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    (4/2/2013) (New Haven, CT)- On Tuesday, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., Police Chief Dean Esserman and Superintendent Reginald Mayo all acknowledged the outstanding leadership at the Connecticut General Assembly that produced a bill that, if enacted, will make the City’s schools, streets and neighborhoods safer.

    Of the proposed legislation, Mayor DeStefano said, “This bipartisan bill is a great piece of legislation that is thoughtful and thorough. Its provisions address the many types of gun violence. I am proud to stand with the leadership of the House and Senate on this groundbreaking legislation.”

    Mayor DeStefano has explained that gun violence can be generally separated into three categories. The first and far most common is the type that New Haven experiences: gang and drug related shootings. Second, there’s armed robberies and domestic violence; third are the mass shootings like Newtown.

    “All types of gun violence are tragic and need to be addressed. However, shootings here in New Haven tend be committed with hand guns that do not carry a lot of ammunition; so an assault weapon ban would not necessarily help the City reduce its gun violence,” said Mayor DeStefano, noting that “the proposed state legislation includes provisions that will help prevent mass shootings like the tragedy in Newtown as well as the violence in our city.”

    The Mayor particularly acknowledged the proposed state legislation for certain provisions including its call for required universal background checks; a ban on the sale of large capacity magazines; the requirement for individuals to apply for certification in order to purchase ammunition; establishing the illegal possession of ammunition as a criminal offense; banning the sale of armor piercing ammunition and the creation of the Dangerous Weapons Registry.

    The Dangerous Weapons Registry, the first in the nation, will require people who have been convicted of weapons offenses to register and check in with law enforcement at regular intervals. The registry will not be available to the public, only to law enforcement.

    “The Dangerous Weapons Registry will provide the Police Department with a tool to monitor those people who are caught possessing or using unregistered guns and cause havoc in New Haven. The City will be safer because of it,” noted New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman.

    The bill requires that certain mental health services be considered urgent care and reauthorizes the School Security Infrastructure competitive grant program that will reimburse municipalities for upgrades to school security infrastructure.

    "I applaud the state Legislature for coming together around a bill that will help families get access to critical mental health services, make our schools safer and ultimately reduce gun violence. In this post-Newtown world, Connecticut is taking a firm stand against gun violence. And in our cities where we face these issues every day, this legislation will make a difference," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo.

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