Gun control group outlines agenda

One of the Connecticut gun control groups put down its marker today, releasing an agenda that probably represents the outer limits what is politically possible in the General Assembly after Newtown.

The agenda of Connecticut Against Gun Violence takes note of the recently passed New York legislation, which expands its assault weapon ban and limits the sale of magazines to those that hold no more than seven rounds, a stricter limit that previous proposals.

It calls for a tax on ammunition, though it does not set a rate. With legislative leaders intent on devising a bipartisan bill as a first measure, the ammo tax is unlikely to make the cut for an omnibus bill expected to be offered in February.

The proposal does not limit the rights of gun owners to carry a concealed weapon with a permit or to purchase firearms, with the notable exception of semiautomatic rifles defined as assault weapons. It would tighten the rules for buying handguns.

The group’s agenda:

“1 Strengthen the assault weapons ban by requiring that all weapons having military features be banned and that existing weapons defined as assault weapons be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement or removed from the state.

“2 Ban large capacity ammunition magazines of more than 7 rounds and that existing magazines of more than 7 rounds be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from the state. New York State has just adopted law that established the 7-round limit.

“3 Require permits and universal background checks on ALL sales and transfers of guns, including long guns.

“4 Require registration of handguns with annual renewal. Require: annual fee and annual background check for all handguns owned; require that the owner stipulate that the guns are still in their possession or explain how the gun was transferred to another person; require safety inspection every three years.

“5 Make gun owners liable for negligent storage if any person gains access to firearms and injures himself or another person or causes damage to property. The violation would be a Class D felony.

“6 Ban the right of way for transportation of firearms and ammunition bought over the Internet.

“7 Tax ammunition sales and require a license/permit to purchase any gun or ammunition.

“8 Restrict handgun sales to one gun/month.”