Connecticut reacts to Obama gun initiative

"In the hours after the worst of our fears were confirmed, in the midst of the grief and sorrow over the loss of 20 innocent children and six dedicated educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was one question on the minds of people across Connecticut and around the nation: How do we make sure this never happens again?

"Today the President took the critical first step toward answering that question. The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the Vice President for their work on this issue."

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy


"I support the Administration's specific call for universal criminal background checks, bans on deadly assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, national criminal database improvements, increases in mental health funding, federal gun violence research, and anti-trafficking proposals. I will continue to fight for mandatory background checks on ammunition purchases, which are the black hole of gun violence prevention."

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal


"These are strong recommendations, and Congress should act on them now-before another mass tragedy occurs. If assault weapons and high capacity magazines were not so readily available, I am convinced there would be more little boys and girls alive in Newtown today. If background checks were universal, our city streets would be safer. There are no longer any excuses for inaction. If the horror of Sandy Hook doesn't move Congress to act on common sense gun laws, I have no idea what will. I'm so appreciative of the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden on this issue, especially their willingness to involve the Sandy Hook parents and families in this effort. Now, it's time to get to work."

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy


"Above all, this is about saving lives. Families in Newtown want to know their children are safe and that other families are spared the same horrific loss they've experienced. I commend the President for taking immediate and concrete steps today to reduce gun violence. I also agree that we need a commonsense, comprehensive approach to prevent gun violence that includes reinstatement and strengthening of the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring universal background checks, and addressing gun trafficking."

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty


"President Obama acted on the promise he made 30 days ago at Newtown High School to make our kids safer. His orders will plug holes in the background check system and help local school districts have police security. The common-sense changes to the background check program will stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed, while preserving Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney


"President Obama's proposal to mandate background checks for all firearms sales, to ban assault weapons and prohibit high capacity magazines is a positive step to reduce violence. We can't, however, rely on Congress to act. In Connecticut, our children's safety is not a partisan issue and I am pleased to join with Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly in crafting a plan to reduce violence, improve school security and address access to mental health services."

State Sen. Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr.

"Over the last several years we've seen mass shootings in Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado and now Newtown; in addition to the gun violence that plagues our cities. It is imperative that we act now. Forty percent of gun sales nationwide are conducted without background checks and that must to change. The secondary market has led to far too many guns on the streets. The president's and vice president's plan is ambitious and I look to working on the state level to take strong and decisive action to reduce gun violence, increase access to mental health services, and improve school security."

State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney


"The bottom line is there are practical, reasonable gun restrictions that would create an environment where incidents like Newtown are less likely to occur. The majority of Americans agree on that. Unfortunately, it took Newtown to get us here, but now that we are here, Congress needs to act swiftly and avoid the partisan bickering we've become accustomed to. While nothing can erase the pain of those who suffered unspeakable loss, doing nothing is not an option and certainly not worthy of the innocent lives that were lost."

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra