The governor of Connecticut added his voice to the continued national debate over gun control with deeply critical comments directed at the National Rifle Association.
Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, said Monday that the powerful gun lobbying organization had become a “terrorist organization” in recent years.
He claimed that the NRA embraced more nuanced positions in previous generations but has since moved to the extreme.
“The NRA today is a far cry from the NRA that in 1999 said that teachers shouldn’t carry weapons in schools,” Malloy said. “Or in the ’90s said we should have universal background checks. They have in essence become a terrorist organization.”
He went on to denounce NRA decisions that left no room for differing opinion.
“You want to make safer guns? We will boycott your company,” he said. “That’s who they are. That’s what they do.”
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker dismissed Malloy’s comments as evidence of “political stunts and childish name calling” she believes have replaced meaningful discussion on the topic of guns in America.
“The NRA is comprised of over five million law-abiding citizens, many of whom are teachers, doctors, policeman, farmers, moms and dads residing in Connecticut,” she said. “So let’s be clear, Gov. Malloy just called tens of thousands of his constituents terrorists.”
As WTIC reported, Malloy is not the only Connecticut Democrat using the current national climate to rail against the NRA.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin recently pushed for a statewide measure that would strip the NRA from a law including it as a recognized provider of gun-safety training needed to obtain a firearm permit in Connecticut.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Lumaj reacted to statements by both men, which he called “outrageous and embarrassing!”
Bronin expanded on his position in comments he made Tuesday evening.
“The idea that the NRA should be recognized as a voice for gun safety is ridiculous,” he said.
Bronin went on to ridicule the thought of allowing NRA-affiliated trainers to determine which residents of the state are qualified to carry a firearm.
“If the NRA had its way we wouldn’t be permitting in the first place,” he said. “This is an organization that opposes universal background checks despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans and even a large number of NRA members support universal background checks.”
His position has also elicited a response from the group, this time in the form of a statement from NRA Institute for Legislative Action spokesperson Catherine Mortensen.
“No organization in the world does more to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms than the NRA,” she said. “The NRA’s Basics of Pistol Shooting course is the best training available for anyone seeking to carry a concealed firearm for self-protection. By eliminating the NRA training and standards for Connecticut’s permit holders, Mayor Bronin is putting politics above the safety of Connecticut citizens.”
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