School safety, gun control, mental health will be discussed - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

State legislators will tackle school safety, gun control, mental health

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Senate and House leaders will announce a state taskforce that will be divided into subcomittees: gun control, school safety and mental health.

State Rep. Pat Widlitz was asked to be a member of the school safety committee.

"I suspect the reason that I've been invited is because that will cost money and I happen to chair the finance, revenue and budget committee," she said.

Several bills have already been introduced. Some mirror what Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce - a renewed ban on assault rifles and limiting the number of gun magazines.

State Sen. Ed Meyer has a bill of his own.

"This is an issue of our time like nothing else," he said.

In Meyer's bill,  the number of rounds would be reduced to one. Exceptions would be made for law enforcement and gun clubs and ranges. Gun carriers did not hide their anger at the proposal.

"I'm quite sure my hand is going to be shaking real good if somebody is going to come through my back door in the middle of the night. And I'm going to have to empty that gun to hit him," said one unidentified residents. "I may not even hit him. I don't know. But what do I do with this gun now that doesn't have this clip? You might as well take my picture because I'm a felon. I'm a felon. A Class C felony."

Others in attendance said laws cannot stay the way they are, and whether it be on a state or a national level, there needs to be drastic changes.

"I don't really know all the ins and out of guns. It's not my thing," said Judy Lefkowitz-Branford. "But I think the way things stand now, it's like the Wild West. It's too much loss and too much violence."

The goal of the Connecticut task force is to pass a bill by the end of February.

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