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OpinionColumnistsLane Filler

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, legislators postpone leadership talks on Newtown bill due to weather

A variety of military-style semiautomatic rifles are displayed.

A variety of military-style semiautomatic rifles are displayed. (Dec. 27, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

HARTFORD, Conn. - The winter storm delayed planned legislative leadership talks Friday on a possible bipartisan bill addressing the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Democratic and Republican leaders were scheduled to hold a third session of closed-door discussions. Two Democratic staff members confirmed those talks are expected to resume on Monday.

On Thursday, leaders said they remained optimistic about reaching a bipartisan agreement, saying they were continuing to make progress. There have been some questions as to whether a bipartisan deal can be reached considering some Democratic and Republican lawmakers differ over whether to expand the state's assault weapons ban and whether to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The lawmakers are sifting through recommendations from three subcommittees that reviewed laws and policies affecting gun violence, school safety and mental health.

Meanwhile, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission continued to meet on Friday. Members heard from emergency management experts. That panel is expected to issue an interim report around mid-March to the Democratic governor, who has already released his own recommendations concerning gun control.

Malloy told reporters on Friday that he has been kept informed of the legislative leaders' progress. He said he expects his office will eventually get involved in the process.

"I think that they are trying to work out what they agree on," he said. "When they agree on something hopefully that I can support we'll make sure it is drafted in the appropriate fashion so you can't drive a truck through a loophole."

Malloy said he agrees with recent comments from Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, that an expanded assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines has to be part of the final package.

"It is certainly in my proposal, as you well know," he said. "I thought it was critical."