HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Mayors from the state’s major cities joined Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) in Hartford on Tuesday to announce proposals to reduce gun violence in Connecticut.
“If this law was passed, some of our children would still be here today,” said Laquavia Jones, who lost two sons to gun violence.
The New Haven mother stood with mayors from New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport, and Waterbury, as well as the governor, in calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to cut down on gun violence and impose stricter guidelines for repeat offenders.
“The overwhelming amount of violence we see in our community is caused by a very small number of people,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker (D) said.
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Last year in Hartford, 39% of the suspects in fatal and non-fatal shootings were on pre-trial release. In Waterbury, it was 30%.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities established a special task force dedicated to gun violence reduction last year.
The task force made ten recommendations that would increase accountability for repeat offenders and establish a new definition for a serious firearm offense in the state.
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“You should have to post at least 30% of your bail. The bond that’s set in order to get out on pre-trial release,” Hartford Mayor Bronin (D) said.
Offenders can post as little as 7% or less if a bail bondsman funds it, according to Bronin.
The mayors said these recommendations are just part of a comprehensive strategy that must include mental health and behavioral health treatments, the Department of Corrections, and expanded support for youth services.
News 8 received the following statement from House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-86) on Wednesday.
“While I appreciate the concept of investing in social and community programs geared toward preventing gun violence, any effort toward achieving that objective must include a strong push to ensure those charged in violent and gun-related offenses are prosecuted with the goal of taking these individuals off our streets rather than giving them multiple chances. Tuesday’s message from municipal leaders was a welcome one, and I hope the proposals they described as well as those introduced by Republicans will spur action by a Governor’s administration and Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee that have both found it difficult to get an arm around the concept of holding criminals accountable for their actions.”