MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy plans to unveil his own proposals for toughening the state's gun control laws at a conference today featuring Vice President Joe Biden, saying he's frustrated by the pace of the General Assembly's efforts to address the Newtown shooting rampage.
Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said the Democrat's "common-sense gun violence prevention proposals" will address issues such as high-capacity ammunition magazines, the state's assault weapons ban and gun storage. Malloy revealed Wednesday that he planned to unveil his own gun control measures earlier than expected because he doesn't believe the Democrat-controlled General Assembly will reach a bipartisan agreement on the issue. In an interview with the Journal Inquirer of Manchester editorial board, Malloy criticized legislative leaders for "bailing out on hearings or rallies" and accused people of "coming to talk about their personal pain instead of gun control at a gun control rally."
Both comments were obvious references to House Republican Leader Lawrence Cafero, who didn't attend last week's rally, and to Senate Republican Leader John McKinney, who spoke to the crowd of 5,500 about representing Newtown on Dec. 14, the day of the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Cafero called it "unfortunate and bewildering" that Malloy declared he's "prepared to usurp" a legislative task force before it presents its bipartisan response. Lawmakers had hoped for a vote by the full General Assembly in late February but have said the recent blizzard slowed the pace of deliberations and a vote may be held early next month.
Malloy's 16-member task force isn't expected to provide the governor with an interim report until mid-March on possible recommendations for law and policy changes in the wake of the shooting, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.
That group is continuing its work despite Malloy's expected announcement today.