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Malloy releases statement after Obama speech

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Following the speech by President Barack Obama, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy explained that he will do what he can to reduce gun violence in state following the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown.

"In the hours after the worst of our fears were confirmed, in the midst of the grief and sorrow over the loss of 20 innocent children and six dedicated educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there was one question on the minds of people across Connecticut and around the nation: How do we make sure this never happens again?"

On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother at their home, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 children and adults.

On Wednesday afternoon, Obama held a press conference where he stated a $500 million program will be established to reduce gun violence.

The president is also proposing universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"Today the President took the critical first step toward answering that question," Malloy said in a statement Wednesday. "The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the Vice President for their work on this issue."

Malloy said he pledged to do whatever he could to curb gun violence in Connecticut and wanted to make the state a model for the rest of the country.

"Over the coming months, I will do everything in my power to make sure that Connecticut is a national leader in preventing gun violence," Malloy said. "We will take steps to make sure that our gun laws are as tight as they are reasonable, that our mental health system is accessible to those that need it, and that our law enforcement personnel have all the tools they need to protect public safety, particularly in our schools."

The governor has recently established a 16-member Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which will review school safety, gun control laws and regulations and mental health issues. The commission, which will be led by Chairman Scott Jackson, who is the mayor of Hamden, will release its initial report on March 15.

"We will not be able to stop gun violence completely, but we can make our country and our children safer," Malloy said. "We owe it to them, and to all those lost in Sandy Hook, Aurora and every other city that has lost someone to gun violence, to try."

However, Malloy said Connecticut officials as well as ones in other states could not accomplish their initiatives "alone."

"We need leadership at the federal level, and for the first time in a long time, we have it," he said.

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