Category Archives: Gun control

Malloy, Foley Square Off in First Debate

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, New Haven, Republicans, taxes, Tom Foley Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican business executive Tom Foley squared off Wednesday night in their first debate in 2014 with some lively exchanges.

The first question by moderator Ray Hackett involved whether the candidates believe the other was untruthful or unethical.

“The governor is the single most important person having an impact on people’s lives in Connecticut,” Foley responded. “I’ve talked about Malloy Math” on statistics offered by Malloy.

The numbers cited by Malloy on various occasions show “a lack of truthfulness that discredits a leader,” Foley said.

“I don’t recall the governor saying I didn’t tell the truth,” Foley said.

Malloy responded that there were only three people on the stage, and “only one of us has violated the law in Connecticut related to elections.”

“I don’t think you told the truth about Bibb,” Malloy said to Foley regarding the now well-known company that Foley operated and that has been the subject of numerous television commercials.

On the second question on crime, Malloy cited statewide statistics.

“Crime is down – 45-year low,” Malloy said. “I’m proud of that. I’m proud of making cities safer. … It’s not a matter of convenience or inconvenience. It’s a matter of public safety.”

But Foley countered, “In fact, I don’t think we are safer based on the bill that he passed.” He was referring to Malloy’s signature on a gun-control bill that was passed in 2013.

After Foley said that they had talked about guns, Malloy responded, “Tom and I haven’t had a conversation about this issue, ever” on guns.

“To say I’m not telling the truth is ridiculous,” Foley responded, saying that he essentially talks to Malloy through the press and does not have to speak face to face to get his points across on specific issues.

“If a repeal comes to me, I will never sign a repeal,” Malloy said of the gun-control law, adding that it has “led to lower crime.”

“First of all, governor, this is where you’re twisting the truth again,” Foley said, referring to what Foley had said about a potential repeal of the gun-control bill. “You’re twisting the truth again.”

“You should tell us about all of the litmus tests that you would have,” Malloy said. “That answer that you just gave? That was a career politician answer you gave.”

Concerning crime, Foley said, “Violent crime rates have gone down all over the country. … For the governor to go around saying that crime is low insults those communities” in the state’s largest cities.

“The governor says everything is fine with crime. I don’t agree,” Foley said, adding that three Connecticut cities rank in the top six nationally for the most crime.

“I don’t say everything is fine with crime,” Malloy responded. “It’s never dropping fast enough.” Continue reading

Dem Mayor Implies Foley Sold His “Soul to the Devil”

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, Tom Foley Date:

As part of their continued quest to portray Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley as an enemy of gun control, Connecticut Democrats arranged a conference call Tuesday to allow Democratic mayors and first selectmen to speak out.

Throughout the half-hour call, speakers praised Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as “courageous” for his willingness to take on gun rights groups after the 2012 Newtown school shootings. By contrast, they criticized Foley, who they say would repeal the state’s sweeping new gun control law.

“It’s unconscionable to me that Tom Foley would sell his soul to the devil,” East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said.

Leclerc and others on the call criticized Foley for his alliance with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a statewide fun owners group. She cited news reports that the CCDL would endorse Foley because he supports repealing the gun laws.

“If he’s making these type of promises, I can’t imagine what kind of promises he’d make [if] he has the keys to the governor’s mansion,” Leclerc said. “For Tom Foley to say he would veto the gun law….[that] should make every single person think about what else he would do.”

Chris Cooper, a spokesman for the Foley campaign, said the Democrats’ relentless focus on the gun issue is a an attempt to change the subject from Malloy’s economic record.

“This is another distraction by desperate Dan Malloy who does not want to talk about his record of Connecticut’s largest tax increase, unusually slow job growth and budget gimmicks. Tom Foley has never said he would seek to repeal the gun bill,” Cooper said.

Foley has not advocated for repeal of the gun bill. However, when asked about it at a

CCDL meeting in January, Foley said: “If the legislature was so inclined — the chances of that happening this year is probably the definition of zero — if I were governor and the legislature put in front of me legislation that would reduce the burden on law-abiding gun owners, I would sign it.”

Continue reading

NRA Rates Foley a B-

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gun control Date:

The National Rifle Association’s Political Action Committee has given Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley a B- rating.

His Republican primary opponent, John McKinney earned an F.

Foley’s grade puts him among the ranks of “generally pro-gun candidate[s],” the NRA said. “However, a “B” candidate may have opposed some pro-gun reform or supported some restrictive legislation in the past.”

Among candidates for lieutenant governor, Penny Bacchiochi, a state representative from Stafford, earns the groups top rating: an A. She is seen by the organization as a “legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.” In addition, Bacchiochi received the NRA’s endorsement.

Her Republican opponents, Heather Somers, the former mayor of Groton, and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker both also earned A ratings. Somers was A- and Walker’s was a qualified A, because it is based on his responses to an NRA questionnaire and not a voting record.

The organization only released its rating for candidates involved in primaries. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who does not face a primary, was not rated, through the NRA and other gun-owners’ groups have been sharply critical of the governor and his policies.


“You Don’t Want Two Clones”: McKinney and Walker Diverge on Guns

by Categorized: 2014 Election, David Walker, Gun control, John McKinney Date:

Republicans John McKinney and David Walker forged an alliance based on a strategic need to pool resources as well as a shared vision for strengthening the state’s economy.

But that doesn’t mean the gubernatorial running mates agree on every issue facing Connecticut. In fact, they diverge sharply on gun control, one of the defining controversies of the campaign.

McKinney, a state senator representing Newtown, was a key supporter of the sweeping gun control legislation that passed in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings. For that, and for his past support of gun control efforts, the candidate for governor earned an F rating from the NRA

Senate Republican Leader John McKinney. Hartford Courant photo.

Senate Republican Leader John McKinney. Hartford Courant photo.

and was branded “a true enemy of gun owners’ rights.”

Walker, who is running for lieutenant governor, defines himself as “a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.” He earned a qualified A from the NRA. (The grade is qualified because Walker, who has not held elective office, does not have a voting record on gun-related policies, although the NRA views him as a pro-gun candidate because of his responses to organization’s questionnaire.)

The split on guns could make for some uncomfortable moments on the campaign trail but Walker shrugs it off. “You don’t want two clones,” said Walker, who is not a pistol-permit holder but does own several antique guns that have been in his family for generations.


Still, Walker is taking some precautions. His campaign has two different lawn signs, one reading McKinney/Walker and one with just Walker’s name.

“We’re going to have both because the truth is, there are certain parts of the state where a McKinney/Walker sign might be OK and there are certain parts of the state where it may not be OK,” he told members of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee last week. “John and I are in strong agreement with regards to most policy issues on fiscal policy. We disagree on a few issues such as the 2nd Amendment. I’m a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment [and] that’s a big issue for certain parts of the population.”

And he reminded the Bridgeport Republicans on the way the system works: “All of you know you vote separately for governor and lt. governor
and while John McKinney and I have formed an alliance, the fact is when people go into the voting booth, they’re going to have to make a separate judgement on governor and lt governor.”



Gun Control Activists Will Protest Gov. Christie Visit to Connecticut

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Christie, Gun control, Tom Foley Date:

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie comes to Connecticut Monday, he will be met by protesters supporting tougher gun control measures.

Christie incurred the anger of gun control advocates last month, when he vetoed a bill that would have limited high capacity magazines to no more than ten rounds. He also refused to meet with families who lost loved ones in the Newtown school shootings.

Christie, a Republican, is coming to Connecticut to attend a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley of Greenwich. The fundraiser will be held in the exclusive Belle Haven neighborhood of Greenwich.

CT Against Gun Violence is organizing a coalition of groups to participate in the demonstration. The group sent out an email blast to supporters asking them to attend the protest.

“Foley is no friend of common-sense gun laws, having stated ‘If I’m governor, any further attempts and restrictions on law-abiding gun owners by our legislature will stop at the governor’s office,”’ the email stated. “Our response is to be there with as large a group as possible to let them know what the Connecticut Effect looks like.”

Blumenthal, Murphy Vote To Block Hunting, Fishing Bill

by Categorized: Gun control Date:

In a statement to protest the chamber’s failure to pass gun control legislation, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy on Monday voted against moving a hunting and fishing bill forward in the U.S. Senate.

Politico reported: “Shortly before the procedural vote Monday, two Democratic senators stood up to announce that they could not vote to advance the legislation in light of congressional inaction on gun control.”

Murphy said a statement on gun control was “long overdue.”

Last week, Blumenthal told Capitol Watch that gun control advocates in Congress were going to be “pursuing a new initiative centered on domestic violence.” Current law prevents people with permanent restraining orders from purchasing or possessing firearms, but does not extend to people under temporary restraining orders. Blumenthal said he wants to expand the ban to individuals under temporary restraining orders, and described the proposal as “a mental health initiative where…there’s a real opportunity for common ground.”

Q-Poll: 9 in 10 Americans Still Support Universal Background Checks

by Categorized: Gun control Date:

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 9 in 10 Americans support a background check requirement on all gun sales.

The Q-poll, released Thursday morning, showed 92 percent support for universal background checks, with 7 percent opposed. Among gun owners, the support was 92 – 6 percent. The number has hovered around 90 percent since February 2013, two months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Democrats who responded to Newtown with a push for stricter gun restrictions initially pointed to universal background checks as a compromise – a proposal that could pass a divided Congress if they were unable to draw enough support for more controversial policies, like an assault weapons ban or a limit on ammunition magazine size.

But a measure to expand the federal background check requirement failed to clear the U.S. Senate last year. Democrats who advocated for gun control could not win enough support, and the legislation fell six votes short of the 60-vote supermajority required to override a filibuster. Democrats, including the president, frequently cite previous Q-polls showing 90 percent support – “How often do 90 percent of Americans support anything?” President Obama asked last year.

The Q-poll released Thursday found that even Republican voters support background checks, 86 – 11 percent. Democrats – under the lead of President Obama, who made gun control a top priority at the beginning of his second term – showed overwhelming support of 98 – 2 percent. Continue reading

CT Delegation Asks Retailers To Adjust Gun Policies

by Categorized: Gun control Date:

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty joined with gun control advocates – including the sister of a Newtown victim – on Friday to call on the National Retail Federation to consider voluntary measures retailers can take in order to reduce gun violence.

The lawmakers last year pushed for changes to federal gun laws in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which met defeat in Congress. They have said publicly they are committed to keeping attention to the issue and eventually passing legislation to increase firearms restrictions. But with federal legislation unlikely anytime soon, advocates have focused their attention on finding other avenues to pursue their cause, launching campaigns asking Starbucks, Chipotle, and Facebook to change gun policies.

The lawmakers penned a letter Friday to the National Retail Federation and the country’s ten largest retailers – Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, Costco, The Home Depot, Walgreens, CVS Caremark, Lowes, Safeway, and McDonald’s -asking them to support gun control.

We need the voices of everyone that would be helped, including our nation’s retailers, to join us in this effort. Starbucks and Chipotle adopted customer-friendly policies that deter individuals from carrying firearms into their stores and we recently wrote to urge Target to follow their example,” the lawmakers wrote.

Tea Party Outlines Its Strategy

by Categorized: General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, Joe Visconti, John McKinney, tea party, Tom Foley Date:

Energized by Dave Brat’s surprising victory over House GOP leader Eric Cantor of Virginia on Tuesday, tea party activists in Connecticut have mapped out an electoral strategy that involves ousting Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and helping Republicans take control of the state Senate.

Working with members of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots are also aiming to roll back Senate Bill 1160, the sweeping gun control legislation signed into law last year after the Newtown school shootings.

In addition to trying to overturn the law through the courts, the groups are pursuing an electoral strategy.

“Step one: beat Malloy,” Dale “Duffy” Dauphinais, chairman of the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots said in an email that was sent to members Wednesday.

Dauphinais said the GOP candidate will be sorted out by the Aug. 12 primary. “Foley is the favorite,” he said in the email, which was obtained by the Courant. “McKinney is despised for his leadership  and vote for and passage of SB 1160.”

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Daughter of Slain Sandy Hook Principal Feels Betrayed by Boughton’s Decision to Split from Anti Gun Group

by Categorized: Gun control, Mark Boughton, Sandy Hook Date:

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, said politics prompted Mark Boughton to withdraw from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“My mom and my family have strong ties to Danbury – it was where my mother held her first school administration job and I know it is a place that was dear to her heart.  That’s why I feel betrayed to learn that Mayor Boughton is putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the safety of Connecticut families.  In fact, the tagline for his campaign is ‘People over Politics’ – but the only people that this decision serves are gun lobbyists,” Lafferty said in a statement.


“We need leaders who have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and who support common-sense reforms that respect rights while protecting people – that’s what Mayors Against Illegal Guns supports and fights for,” added Lafferty, who is an outreach associate for Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“Our state has been devastated by gun violence and we will remind voters of this betrayal of our trust when it comes time to cast votes,” she said.