "common sense approach to gun safety."
Some of the highlighted points of Malloy's presentation included:
- Every legal gun should be permitted.
- Universal background checks should be a requirement for gun ownership.
- No private sales of guns in the State of Connecticut. Current guns would have to be declared and a permit must be obtained for them. It would be illegal to possess a private-sale gun in Connecticut without declaring it.
- Update the definitions to what an assault rifle is to once again make relevant the 1994 restrictions the gun industry has been able to "get around."
- Possibly also update penalties and liabilities to apply to scenarios where a gun owner with a gun in storage would be responsible for any injury caused by that weapon to any person, not just children.
"You can't get on a plane without someone doing a background check on you," Malloy said. "Why should you be able to have a gun without that happening?"
Malloy said he would wait to hear reaction and recommendation from the Sandy Hook commission before moving forward with any of the proposals, though the panel is also heavily invested in the mental health-side of the discussion.
"We're ready. We stand behind the governor," said SPD Chief Fontneau. "The governor is a leader and we have a long-standing with him and his ideas and we support him. Any law that has teeth to it helps us."
Public Safety Director Jankowski echoed the chief's sentiment, saying the common-sense proposals of the governor are things the mayor had been seeking to accomplish himself and that the city is happy to work with state-level officials in welcoming change.
"The governor briefed us on his proposals, but it was a discussion," Jankowski said. "The things the governor presented are things Mayor Pavia has been pushing for and we are in full agreement. We came away with a lot of information and back it wholeheartedly."