Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat with a long history of being in favor of gun control, this week equated the nation’s largest gun rights member organization with terrorism.
While the state is gripped in a serious winter storm that saw the activation of the National Guard, Malloy found time to fire off more than a dozen posts from his official Twitter account blasting the National Rifle Association. Expanding on the commentary, Malloy told reporters Tuesday, “They act, quite frankly, in some cases as a terrorist organization.”
Malloy is pushing to remove the NRA’s instruction arm as a source of state-endorsed firearms training, needed to obtain a pistol permit in Connecticut.
Since taking office, Malloy expanded the state’s “assault weapon ban” and stood by it all the way to the Supreme Court, has sought to hike permit fees and tried to bar gun sales in the state to those on terror watch lists. He recently joined with several other governors to form a regional information-sharing gun control bloc of states with an aim to further the breadth of background checks for firearm applicants and backed legislation to outlaw bump stock devices.
In response to being painted as an extremist organization by Malloy, the gun rights group was quick to return fire.
“The NRA is comprised of over five million law-abiding citizens many of whom are teachers, doctors, policeman, farmers, moms, and dads residing in Connecticut,” said Jennifer Baker, an NRA spokesman. “So let’s be clear Governor Malloy just called tens of thousands of his constituents terrorists.”
Meanwhile, the NRA and other gun rights organizations say they are seeing a surge in membership in recent weeks while gun owners in Connecticut are mired in a backlogged registration system– the latter largely a product of Malloy’s administration.
In addition to Baker’s statement, the NRA’s Grant Stinchfield, a former Connecticut resident, had sterner words for Malloy.