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Malloy To Biden: Tighter Gun Control Is Needed

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (file / credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (file/credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has told Vice President Joe Biden he wants to see the federal government 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.

Among the items expected in the recommendations is a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban. Congress allowed the ban to expire in 2004.

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 – Adam Lanza, 20 — shot his mother to death at their home with a .22-caliber rifle before opening fire with a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty children ages 6 and 7, 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.

Also Sunday, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on major gun retailers like Wal-Mart to suspend the sale of assault weapons temporarily.

“In Florida alone, there were nearly 5,000 background checks requested on the day of Sandy Hook, as opposed to the day before where there were 3,000,” said Schumer.

New York’s senior senator warned that sales of assault-style weapons could surge later this month when pro-gun advocates hold “Gun Appreciation Day.”

Schumer said according to organizers, the purpose of Gun Appreciation Day is to ramp up gun sales.

“These groups are encouraging individuals from all over the country to go to their local gun stores to purchase assault weapons,” said Schumer.

Wal-Mart is the nation’s biggest gun retailer.

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the toughest gun laws in the nation – including a tighter assault weapons ban, a ban on all large-capacity gun clips, and increased penalties for those who illegally buy or use guns.

Cuomo tried — and failed — to get the Legislature to agree to a gun control plan in time for Wednesday’s State of the State message. Instead, he laid out an ambitious plan for making New York the national leader in keeping guns out of the hands of those who would do violence.

Do you agree with Gov. Malloy? Leave your comments below…

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