Conn. lawmakers debate gun control package

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers are debating a wide-ranging package of gun control measures with expectations they will pass, over the outcry of gun rights advocates.

Debate on the legislation opened today in the state Senate, which is expected to approve what supporters say is the most comprehensive legislation on the issue in the country. The House is expected to take up the package after the Senate acts.

Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., a Brooklyn Democrat, told colleagues that last year’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School demands a “powerful response” that “transcends politics.” Republican Sen. Toni Boucher of Wilton called the Newtown killings the nation’s worst nightmare, saying parents expect their children to be safe when they head off to school.

Police presence has been heavier than usual around the state Capitol and the issue has drawn a heavy turnout by gun rights advocates — some holding signs questioning the proposals’ constitutionality.

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