Monday January 14, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has told Vice President Joe Biden that the federal government should reinstate a ban on assault weapons and outlaw high-capacity ammunition magazines in the wake of the Newtown school killings.

In a letter obtained Sunday by The Associated Press, Malloy wrote to Biden on Friday that Congress also should require background checks for all firearm purchases, federal firearm licenses and gun show transactions.

Malloy told Biden, a fellow Democrat, that Connecticut has some of the strongest gun control laws in the country, and a new state commission will be making recommendations regarding school safety, mental health services and gun violence prevention.

Biden leads a federal task force on curbing gun violence and is expected to give the panel’s recommendations to President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Malloy responded to a letter Biden wrote earlier this month to governors asking for their ideas about federal gun control. He said state laws are not enough to address gun violence.

"Gun control must be addressed nationally," Malloy wrote. "As long as weapons continue to travel up and down I-95, what is legally available for sale in Florida or Virginia can have devastating consequences here in Connecticut."

Police say the Newtown gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot his mother to death at their home with a .22-caliber rifle before opening fire with a .


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223-caliber semiautomatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty first-graders and six adults were killed. He fatally shot himself with a handgun as police arrived.

Authorities said Lanza used his mother’s guns in the shootings and was carrying multiple 30-round ammunition magazines. The motive remains unclear.

Malloy also told Biden that he disagrees with gun advocates’ statements that more guns help prevent violence.

"Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean an armed guard posted outside every classroom," Malloy wrote.