Gun-control vote may wait until after Easter

Legislative leaders said Friday that a vote on gun-control legislation next week is growing less likely, given that a one-week delay now might gain them access to more information about the Newtown massacre of 26 children and women.

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane and Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky met privately Friday with the leaders, telling them it is possible that search warrant affidavits could be unsealed late next week.

Sedensky has the ability to ask a court to extend the seal on the warrants, but legislators said he had not made a decision.


Jimmy Greene, Neil Heslin, and Mark and Jackie Barden.

Asked if the promise of more information increased the chances of a delay, Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said, “It certainly does, and that’s what we’re talking about right now.”

Access to the investigative details became an issue this week as legislators complained that State Police and prosecutors are sharing no information while details steadily emerge through continued media leaks.

Gun-control advocates say legislators know enough to act: On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza used an AR-15 military-style rifle and 30-round magazines to kill 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in five minutes.

Lanza killed himself with one of two semiautomatic handguns he carried as police responded to 9-1-1 calls.

The advocates tried to increase pressure on legislators to act with visits by the families of victims and the delivery of letters signed by Newtown parents, clergy officials and 200 teachers.

Mark and Jackie Barden, Jimmy Greene, Neil Heslin and Nicole Hockley, who each lost children in the attack, met privately with legislators, then briefly addressed the press.

Legislative leaders say there will be a vote on gun-violence legislation banning the retail sale of military-style rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The only question, they say, is timing – and some of the details.

One open question is whether the legislation will ban the possession of the large-capacity magazines or merely their future sale.

Religious observances next week also are a potential barrier to a vote, said Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield.

Jews observe Passover on Monday and Tuesday, and Christians mark the start of the Easter season on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, leaving Wednesday as the only viable day for a vote, McKinney said.