The governor of Connecticut has vowed to issue an outright ban on gun sales to people on federal government terrorist watch lists, including the no fly list.
“If Congress will not act, we in the states will,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told reporters Thursday. “The [National Rifle Association] and their supporters have stood in the way time and time again as we have fought for sensible gun violence prevention … these are measures that will save lives.”
Malloy said he is working with the Obama administration to obtain the lists, according to the Hartford Courant.
The move makes Connecticut the first state to ban gun sales to people on such lists.
“Like all Americans, I’ve been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris,” Malloy said. “This should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is a moment to seize here in America, and today I’m here to say in Connecticut, we are seizing this moment.”
Its unlikely the Democrat governor will face much, if any, push back from his all Democrat legislature.
“His action underscores that Congress has failed to act — completely abdicating responsibility as a public health crisis sweeps the nation, killing 30,000 Americans each year,” State Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal said in a statement, the Courant reported. “If you are too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun.”
The NRA and the American Civil Liberties Union were less than pleased with the governor’s decision.
“The governor knows full well that law-abiding Americans who pose no threat to national security are mistakenly on the terror watch list,” the NRA’s director of public affairs, Jennifer Baker, said. “The NRA’s only objective is to ensure that law-abiding American citizens who were mistakenly put on the list are afforded their constitutional right to due process. Due process is a pillar of the American justice system and cannot be discarded for a talking point that makes people feel safer.”
“The ACLU of Connecticut has severe reservations about the reliability and constitutionality of government watch lists like the no-fly list,” ACLU Connecticut executive director Stephen Glassman said. “While we acknowledge that the governor’s intentions are admirable, the government’s watch list system is notorious for including innocent people, and the ACLU was in court this week fighting to fix the inadequate process for people wrongly blacklisted on the no-fly list to clear their names.”
Connecticut Citizens Defense League was equally unhappy, according to the Courant.
“Gov. Malloy is planning to take what is in our view unconstitutional executive action that would prohibit firearms purchases and seize firearms of individuals who have not been indicted or convicted for any crime,” CCDL president Scott Wilson said. “While we are all concerned about terrorism, this approach is very un-American and shameful.”
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