Governor's Commission Calls For Ban On High-Capacity Guns

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission on Monday called for some of the strongest gun control measures in the nation, including a ban on the sale or possession of any gun that can fire more than 10 bullets without reloading.

The ban would be among the most far-reaching in the United States and comes in direct reaction to the Newtown gunman's use of an assault rifle and 30-round magazines in the massacre of 20 children and six women three months ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"This prohibition would extend to military-style firearms as well as handguns," the commission's interim report says. "Law enforcement and military would be exempt from this ban."

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement released by his office that he does not support a retroactive ban on legally owned firearms. In his statement, Malloy said the interim report, along with his own recommendations and those of the General Assembly, are a step toward finding solutions to gun violence.

The commission's chairman, Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, noted in a letter to Malloy that some of the 42 recommendations are controversial.

"I realize that you may agree with some of our interim recommendations and disagree with others,'' Jackson wrote in a letter attached to the report.

The recommendation to ban guns that can fire more than 10 bullets without reloading goes further than what Malloy has proposed, and the governor said during the committee's deliberations that he does not support "the confiscation of firearms by law-abiding citizens.''

Monday's interim report also calls for banning the sale, possession and use of any magazines that carry more than 10 bullets — a measure Malloy proposed last month. The only exceptions would be for law enforcement and military use.

Rep. Craig Miner, a Republican from Litchfield who co-chaired a gun subcommittee, had a strong reaction against the proposed magazine ban.

"It seems to me when someone starts to ban something from an individual who bought it lawfully, owned it lawfully and did nothing to lose that right and has to divest themselves of it in some way, it seems to me if it's not a taking, it's pretty doggone close,'' Miner said.

Miner, who said that he doesn't own any 10-round magazines, said it would be very difficult to collect magazines that had been purchased legally and later declared illegal.

The commission's recommendations are advisory to Malloy. Any changes in Connecticut's law must be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate and then be signed into law by Malloy.

The commission's report was issued on the day that Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News reported that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza had planned the attack for years and had compiled a spreadsheet measuring 7 feet by 4 feet that included details of mass shootings around the world. Lupica said that his anonymous source was a high-ranking police officer who attended a recent conference in New Orleans in which the top uniformed commander of the Connecticut state police, Col. Danny Stebbins, delivered a detailed speech about the Newtown massacre.

Background Checks

The commission's interim report also calls for:

—Mandatory background checks at gun shows and any other place where firearms are sold, including so-called long guns.

— Banning the sale and possession of all armor-piercing bullets, punishable as a Class D felony.

— Mandating registration of all guns, in addition to requiring a permit to carry one.

— Requiring firearms permits to be renewed, including "a test of firearms handling capacity, as well as an understanding of applicable laws and regulations.''

— Limiting the amount of bullets that can be purchased at one time.