HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Fed up with inaction in Washington, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he wants to be the first governor in the nation to ban people on federal no-fly watch lists from buying guns in his state.
Malloy, a Democrat, said that his order would make Connecticut the first state to make such a rule, and that state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists. As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Malloy’s move could also put pressure on other governors to act.
“If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters at the state Capitol. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.”
Malloy said he is responding to the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead.
“Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attack in California and Paris,” Malloy said. “This should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is a moment to seize here in America, and today, I’m here to say that in Connecticut, we are seizing this moment.”
Following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012 – where 20 schoolchildren and six staffers were murdered in a hail of bullets – the state enacted some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. Those laws expanded the state’s assault weapons ban and barred the possession and sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.
Malloy’s proposal would make it even tougher.
“It is incumbent upon all leaders of government to protect its citizenry,” Malloy said.
FBI data show that 2,233 people on the terror watch list tried to buy guns in the past decade. They succeeded more than 90 percent of the time.
Malloy said the executive order would deny the issuing of gun permits, which may be appealed to a firearm review board.
Before Malloy can act, however, the federal government will have to give Connecticut State Police access to its no-fly and terror watch lists. If approval is granted, Malloy will empower the state to use the data for background checks required to buy handguns, shotguns or rifles, as well as ammunition.
Malloy said he is acting because lawmakers in Washington have not.
“I have previously written to Congress about this matter, but inaction is not an option, so in Connecticut, we shall be acting,” Malloy said. “If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm.”
State officials will determine the “appropriate lists” to be included, whether they are no-fly lists or “some kind of combination of those who should not have weapons,” Malloy said.
Some Democrats quickly praised Malloy for the move.
The move also prompted New York State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan) to call immediately on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do the same thing. Cuomo was said to be weighing his options.
There was no response from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office.
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