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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- The first change in state law in direct response to Sandy Hook occurred during Wednesday night's special session.

And Thursday lawmakers announced a roster of eight proposed changes in the state's gun laws.

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Some state lawmakers are not going to wait to see what happens at the federal level. They want to move ahead on changes early next month.

Less than a week after the atrocity at Sandy Hook, a detailed and extensive package of proposed changes in gun laws has already been announced at the State Capitol.

"A number of years ago, I worked with one of the mothers of one of the victims and I asked her, 'what can I do to help,' and she said, 'I want you to come down and see me,'" said Sen. Beth Bye.

State Senator Beth Bye is the co-author of the proposals.

She is a friend of the mother of six-year-old Ana Grace Marquez-Greene.

"I sat with her mother, with her husband and they said, 'we just want to make sure something happens," Bye said, "and she's particularly concerned about mental health care, as well as gun control."

The proposal would immediately expand the definition of Assault Weapon under current state law to apply to firearms which show one particular physical trait, as opposed to two, like the presence of a pistol grip beneath the action of the weapon.

And despite the fact that there are perhaps thousands of legal handguns in the state with a greater than 10 cartridge magazine capacity, this proposal would prohibit the sale and possession of any magazine with a capacity of over 10.

The proposal would also call for a 50 percent sales tax on all ammunition, permits would be required to purchase ammunition, and the online purchase of ammunition would be prohibited.

Bye also says she is swamped with calls for this from her own district.

"My constituents have been screaming to do something...now," Bye said.

In their special session Wednesday night, lawmakers have already changed the first law in direct response to the Sandy Hook shooting,

It will allow school districts access to state funds for improving school security, using a fund normally used for roads and other town improvements.

"They may well have some needs in the area of school security in particular that they want to address right away," said State Budget Director Ben Barnes, "and if we can give them the flexibility to use those resources in order to get that work done as quickly as possible, it's the least we can do."

This was the last minute idea of Republican State Rep. John Fry of Ridgefield, and the legislative leadership quickly re-wrote a section of the budget mitigation bill passed Wednesday night to get it done.

Copyright © 2012 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
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