Letter writing event to precede ‘March for Change’

Rally encourages enactment of common sense gun laws

March for change organizers

March for Change Easton organizers are, from left: Cathy Dunsby, Terry Parese-Gardone, Melissa Mack, and Nico Katz Pickerstein. Missing from photo is Caithlin De Marrais.

Local “March for Change” organizers will hold a letter writing and information event Jan. 31 from 7:15-9:30 p.m. at the Easton Community Center’s Teen Center. Children and adults are welcome at the information event, where they will write letters to the legislators who represent Easton.

The bipartisan coalition of Easton residents supporting the enactment of “common sense rational gun laws” in Connecticut will participate in a rally in Hartford on Thursday Feb. 14.

A bus will leave the town park on Black Rock Road (formerly Toth Memorial Park) at 8:30 a.m. and return by 2:30 p.m., so parents can attend while their children are at school. People of all ages are welcome. The cost of the round-trip bus is $26, including coffee. For information, go to eastonmarchforchange@gmail.com.

The action-driven, peaceful rally will take place on the North Steps of the state Capitol in Hartford at 11 a.m. for one hour on the two-month anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

On Dec. 14, a lone 20-year-old shooter, armed with a semiautomatic rifle with a 30-round magazine clip, murdered 20 children and seven adults before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.

“Instead of watching CNN and crying, a grassroots group of activists got going and is working to enact safer gun laws,” said Melissa Mack, an Easton mother of two and one of the local organizers. “This is something people can do to stand behind Newtown.”

Connecticut has the fourth strongest gun laws in the nation, and the coalition’s goal isn’t to take away people’s guns or their Second Amendment rights, Ms. Mack said.

Rather, its purpose is to limit magazine clips to seven rounds, require more background checks for gun owners and strengthen the assault weapons ban.

Everyone is urged to wear green to show solidarity with Easton’s Newtown neighbors.

For more information on the rally, visit marchforchange.org or ctmomsonline.com/marchforchange/. For information on legislation being drafted by Connecticut Against Gun Violence, visit cagv.org.

To write to state legislators go to www.congressweb.com/cweb2/index.cfm/siteid/BGAGV/action/TakeAction.Contact/lettergroupid/37.

“Our hearts are broken,” according to the coalition. “Not just in Connecticut, but around the country. All eyes are on Connecticut right now. What will we do about it? What can we do about it? Let’s show the nation what we can achieve and be a template for other states to follow.”

Proposed gun legislation

Connecticut Against Gun Violence proposes legislation in Connecticut that will:

• Strengthen the assault weapons ban by requiring that all weapons having military features be banned and that existing weapons defined as assault weapons be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement or removed from the state.

• Ban large capacity ammunition magazines of more than seven rounds and that existing magazines of more than seven rounds be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from the state. New York State has just adopted law that established the seven-round limit.

• Require permits and universal background checks on all sales and transfers of guns, including long guns.

• Require registration of handguns with annual renewal.

• Require annual fee and annual background check for all handguns owned; require that the owner stipulate that the guns are still in their possession or explain how the gun was transferred to another person; require safety inspection every three years.

• Make gun owners liable for negligent storage if any person gains access to firearms and injures himself or another person or causes damage to property. The violation would be a Class D felony.

• Ban the right of way for transportation of firearms and ammunition bought over the Internet.

• Tax ammunition sales and require a license/permit to purchase any gun or ammunition.

• Restrict handgun sales to one gun per month.

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