Malloy calls on gun industry to discourage illegal sales

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HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday joined a national attempt to gauge the gun industry’s interest in providing safer weapons and fighting illegal gun sales.


But the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation questioned the governor’s motives, charging that it was timed to coincide with a Monday-night forum to which the firearms trade organization was not invited.


“For a generation we’ve been hearing that it’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people,” Malloy said in a statement. “If that’s the case, then the gun industry has an obligation to tell us what they’re doing to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Time and again, we have seen the horrific results of inaction. It’s time that states and municipalities use the power of the purse to move the market in ways that will improve public safety.”


Malloy noted that state and municipal police departments have clout in the firearms marketplace and are in a position to support manufacturers that discourage illegal gun sales and want to sell safer weapons, such as those that cannot be fired by someone other than the legal owner.


Other officials who have signed the national Request for Information (RFI) include Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, and Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau.


“Now that Connecticut’s laws require every sale and purchase of firearms to be subject to a background check verified by the State Police, we anticipate that we will be better able to trace the origin of firearms that ended up in the hands of criminals and irresponsible gun owners,” said Dora Schriro, Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. “We plan to reach out to responsible firearms manufacturers to analyze this information and work with us to stop these illegal transfers.”


Malloy on Monday night joined a roundtable discussion in Milford to discuss gun safety with New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett, sponsored by Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut.


The National Shooting Sports Foundation said the industry sponsors a variety of programs to combat illegal gun purchases, and promote gun safety.


“One would think that if Gov. Malloy was truly interested in learning more about how Connecticut’s firearms manufacturers work, how we comply with federal regulations, and the major programs that we operate to promote firearms safety, then he would have asked us to meet with him directly,” the foundation wrote in an email response for comment. “Instead, we see a same-day press release about a roundtable discussion in Milford. We rather suspect that the Governor sees a political advantage in publicly sparring with the firearms industry, rather than really bringing us into a conversation. On April 15, we sent a letter to Commissioner Schriro requesting a meeting to discuss Connecticut’s new gun laws and the role of manufacturers and never received a response.”


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