State News: Connecticut’s 2nd annual #KeepKidsSafe Statewide Gun Buyback event held Saturday, the Connecticut General Assembly holds caucuses for leadership and state legislators consider a gas tax holiday extension 

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Second annual #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback and Gun Safe Giveaway Day held Saturday 

The second annual #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback and Gun Safe Giveaway Day was held Saturday in six towns across the state. The event was organized by The Campaign to Keep Kids Safe (CKKS). 

Gun owners were allowed to dispose of unwanted and unsecured guns, while remaining 100% anonymous with no questions asked. Those who turned in functioning guns were given gift cards of varying amounts depending on the type of gun. The event was hosted in Guilford, Hartford, Newtown, Middletown, Stamford and Waterbury according to WNPR

The CCKS was created in 2019 by the Newtown Action Alliance Foundation and the Ethan Miller Song Foundation as an “educational program for parents, educators & healthcare professionals to reduce unintentional shootings among children and childhood gun suicides and homicides in America; to provide gun safes to gun owners; and promote community gun buyback opportunities,” according to the event website

Sergeant Chris Mastroianni of the Hartford Police Department told WNPR that this program is effective at removing unwanted guns from the public. 

“This program has been tremendously successful… last year we pulled in 150 firearms in almost 3 hours,” Mastroianni said. 

Connecticut General Assembly holds caucuses to determine leadership 

The Connecticut General Assembly has held caucuses to determine leaders for the upcoming 2023 legislative year according to WTNH. The Connecticut General Assembly will reconvene on Jan. 4, 2023 barring any special legislative sessions. 

While a few seats still remain too close to call, Democrats will remain in control of both the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Connecticut Senate. 

Both Speaker of the House Matt Ritter and Republican House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora were re-elected in their respective caucuses. 

Turnout regarding Election Day in Connecticut has also been released. According to WTNH, “Voter turnout hovered at 57.53%, according to unofficial reports from the state. In 2018, it was 65.23%”. 

State legislators consider extending gas tax holiday 

State legislators are considering extending the gas tax holiday according to the CT Mirror. The gas tax is currently waived in Connecticut, totaling 25 cents per gallon. 

The Connecticut gas tax holiday was expected to expire on Nov. 30. First implemented on Apr. 1 when gas was around $4.30, it was renewed on Jun. 30 after gas still hovered around almost $5.00. Gas on Friday was reported to be around $3.79 according to AAA, 34 cents higher than last month. However, gas in Connecticut is currently around the national average. 

While the Connecticut General Assembly does not reconvene till Jan. 4, a potential special session is set for late November. 

According to the CT Mirror, Democrats in the House and Senate have recently renewed interest in supporting an extension of the gas tax holiday. Both Republican minorities in the House and Senate support extending the gas tax holiday.  

While Governor Lamont wants to make sure extending the gas tax holiday would not impair state maintenance of roads and bridges, he remarked Wednesday that he’ll make sure to listen to the legislators recommendations. 

“I’ll be there, listening with the legislature all year [to] things we can do to make it more affordable,” Lamont said Wednesday. 

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