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Conn. lawmakers reach deal on ‘strongest’ gun laws after Newtown

Conn. lawmakers reach deal on ‘strongest’ gun laws after Newtown

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers announced a deal Monday on what they called some of the toughest gun laws in the country that were proposed after the December mass shooting in the state, including a ban on new high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead.

The proposal also called for background checks for private gun sales and a new registry for existing magazines that carry 10 or more bullets, something of a compromise for parents of Newtown victims who had wanted an outright ban on them, while legislators had proposed grandfathering them into the law.

The package also creates what lawmakers said is the nation’s first statewide dangerous weapon offender registry, immediate universal background checks for all firearms sales and expansion of Connecticut’s assault weapons ban.

A new state-issued eligibility certificate would also be needed to purchase any rifle, shotgun or ammunition under the legislation. To get the certificate, a buyer would need to be fingerprinted, take a firearms training course and undergo a national criminal background check and involuntary commitment or voluntary admission check.

The deal is “the most comprehensive package in the country because of its breadth,” said Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, a Fairfield Republican whose district includes Newtown.

Rubio claims high-risk pivot point on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whatever immigration deal might be claimed by labor and business, or by Democrats and Republicans, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is serving notice it has to go through him.

The tea party favorite made it clear over the weekend he has a make-or-break role for the most sweeping immigration changes in decades. It’s a high-risk strategy that also puts his presidential ambitions on the line.

Four Republican senators are involved with Democrats in crafting a bipartisan bill to secure the nation’s borders, improve legal immigration and offer eventual citizenship to millions now in the U.S. illegally. But only Rubio has the conservative bona fides plus life-story credibility to help steer the bill through the Senate with strong support from the GOP, and give it a chance in the House, where conservative Republicans hold more sway.

More than anyone else, Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, could have the clout to hold off rebellion from conservative talk show hosts and a Republican base whose opposition helped kill immigration changes last time around, in 2007. And perhaps only Rubio could sink the entire effort just by walking away.

Stockton, Calif., the most populous city

to enter bankruptcy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The people of Stockton will feel financial fallout for years after a federal judge ruled Monday to let the city become the most populous in the nation to enter bankruptcy.

But the case is also being watched closely because it could answer the significant question of who gets paid first by financially strapped cities — retirement funds or creditors.

“I don’t know whether spiked pensions can be reeled back in,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein said while making the ruling. “There are very complex and difficult questions of law that I can see out there on the horizon.”

The potential constitutional question in the Stockton case is whether federal bankruptcy law trumps a California law that says money owed to the state pension fund must be paid.

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