Updated: Thursday, 10 Jan 2013, 7:02 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 10 Jan 2013, 7:02 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- The Republican leader in the State Senate says the state can ban high capacity ammunition magazines and a program to buyback the hundreds, possibly thousands in the hands of Connecticut citizens must be considered.
"It has to be if we're going to be serious, you can't say, 'this is banned going forward.' When you know that there are thousands, if not tens of thousands already in the hands of people across the state of Connecticut," said Republican Sen. John McKinney.
McKinney's district includes the Sandy Hook section of Newtown and he has already introduced a high capacity magazine ban co sponsored by Democrat Gary LeBeau of East Hartford. Other Democrats agree it's possible.
"We have done that in some towns. I believe New Haven has done that and it has been successful," said Democratic Sen. Joan Hartley.
Today was the first meeting of the legislature's "Public Safety and Security Committee" the one that will first hear about any proposed changes in the state's gun laws.
News 8 has learned that members of this commitee as well as some legislative leaders met with State Police officials earlier this week and came away from that meeting with the impression that a state ban on high capacity ammunition magazines might be impossible to enforce because there are just so many out there.
"No one really knows how much is out there and where it is and there was a feeling that, in fact, people would not willingly report that," said Hartley.
But there is already disagreement about doing it among the leaders of the Republican Party. The House Republican Leader Larry Cafero says no.
"It's almost impossible to ban those magazines," said Cafero.
Cafero thinks there's a better way around this, that long guns like the one used by the Sandy Hook shooter only be purchased by those already holding a handgun permit.
"If we were to pass a law that said, any long gun that accepts a magazine, a high capacity magazine, must be permitted in the same manner in which we permit hand guns that goes along way without taking away the hunting rifle, etcetera," said Cafero.
"Everybody we have buying long guns now is credentialed. I don't know why we need to have a permit and pay another fee for our rights," said Bob Crook of the Coalition of CT Sportsmen.
And Crook says law abiding gun owners are not the problem, that criminals and people with mental problems are the issue.
We can expect him and many of the members of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen to be making that point at every public hearing.