Connecticut residents should consider days of community service and kindness to mark the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said last week.

Malloy, speaking after he introduced a daylong symposium about the Second Amendment at the University of Connecticut School of Law, said he supports the decision of Newtown officials to refrain from holding public events on Dec. 14.

"First of all, I think we need to respect Newtown and the families, at least with respect to Newtown wanting it to be low-key" Malloy told reporters. "I think calling for acts of kindness and service makes a lot of sense as an appropriate way to remember those who died just under a year ago.

"I want to do everything I can to be helpful and supportive of the families and the community; to not get in the way, but to remind our Connecticut citizenry of what we've come through."

Malloy declined to say what he plans to do to mark the anniversary of the massacre of 20 first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"I'm giving a lot of thought to it," he said. "Whatever we do will be respectful of the families and respectful of the community of Newtown. At the same time, we will mark the occasion in some appropriate fashion."

Malloy made his remarks after opening the UConn symposium, in which he told about 200 people that he supports the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.

"But no right is without its limitations," Malloy said. "Research clearly shows that there is a direct correlation between stricter gun regulation and fewer firearm fatalities."

The governor pointed out that recent grants for added school security have brought the total amount available to $21 million.

"Rather than turn our schools into fortresses, with armed guards posted outside every classroom, we chose instead to work with municipalities to harden the infrastructure of our most-vulnerable schools," he said. "We will never be able to prevent even random acts, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible."

Malloy stressed that while the vast majority of the American public supports universal background checks for prospective gun buyers, the proposal continues to die in Congress.

"We have a long history of regulating firearms in our country," he said.; 860-549-4670;;;