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Byline: Gregory B. Hladky
Feb. 19--HARTFORD -- A special state task force created in 2000 to combat illegal trafficking in firearms has been hampered for years by declining federal and state funding, despite growing concerns about gun violence in Connecticut.
But a key Democratic lawmaker and Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell's spokesman said that a proposal to dedicate an additional $500,000 a year to the task force finally has a chance for approval in 2007.
"It has worked," state Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, said of the efforts of the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force. "This is one important tool we have to look at to get illegal guns off our streets."
Dargan is co-chairman of the legislature's Public Safety Committee, and he said his panel will "vote this bill out," saying the target for increased funding for the task force is "to start at …