The Representative Town Committee (RTM) has taken up a charge from First Selectman Anthony "Unk" DaRos to look into creating a new town ordinance restricting firearms and ammunition sales in certain areas of town, such as those within close proximity of a school, park, or playground. A public hearing to gather input for the RTM is planned.
The idea for the ordinance was born in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy in Newtown. Since the Dec. 14 incident, requests from citizens for this sort of ordinance, including a petition directed to DaRos in January, has helped spur the town into action.
RTM Rules & Ordinance (R&O) Committee Chair Margaret Bruno (D, District 1) tasked committee member Adam Hansen (D, District 4) with heading up a new firearms and ammunition sales ordinance subcommittee. At the Feb. 12 RTM meeting, Hansen said other members of the subcommittee are Yvette Larrieu (D, District 5), Peter Black (R, District 3), and Ray Ingraham (R, District 5).
Hanson said the new subcommittee will hold a public hearing on the idea of creating an ordinance. As of press time, the hearing was tentatively set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m., at Branford Fire Headquarters (pending approval). The confirmed public hearing date will be publicized on the town website at www.branford-ct.gov
The hearing is meant to allow the public to submit statements and give input that will be "taken into consideration, sorted, and compiled" for a recommendation to be made to the full R&O committee to bring to the RTM, said Hansen.
"After speaking with town counsel and obtaining a firm legal opinion as to what we, as an RTM, can and cannot do in regards to creating a zoning ordinance, the task of the subcommittee will be to research and gather information and to hear all ideas and viewpoints from concerned citizens at the public hearing," said Hansen.
Following the public hearing, the subcommittee will recommend to R&O if a potential ordinance "would or would not be a right fit for Branford," said Hansen, adding, "This will be the only topic that this committee will be addressing, and I hope that the conversation stays on track and focused on our task at hand."