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Lawmakers tackle mental health, gun trafficking

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel Malloy's advisory panel that's reviewing the Newtown school shooting is turning its focus to mental health.

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is scheduled to hear today from experts on issues related to mental health care, public awareness and discrimination.

The meeting comes days after the commission forwarded the governor some preliminary recommendations on gun laws and school security, including universal background checks for guns.

Commission members expect to present the governor with a comprehensive final report within the year.

Meanwhile, gun control advocates plan today to deliver letters to legislative leaders, who are crafting a bipartisan bill that addresses the shooting. The letters come from Newtown victims, survivors, clergy and other groups who support a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines and other gun control measures.


Some Connecticut legislators hope recent interest in stopping gun violence will prompt lawmakers to adequately fund the task force charged with enforcing the state's gun possession and trafficking laws.

Funding and staffing for the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force has dwindled since the entity was created in 2000. Today there is only one state police detective assigned to the unit.

Sen. Anthony Guglielmo, a Republican from Stafford Springs, and Rep. William Tong, a Democrat from Stamford, have proposed separate bills to fund the task force.

Guglielmo says the task force has a good record of removing illegal guns from the streets.

Both bills are scheduled to be discussed today at a public hearing before the General Assembly's Appropriations Committee.

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