Vote on Sandy Hook-related bills facing delay

The initial timeline for comprehensive, post-Sandy Hook legislation might have been a little ambitious, said House Republican Leader, state Rep. Larry Cafero, R-Norwalk, during an impromptu meeting with the press on Thursday.

He said he would talk to his caucus about pushing the vote on a full package of bills back by two weeks.

It would be good to have another public hearing where the public can react to the proposed bills before they are voted on, he said.

Cafero said he still expects legislators to make a genuine effort to pass basic laws they can agree on, but that it would be their first "brush at it." Drafting legislation that addresses the complex issues will take more time, he said.

There are many nuances to the issues raised following the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, he said.

For instance, do you make mental health reporting mandatory when that could have a chilling effect? Do you ban weapons retroactively, do you start a gun buyback program or do you sell them out of state?

When asked whether he felt outside pressure, Cafero said he felt more pressure from within.

"There is a natural pressure (to do something for Newtown). You went there, you wanted to hug everybody, but you can't," he said.

There will be a Republican caucus retreat on Feb. 12 that will be dedicated solely to the Sandy Hook topic, he said.

- Johanna Somers

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