Hartford - Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have been meeting for four days but haven't come to an agreement yet on gun control issues proposed by the legislature's Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety.
The group hasn't begun discussing school safety or mental health services because it is still focused on gun control, Senate President Pro Tempore Don Williams, D-Brooklyn, said.
"My hope is that there is a bipartisan bill," he said, "but as I said before we had a bipartisan process, there is no guarantee of a bipartisan outcome."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said on Wednesday that the people of Connecticut had waited long enough, but that he was not a part of the legislature so would have to leave it up to them.
"I can't make Republicans agree to an (emergency certified bill). That is not something I can do," Malloy said.
The original goal was to have a bipartisan bill that was emergency certified and, as such, would passed through the House and Senate more quickly than a normal bill. The legislature could pass an emergency-certified bill with or without bipartisan support if the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore sign the emergency-certified bill and there is a simple majority in favor of it.
At this time, legislative leaders say they want to keep meeting.
"As long as we continue to make progress, I am going to continue to be optimistic that we can have a bipartisan package," Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said Tuesday. "We are not talking about lengthy delays, I mean we are still working toward getting a package and getting it done as quickly as we can."
The Public Safety and Security Committee will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. today on Senate Bill 1076, which has numerous gun control measures in it. The bill includes expanding the definition of an assault weapon, limiting the sale of firearms to one per 30-day period and requiring a rifle permit to purchase a firearm other than a pistol or revolver, which already require a permit.
This traditional process gives the public another chance to voice concerns, Williams said, but a traditional bill would take more time to pass. A traditional bill it would be brought to a vote in the House and the Senate sometime in May.
"Which is why I think everyone would like to see a vote prior to that," Williams said.
He said that if the leaders can come up with a comprehensive bill, there would be another opportunity for public input on it. There already have been four public hearings - on gun violence, school safety and mental health, he said.
One of the main disagreements between task force Republicans and Democrats concerns expanding the definition of assault weapons and limiting high-capacity magazines, provisions not included in Republican proposals to legislative leadership.
"To me, those are the basic building blocks of any comprehensive bill that addressees the tragedy in Newtown," Williams said last week. He said Wednesday that he still stands by that statement.
Results of a March 6 Quinnipiac University poll indicate that these measures are widely supported.
Seventy percent of those polled support a statewide ban on "ammunition magazines" with more than 10 rounds, according to the poll, and 71 percent support expanding the definition of assault weapons.
Also today, 400 to 500 Colt employees will rally at the state Capitol on the importance of keeping gun manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.