DANBURY, Conn. – State Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, will propose legislation to close a loophole in Connecticut’s existing ban on assault weapons, he said in a statement made public Wednesday after he attended the funeral for Caroline Phoebe Previdi, who died in the Newtown school shooting Friday.
McLachlan plans to address a piece of the legislation that allows parts of assault weapons manufactured before the 1993 ban to be recycled and rebuilt with modern parts, the statement said.
“I plan to submit a bill that seeks to correct this deficiency," McLachlan said. "I never met Caroline, but her great-grandparents, Eugene and Phoebe Previdi, were special people in my life. Caroline, her family, classmates and the Newtown community paid a huge price for a madman’s terror. I hope and pray this heavy price produces changes in America.”
Closing the loophole is not a perfect solution to preventing future school shootings, said McLachlan, who is “firm defender of the Second Amendment,” as noted in the release. The Sandy Hook shooter did not use an assault rifle, he said. But McLachlan, who represents Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield and Sherman, said weapons classifications and the size and amount of ammunition also need to be a part of the solution.
"In addition to the gun control discussion, we need a serious discussion of mental health in America,” he said. “A civil discourse on this topic will tell us how to fix the challenges of access to mental health services and begin to address the stigma within our society that forces patients and their families to hide their affliction.”
He also pledged to strive for safer schools.
“I’m sure Caroline Phoebe Previdi’s parents and grandparents will be holding us all accountable in the legislature to make a difference with a bipartisan approach to help prevent a repeat of this terrible tragedy,” McLachlan said.