McLachlan, a Republican member of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, tonight said he would work next year to close a loophole in state law banning assault weapons. He warned that current law allows assault-style weapons manufactured prior to the state’s 1993 ban to be dismantled to recycle the part containing the gun’s serial number and rebuilt with modern parts that would otherwise fall under the existing assault weapons ban.
“I plan to submit a bill that seeks to correct this deficiency,” Sen. McLachlan said after he returned to the Capitol from the funeral mass for Caroline Phoebe Previdi, who was a first grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “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. Let me be perfectly clear about the assault weapons ban: It will not stop the classroom carnage visited upon Sandy Hook. The madman’s weapon is not classified as an assault weapon. Should we study that classification during our upcoming civil discourse? Yes. Should we review the size of ammo magazines and consider the former federal limitations be enacted in Connecticut? Yes. Should we honor the Second Amendment during our deliberations? Absolutely. In addition to the gun control discussion, we need a serious discussion of mental health in America. 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. A third area for debate is school security. In honor of Caroline Phoebe Previdi, I am searching for workable changes to keep our schools safe. 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.”