Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced his intention to sign a first-in-the-nation executive order that will allow firearm permits to be denied to those on the government watchlists. The Connecticut State Police already performs background checks on those seeking permits to purchase guns in Connecticut, based on Governor Malloy’s 2013 gun violence prevention legislation, one of the smartest laws in the nation. Pending federal approval, Governor intends to sign an Executive Order mandating that Connecticut State Police be required to cross-reference the names of those who wish to obtain a permit to own a firearm with the government watchlists. Those with existing permits who are found to be on those watchlist would have their permits revoked, and if a new match is found, the permit would be denied and the purchaser would be unable to purchase handguns, shotguns, rifles and ammunition. Assault weapons are already outlawed in Connecticut.
The Governor is working directly with federal officials to use government watchlists for this purpose and, upon approval, will sign the Executive Order. He urged the U.S. Congress and other states to take action with similar commonsense steps. The Governor will work with the federal government to determine the specific lists – be it the “no-fly” list, terrorism watchlist, or some combination – used in this regard.
“Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. They have been and should be a wake-up call to our nation. I am taking this commonsense step with this executive order simply because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. If you can’t fly without clearing government watchlists, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. Why anyone would stand idly by and knowingly allow those on government watchlists to purchase guns is truly unbelievable. Since Congress so far has failed to act, we will,” Governor Malloy said. “I have been working directly with federal officials and we are working to use the watchlists for these purposes. It is my responsibility as the Governor of Connecticut to protect the citizens of our state from threats. We’re working to do just that. Connecticut’s delegation has been outspoken about these issues, and Congress must act and pass the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015. In the interim, other states should follow Connecticut’s lead. We should all use this moment to act.”
Between 2004 and 2014, FBI data shows that people on terrorism watch lists tried to purchase firearms and explosives 2,233 times. They succeeded in more than 90 percent of those cases, or 2,043 times.
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman said, “Connecticut has stood as a national model, demonstrating that common-sense anti-violence initiatives can both respect the rights of responsible gun owners while protecting the public health and safety. I am proud to stand with Governor Malloy to make Connecticut a first-in-the-nation state to adopt fundamental protections that will keep our residents and our neighborhoods safer.”
Among the many provisions in Governor Malloy’s 2013 gun safety legislation, the law outlaws the sale and possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines and requires a clean record, safety training and a permit to buy rifles, shotguns and ammunition, whether from a gun store or private sale. Additionally, background checks and training are required for the purchase of all categories of guns.
The Governor has previously sent a letter to Congressional leadership encouraging them. to take action on this issue.