Gun and magazine manufacturers said Wednesday that they are still not sure of the full impact of Connecticut’s gun-control bill, adding that they are uncertain whether they will keep their companies in the state.
Three pro-gun advocates came to the Capitol press room and said that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s repeated public assurances that they are still welcome in Connecticut were meaningless.
“His assurances mean nothing to me,” said Mark Malkowski of Stag Arms, a rifle manufacturing company that has 200 employees in New Britain.
The gun advocates said they had not seen a manufacturer’s exemption in the 139-page bill, saying they are unsure if the ban against possession of magazines would apply to a truck driver who was leaving a manufacturing plant with magazines inside the truck.
Jonathan Scalise, founder, owner and president of Ammunition Storage Components, said he could not say whether his firm, which has 150 employees in New Britain, will be operating in Connecticut one year from now. The firm manufactures magazines that can hold 30 bullets, as well as 20 rounds and 40 rounds. The workers make magazines for both rifles and pistols.
Adam Lanza, who fired 154 rounds in about four minutes, was using 30-round magazines when he killed 20 children and six female educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14. He then shot and killed himself as police were approaching the school.
Scalise said the manufacturers were not involved in the final negotiations on the bill that Malloy has pledged to sign.
“There’s a tremendous lack of transparency,” Scalise said in the Capitol press room. “We can’t have a public hearing. We have to rush this through. There is no transparency. We have to have this done today? There’s no opportunity for the public to see it.”
Jake McGuigan of the National Shooting Sports Foundation said that gun control supporters were “paid to come here” for protests.
“Look who is funding this in the state,” McGuigan said. “Look at the Bloomberg mayors against illegal guns. Look as far as that as who is pushing the agenda here in Connecticut and in other states. I’ve seen the same thing in Maryland. We saw the same thing in Colorado.”
“But they paid people to show up at these rallies?” a newspaper reporter asked.
“Just look into it,” McGuigan said.
The Connecticut bill, he said, is 45 pages longer than the New York legislation that also did not have a manufacturers’ exception.
But the pro-gun advocates said that banning guns is not the answer.
“It’s a mental health issue,” McGuigan said. “It’s not a firearms issue.”