Category Archives: Gun control

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.”

Continue reading

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.

Boughton Withdraws from Bloomberg Gun Control Group

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gun control, Mark Boughton Date:

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican running for governor, announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national gun control group formed by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Boughton is well-known for his adept use of social media but, as of early afternoon, there was no mention of his decision on either his mayoral or campaign Twitter feeds. Nor did he mention it on Facebook.

The Boughton campaign tweeted the news Wednesday afternoon:

Boughton initially announced his withdrawal from the group in a brief statement posted on the news page of his campaign website. He later issued a press release.

“As a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, I was a strong supporter of the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut. This remains my position today,” Boughton said.

“I joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) because I believe enforcement of existing gun laws is preferable to creating new gun laws,” Boughton said. “It is clear in recent months however that Bloomberg’s mission has changed from law enforcement to simply increasing gun regulations. As a result, today I have ended my affiliation with Bloomberg’s group.”

Boughton, one of six Republicans running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has endured considerable criticism from gun-control opponents for his membership in Bloomberg’s group.

“Gun owners in Connecticut are not going to accept or vote for candidates that support gun control; especially ones seeking the highest of State offices,” Scott Wilson, president of Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said in January.

“Mayor Boughton is a coalition member of an active anti-2nd Amendment organization that claims to support sensible gun reforms,” Wilson added. “In reality the group, ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns‘ continually works to infringe on the rights of law abiding gun owners. The Mayor’s statements about the recently passed gun laws, are also very troubling to gun owners in Connecticut.”

Asked last year by Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie whether he would have signed the sweeping gun control bill enacted by the legislature after the Newtown school shootings, Boughton hedged.

“I believe and have believed that those people deserved a legislative response,” Boughton told Stuart. “I don’t know if the legislature got it right. I think in many, many ways they didn’t get it right. Particularly when it relates to school safety. To only put $15 million to harden our school sites in the entire state of Connecticut is absolutely bizarre.

Boughton’s decision to withdraw from Mayors Against Illegal Guns drew a sharp rebuke from Democratic state Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo.

“After trying to position himself as a moderate, middle of the road guy, Mark Boughton is now so worried about his political future that he’s decided it’s time to pander to the NRA,” DiNardo said in a statement. “Was he spooked by seeing Tom Foley and Martha Dean at last week’s rally? Who knows? Whatever his reasoning – and spare me the rhetoric in his press release; it’s absurd – he’s now shown that when it comes to common sense gun control, Mark Boughton stands against the people of Connecticut.”

White House to Honor Newtown High School Senior

by Categorized: Gun control, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

Newtown High School senior Sarah Clements is one of nine grassroots leaders who will be honored this week at the White House.

Clements is the founder and chairwoman for Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, and has been a forceful advocate for gun-violence prevention efforts. Clements\’ mother survived the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Clements is also a gun violence prevention volunteer at Generation Progress, the youth advocacy branch of the Center for American Progress. She has helped build a national network of young people working on gun violence prevention on high school and college campuses.

Clements will be honored by President Obama Thursday as a \”Champion of Change.\”

In addition to Clements, President Obama is also honoring another Newtown resident: Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was one of 26 people killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.