Gun violence, children’s safety task force begins work

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State Sen. Joan Hartley
State Sen. Joan Hartley

HARTFORD — The legislature’s Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety has begun its work.

“I’m eager to begin the discussion surrounding gun safety so we forge common sense, enforceable solutions to enhance public safety while protecting residents’ rights,” said state Sen. Joan Hartley (D-15) in a statement. “I have every confidence our working group will bring forward balanced, substantive recommendations with regard to gun laws that everybody can live with.”

The task force was created to help channel the flow of ideas and initiatives prompted by the Newtown shootings in December. The task force will conduct a review of current law and make recommendations on a range of potential legislation to prevent gun violence, enhance school security and ensure the availability of mental health services in Connecticut. The task force held its first meeting Jan. 18.

The task force is comprised of three separate working groups to focus on the issues of gun violence prevention, school security evaluations and mental health screening and services. Hartley, who is also co-chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee, serves on the gun violence prevention working group. Local legislators state Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-17) and state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) are also on the task force.

Hartley said legislative leaders underscored the ambitious goal of the task force at its first meeting to act “swiftly and decisively” and bring formal legislation forward by the end of February.

“I’m eager to begin the discussion surrounding gun safety so we forge common sense, enforceable solutions to enhance public safety while protecting residents’ rights,” Hartley said. “I have every confidence our working group will bring forward balanced, substantive recommendations with regard to gun laws that everybody can live with.”