Monthly Archives: April 2013

As Ruger Posts Record Sales, We’re Still Waiting For Feinberg To Sell Freedom Group

by Categorized: Manufacturing, Wall Street Date:

No one should be surprised that Sturm, Ruger & Co. reported record sales for the first three months of 2013. Even before the Newtown tragedy, in early 2012, the Fairfield-based gunmaker had to halt new sales for a few weeks just to keep up with the crush of orders.

Now Sturm, Ruger — which has its head office in Connecticut but no production — says it’s looking for a third factory location. Sales jumped 39 percent from an already great level, to $156 million, with a net profit of $24 million.

Don’t look for the company to join Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Next Five program.

And with firearms profits as high as they are, we’re left wondering why Stephen Feinberg, founder and head of Cerberus Capital, hasn’t been able to unload Freedom Group, the largest gun manufacturing concern in the nation. Recall, Feinberg and his firm issued a heartfelt release on Dec. 18, four days after the murders in Newtown, saying the giant equity capital firm no longer wished to be in the firearms business.

Cerberus hired Lazard Ltd., the investment bank, to help with the sale but more than four months later we have no word, and leaked reports from Wall Street say the deal isn’t going well. Reuters reported April 17 that Feinberg himself was bringing together a group of investors that might make a bid for all or part of Freedom Group — an odd event that raises conflict questions, the story noted, perhaps as a ploy to attract outside bids.

Cerberus amassed Freedom Group over the last eight years, including two of the largest makers of military-style rifles, one of them being Bushmaster, maker of the rifle used by the murderer at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  With Feinberg’s father, Martin Feinberg, a resident of Newtown, it made sense that he would want to wash his hands of the gun business.

Cerberus isn’t talking about the deal. What now makes sense is that the firm really has no reason to sell Freedom Group, which includes former Connecticut stalwarts Remington Arms and Marlin Firearms.  With profits like Sturm, Ruger is reporting, what’s the rush?

Two Months Is Too Long For Gun-Ban Rules

by Categorized: Manufacturing, Politics, Retail, Trade Date:

So much has happened since April 4 that it seems like more than four weeks since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the strict gun control bill into law.  We had the showdown on background checks in the U.S. Senate, and of course, the Boston Marathon bombings.

One thing that hasn’t happened — and won’t happen until June 1 — is the state clearing up all the sales rules on military-style weapons and magazines larger than 10 rounds, for retailers and manufacturers. That’s a long time for an up-or-down answer on whether a merchant can sell his or her wares under a law that took effect upon signing.

Ammunition Storage Components Dan Haar/The Hartford Courant

Ammunition Storage Components
Dan Haar/The Hartford Courant

Sure, the state has cleared up some of the obvious questions, like whether guns bought and paid for online before the law went into effect could be delivered later. (Yes.)  But there are lots of fine points, and they matter a lot to the people trying to make a living in the firearms business.

For example, suppose a buyer put down a deposit but not the whole amount for a gun that now can’t be sold. Suppose someone took an AR-15-style rifle to a consignment shop, which didn’t sell it. What does the 139-page law say?

Retailers and manufacturers have been waiting for answers, some patiently, some not. The state police special licensing and firearms unit is charged with sorting through the law and coming back with answers, and the unit has been working diligently along with lawyers from the Attorney General’s office and from the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which includes the state police.

It’s not that the lawyers are arguing, said Mike Lawlor, Malloy’s chief of criminal justice policy. Rather, he said, “There’s like a million different scenarios.”

One of those scenarios is unfolding at Ammunition Storage Components in New Britain, one of the nation’s largest makers of bullet magazines — many of them now banned for sale in Connecticut. The company has 5,000 orders from Connecticut customers placed before 12:21 p.m. on April 4, when Malloy inked his name using two dozen pens.

And those customers agreed to put a hold on their credit cards to cover the cost of their orders, owner Jonathan Scalise said. Will they get their goods? Probably yes. But probably isn’t good enough. Stay tuned until June 1.

“It’s a significant amount of orders and business that we don’t have a definitive yes or no,” Scalise said. “I will err on the side of caution…most of them have opted to leave the credit card charge on, but basically I have told them that I will do nothing to put them in any type of a situation where they may have inadvertently violated the law.”

Scalise is a lawyer by training and a reasonable guy who understands that processes take time. But he’s also angry.

“That’s just despicable,” he said. “You’re going to interfere with people’s rights…without clarity. If a law cannot be interpreted by the general public as read, it’s not a good law…it’s unfair and I would argue it’s unconstitutional.”

Retailers are in the same position. Two that I spoke with Monday said they’re being patient, the delay is not a huge burden, but they’re already taking a hit to their business and the delay is at best an annoyance and probably an additional cost.

The June 1 deadline will not even include rules on how the state will issue permits for the purchase of rifles and ammunition, and for the registration of magazines and rifles that are now banned for sale. That will come by Aug. 1, or at least that’s when Malloy said it will happen, and those permits and registrations don’t take effect until Jan. 1.

The problem here is not the delay at the state police firearms unit, which is well regarded by people in the industry, and it’s not that lawyers need time to work their magic. Rather, it’s that lawmakers and Malloy insisted on rushing a vote on an emergency certified law hours after lawmakers agreed on its basic framework, before anyone had time to figure out what it actually said.

The added permitting and registration that takes effect Jan. 1 could save lives by limiting access.  But it’s debatable whether the ban on sales of magazines holding more than 10 rounds and on some — but not all — semiautomatic rifles will save lives. With an estimated 8 million military-style rifles and millions more semiautomatic pistols in U.S. civilian hands already, would it have been so bad to give the law a June 1 start date?

Why make the Connecticut look like a chaotic place? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did that with an even bigger rush, and the result was a mess.

“The goal was to stop immediately the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Lawlor said. “There was a surge of purchases and the legislature wanted  to put a stop to that…if you had given it another month, then you would have a lot more weapons sold.”

Lawlor said no one is hurt by the delay, and he and others are working hard to make the process as smooth as possible and, as he put it, “to reassure people that these policies, they may not agree with them, but these policies are reasonable and not arbitrary.”

The gun industry and the National Rifle Association have long said that this or that new regulation is unworkable, Lawlor said. “These laws are very complicated but it’s unfair to say that it’s not going to work.”

Complicated indeed.  That’s why the start date should have been June 1. This isn’t a law setting up, say, medical marijuana, for which the state can take its sweet time writing rules. This is a ban that restricts rights and affects livelihoods. Taking a few weeks to make it more orderly would have helped the state’s argument that it’s reasonable and workable.

 

 

 

Congress Flies Through A Fix – To Help Congress

by Categorized: Politics, Public finance Date:

Blogger’s Note: This post originally appeared on Friday April 26 but disappeared due to system problems.

It’s nice that Congress managed to unclog the air routes by un-sequestering air traffic controllers at small airports such as Tweed in New Haven, but really, the gesture is less than public-spirited.

Former state Rep. Patrick J. Flaherty, now an economist at the state Department of Labor, posted this comment on Facebook before the House voted:

“So when the unpoor (air travelers) are inconvenienced by a reduction in government services the U.S. Senate can move quickly to address the issue….yet the overall unemployment crisis continues….”

Flight Delays Feared As Sequester Forces Air Traffic Controller Furloughs

Count the men and women in Congress, most of the frequent flyers, as part of that “unpoor” group.

And Flaherty isn’t alone. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, pointed out the inconsistency.

“Sequestration still is causing significant harm to military readiness at a time when threats in Syria, North Korea and the Persian Gulf are posing increased risk,” Courtney said late Friday in a written release. “This is in addition to kicking kids out of Head Start, cutting unemployment insurance and curtailing Meals on Wheels for seniors. ”

Now all we need is a majority in Congress with family members who are at-risk kids, jobless adults or low-income, elderly shut-ins. Or a moment of political sanity. Don’t look for either anytime soon.

Urban Surveillance Raises Civil Liberties Concerns In Wake Of Boston Bombings

by Categorized: Consumer, Media, Technology Date:

It’s clear that cities are moving headlong into not just widespread video surveillance, but also some very sophisticated forms of monitoring and artificial intelligence to manage all those images, as I wrote in a column Monday.  The Boston Marathon bombings displayed some of that, and will certainly speed it up.

Does anyone see a danger in all this spycam technology?  I spoke with a couple of lawyers in Connecticut who say yes, the public should be much more involved in how video surveillance is used, who gets to see the data and how long the records are kept.

“There needs to be a discussion and people have to realize how this will change things,” said David McGuire, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, in Hartford. “If you’re going to put cameras all throughout your town or cities, you owe it to your citizens to regulate that.”

This is not just a theoretical issue. Last year, the ACLU shocked a lot of us when it revealed that police departments in Connecticut were making — and keeping — millions of scans of license plates showing motorists’ exact movements.

The group tried to push a law through the General Assembly requiring authorities to destroy the data after 14 days unless there’s a criminal investigation underway. But the bill died last year and it’s not looking good for passage this year.

What’s the worry?

“These ever-growing databases will easily be able to reconstruct an individual’s movements or identify the vehicles that visit a particular church, mosque, adult bookstore or motel,” McGuire said in written testimony to the legislature. “This opens the door to retroactive surveillance of innocent people without a warrant, probable cause or any form of judicial oversight.”

In another instance, McGuire said, the Bridgeport schools installed cameras and other technology in a 4-block radius around the three high schools there — as part of an effort to assure safety, called “Safe Corridors.”

“The safe corridors brochure makes no mention of the video surveillance,” McGuire said. “The public needs to be engaged and there need to be reasonable safeguards in place.”

That’s the problem — the public isn’t engaged on the issue of surveillance, and ACLU has not been able to generate much discussion.

The issue here isn’t whether surveillance ought to be used. In a poll of 1,000 adults, conducted Monday and Tuesday and released Wednesday, Rasmussen Reports showed that 70 percent of Americans favor the use of surveillance cameras in public places — confirming the obvious.  If cameras can save lives and help avert tragedies like the Boston bombings, great.

But Rasmussen failed to ask how and whether spycam technology should be regulated — and few people seem concerned about this question. That seems odd.  It’s a sign of apathy, not an active public decision to do what it takes to boost public safety.

Part of the issue, said Norman Pattis, a New Haven attorney specializing in civil rights, is that expectations of privacy are eroding, along with privacy itself.

“I’m not so sure we think we have any privacy anymore,” Pattis said. “Social media and the younger generation lets it all hang out daily.”

Another problem, as Pattis sees it: the overlap of corporate and government activities, especially when it comes to surveillance.  Most of the systems being installed are done by private vendors to public agencies, and they are basically networking America — without clear lines of authority, and without clear boundaries as to what, exactly, is being watched, by whom.

“The Fourth Amendment imposes a limit on government, not corporations,” Pattis said. “I don’t think the law has caught up with the technology at all…if they become part of the government then you can treat them as an arm of the government.”

Looking at the technologies in use, no single system constitutes Big Brother by itself. But sooner or later it will be possible for companies and cities to combine spycam technologies to create a clear, permanent record of people’s activities. In addition to scanning systems for license plates and faces, there are, to give just two examples, systems that “learn” what is unusual in a scene, and issue warnings; and systems that remember who was at a certain location before.

“With all of this massive technology and invasive technology a keystroke away from the government’s use, at what point does it become the government?” Pattis asks. “The government will have at its fingertips the ability to know anything that we do, and that will undermine any sense of autonomy…People have a right to be left alone.”

Or do they? So far, we’ve seen precious little discussion of the issue.

“We’re being told that if we trade privacy for security, we’ll be safe,” Pattis said. “That’s the bill of goods that we’re being sold every day, that’s the danger of Boston.”

Boston raised awareness of the power of surveillance, just as 9/11 raised the profile more broadly of counter-terrorism, but that doesn’t mean the activities should be limitless.

“The American people value their privacy, much more than anyplace else in the world,” McGuire said.

That might not be true anymore, as we see surveillance not just for public safety, but marketing.

As one commenter to an earlier version of this column posted on Wednesday, “I am all for surveillance cameras. I worry more about being accosted by some slime bag after my possessions than I do about Target knowing what kind of car I drive.”

 

 

You Can Take That Job Evaluation And…

by Categorized: Jobs, Management Date:

Does your boss have it out for you?  Maybe your supervisor thinks you can do no wrong.  Either way, you might think the annual job evaluation is a waste of time, with check-boxes that make no sense and comments that seem off the wall.

Now you have facts to back up your grousing. At Southern Connecticut State University, management professor Paul Stepanovich took a close look at the office evaluation ritual and found not only that they aren’t always effective, but actually make matters worse.

“They generally do much more harm than good,” said Stepanovich, who’s chairman of the management and management information department at SCSU. “They have been criticized forever, yet almost every organization continues to do them.”

Why is that? Probably in part because the lawyers tell the folks in HR, who tell the division chiefs that job evaluations are the legal means companies have for establishing a documented record of employee performance — in case there’s a dispute down the line.

In a paper published in the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, Stepanovich said the evals are so biased that they “actually say more about the evaluator” than the employee, SCSU said.

“Those biases are usually unconscious,” Stepanovich said in a written release. “In fact, most supervisors believe they are providing pretty objective evaluations.  But the research is clear – they are not.”

 

 

Morgan Stanley Investor Poll: Upbeat Overall, Fearful of Foreign Markets

by Categorized: Banking, Consumer, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

Investors are generally optimistic about the economy and financial markets but are fearful of foreign stocks, according to a new poll by Morgan Stanley. And that’s odd, since the financial services giant is among many that are recommending more overseas investment in 2013.

The poll of 1,000 investors nationwide by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management shows that people listed foreign stocks and mutual funds as a bad investment more often than any other asset, other than U.S. government debt. Twenty-six percent said foreign stocks were bad, compared with 22 percent who said that’s a good investment in 2013.

morganstanley2

It depends on the asset, of course, but investors are clearly afraid of the unknown when it comes to foreign investments — despite the advice they’re getting. By contrast, 45 percent said the familiar Standard & Poor’s 500 stocks are a good investment, compared with 9 percent who called the blue chips a bad place for their money in 2013, and gold was the most popular choice as a “good” investment, cited by 48 percent.

Investors favor gold and U.S. stocks (top) rather than bonds and foreign assets (bottom).   Credit: Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Investors favor gold and U.S. stocks (top) rather than bonds and foreign assets (bottom).
Credit: Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

“On balance, Morgan Stanley recommends between international and emerging markets, that you have at least two times invested there as you do in U.S. markets,”  said Rick Ryan, regional director in New England and upstate New York for Morgan Stanley’s global wealth management business, in an interview.

“I can assure you there are very, very few investors that have that kind of profile,” Ryan added. “It’s a conversation investors ought to be having with their advisers.”

In other areas, chiefly the big picture, investors in the poll align with the mainstream advice they’re getting. Thirty-nine percent said their household’s financial condition is better now than it was a year ago, compared with 18 percent who said it’s worse. And 42 percent see more improvement in 2013, compared with 14 percent who see a deterioration.

They were even more ebullient about their financial portfolios — which makes sense, since the S&P 500 index was up 16 percent in 2012, including dividends, and is up further this year.

When it comes to the U.S. economy, 46 percent expect improvement over the next 12 months, compared with 33 percent who expect a decline.  A smaller group of 326 investors with at least $1 million in financial markets said they were even more optimistic about their own portfolios and the nation’s economy — and were less fearful about foreign investments.

“I happen to believe, and I know our firm believes, that the world economies are healing and recovering,” Ryan said, citing U.S. housing markets, Japan and even Europe as areas where improvement is happening.

Investors in the tri-state area were especially upbeat about the national economy, but the difference might not be statistically significant.

Some prognosticators are calling for a correction in the stock markets, which are at or near record highs, but Morgan Stanley, like other major financial firms, is generally advising a balanced portfolio, not a flight out of the markets.

Investors’ single biggest worry is the government budget deficit, with 65 percent saying they are very concerned. They might have even more to worry about if the government were to sharply cut spending, thereby potentially choking off the recovery.

“I’m not sure they are extrapolating what would happen to the economy if we do something about it,” Ryan said.

Forty-four percent said they’re very concerned about a downgrade in federal debt ratings. Forty-six percent said they’re concerned about a repeal or reduction in the home mortgage deduction and 44 percent cited “being able to afford quality health care” as a major worry.

Surprisingly, increases in taxes on dividends and capital gains tax rates were not a concern on the list, and an increase in the state tax was a major fear for 21 percent — somewhat more of the millionaire investors.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for the full group of 1,000 investors.

 

 

 

 

Tech Council’s Nemerson Leaving To Run For Mayor of New Haven

by Categorized: Politics, Technology Date:

After nearly ten years as president and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, Matthew Nemerson is pursuing a new goal: The mayor’s office in New Haven.

Nemerson, 57, is a former head of the chamber of commerce in New Haven and also co-founded Science Park, the technology development in the Elm City. He’s also active in ward politics there.

matthew nemerson

Matthew Nemerson photo courtesy of Connecticut Technology Council

 

Nemerson said Thursday he will take a leave from his job starting Monday, but will stay on part-time, focusing on some projects that are underway. He said the technology council, which represents over 2,000 companies with more than 200,000 employees, does have a succession plan but the board had not yet enacted it, so he didn’t give details.

Nemerson is one of several hopefuls seeking to follow 20-year incumbent Mayor John DeStefano, who isn’t running for re-election. Nemerson is challenging the field to a series of neighborhood-based debates, the New Haven Independent reports.

He’ll give watchers of the nexus between business and politics a lot to follow: He’s not a politician with a background in business, nor a businessman with an interest in politics, though he was chief operating officer of Netkey Inc., a Branford software firm that sold to NCR Corp.  Rather, Nemerson has lived at the intersection of business and public policy all along, and he has ideas for the city that extend from his ideas about economic development broadly.

“For most of time, cities have been about new groups coming to the city, getting power and figuring out how they can take part in all the benefits,” Nemerson said Thursday. Now, he said, “It’s going to be about the fact that the pie is actually smaller. The last time we went through that was in the 30s…How do we actually share the very difficult decisions as we go forward?”

That doesn’t mean cities such as New Haven will see less prosperity. I said in a column Wednesday, about long-term pension and health liabilities, that the American empire is fading — but that’s not a view Nemerson holds, at least as far as hopes for solutions.

“Lots of people have managed fewer resources…The places that are the most agile…they actually create collaboratives between workers’ interests and business interests,” Nemerson said. “If we can have a strategy to deal with that, then we can create a new American model of sharing power and sharing solutions to a really difficult problems.”

I asked Nemerson if he planned to come back to the tech council if he didn’t win. but wisely, he didn’t bite. “I’m preparing to say goodbye,” he said.  “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think that I had a path to victory.”

 

CEO Pay for 2012 in the U.S. and Connecticut: Part of a Broken System

by Categorized: Corporate finance, Economy, Labor, Wealth Date:

The AFL-CIO launched its annual database of CEO pay Monday, showing the average 2012 pay of CEOs at companies on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was $12.3?million, or 354 times more than the average American worker earned.
The average of those S&P 500 CEOs — the 327 companies that have filed for 2012 so far — was down 5 percent from 2011. It fell, according to AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch web site, only because Apple CEO Timothy Cook made $378 million in 2011 in a one-time payout, compared with $4.2 million in 2012. Otherwise, the rate would have been up by 5?percent.

Click here for list of 66 Connecticut CEOs and their pay.

Click here for searchable database of CEO pay by company, industry and state.

Connecticut companies had an average CEO pay of $6.3 million in 2012 or 2011, whichever year is the latest available.
That figure compares with $5.1 million, the average of all CEOs among about 1,500 in the labor coalition’s database. The lowest was Chris Koliopoulos at Middlefield-based Zygo Corp., the optics and instrument maker who made $1.9 million last year.
Connecticut CEOs whose companies are on the S&P 500 index and have reported 2012 pay — 13 in all — out-earned their counterparts nationally, with an average of $13.6 million, compared with $12.3 million. The top was United Technologies Corp. CEO Louis Chênevert, at $27.6 million, followed closely by General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt, at $25.8 million. Praxair’s Steven Angel pulled in $17.8 million while Aetna’s Mark Bertolini and Stanley Black & Decker’s John Lundgren each made a bit more than $13 million, and Cigna’s David M. Cordani came in at $12.9 million.

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Tax Day: Who Likes Filing, And Tips for Procrastinators

by Categorized: Consumer, Public finance Date:

Happy Tax Day! If you’ve already filed, you’re in the majority and you might be among the 34 percent of Americans who like or even love (5 percent) filing taxes, according to this Pew report.

Democrats are more likely to like filing than Republicans and low-income people favor the task more than those in the middle or the top — because those on the bottom are more likely to get refunds.

What the report doesn’t say is what percent of Americans who still have not filed as of midday on April 15, actually like filing.

If you haven’t filed or better yet, will miss the midnight deadline, here are some tips from the IRS:

Late Filing and Payment Penalties

What To Do If You Missed the Deadline (file, duh, but here are some tips).

General Tips for Paying Taxes

Among the many comic send-ups over late filing, Excedrin has a hilarious video in its campaign, “Who Deserves Excedrin The Most?”

Final note: According to a U.S. Postal Service phone recording, the tradition of the main Hartford branch on Weston Street staying open until midnight for late postmarks is over. “The last time to drop off mail for a postmark on April 15 is 8 p.m.,” the recording said.

Yankee Ingenuity Meets A Ban: Effort To Redesign AR-15 Underway

by Categorized: Commerce, Manufacturing, Technology Date:

As Mark Malkowski watched Gov. Dannel P. Malloy sign the gun control bill into law on April 4, he sat in his office with three military-style rifles.

Nothing unusual there, since Malkowski’s New Britain company, Stag Arms, makes the AR-15-style guns. But one of the black weapons was a bit different – it had a sawed-off pistol grip.

The de-gripped rifle was the first go-around in Stag’s effort to design a gun that’s legal for sale in Connecticut, and still has the core of the AR-15, the wildly popular type of rifle that represents fully one-quarter of all firearms sales in the United States.

Even as he considers relocation offers from Texas and other states, he’s moving ahead in the time-honored tradition of factory managers and engineers, solving the latest problem.

“Don’t dismiss the creative minds of manufacturers. We’re entrepreneurs, we’re job creators and we will do what we have to do to succeed,” he said, minutes after Malloy signed the bill.

On that day of grimness for this 10-year-old business with 200 employees, the gun with a lopped handhold might have seemed nothing more than a symbol of protest. But now, more than a week later, Malkowski reports progress.

“I’m currently working with some prototypes that may be something that would be available for Connecticut citizens,” Malkowski said. “It’s still early in the development.”

And it’s not just the employees at Stag. “We have been approached by a lot of other designers that have input,” he said.

The State Police firearms unit is still not prepared to say what designs, exactly, will be legal. “They’re not really giving much definition to anything right now,” Malkowski said.

The reason is that the unit, part of the Department of Public Safety, has more immediate concerns, such as figuring out what retailers may sell, and how they may sell it.

A deeper concern is the law itself, which is a lot harder to get around than previous gun bans. Many people have assumed that this ban is a true, outright prohibition on the AR-15 – unlike earlier bans.

In 1993, Connecticut passed a law banning military-style rifles, which allowed the basic AR-15 design to slip through with some minor changes. That law, similar to a federal ban in effect from 1994 to 2004, prohibited guns with at least two military-style features from a list that included a flash suppressor, adjustable stock, bayonet mount and pistol grip.

The pistol grip is the one indispensable feature, so gun-makers simply designed “ban-legal” versions that had the pistol grip but didn’t include those other things.

California tightened its version of the ban, essentially outlawing  detachable magazines — another crucial feature of all military-style firearms.  In response, companies designed a so-called bullet-button, which requires a jab by the point of a bullet or some other probing object to remove the magazine.

The result: The bullet-button made the magazine non-detachable under the law, and the modified gun was good to go in the Golden State.

The latest round of bans, in New York and Connecticut, apparently offer no such easy out, lawyers connected with the industry say. That means no pistol grip – a basic part of the AR-15 design since legendary inventor Eugene Stoner first developed the ArmaLite rifle in 1957 – unless Yankee ingenuity leads to some other answer.

The irony is that a pistol grip makes a rifle safer because it’s easier to handle and less likely to be fired accidentally, firearms instructors and manufacturers say. Another irony: A modified AR-15 might function more or less like a traditional rifle with semiautomatic action that’s far deadlier – but not banned.

Just this week John W. Olsen, president of the state AFL-CIO, suggested that manufacturers get busy finding ways to modify the gun so they can sell in Connecticut.

“Obviously we are going to do everything we can to comply with state law,” Malkowski said. “We’re trying to figure out what that is right now….We will be submitting designs to the state weapons unit as soon as they’re available.”