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March 29, 2013

Connecticut Gov. Malloy’s Double Standard on Firearms

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is trying to have his cake and eat it too.

On one hand, Malloy is pushing hard for a gun-control package that would limit magazine size and ban semi-automatic firearms – both measures that would make products manufactured by Connecticut’s gun industry illegal to own in the state where they were manufactured.

But for all his concern about specific guns in Connecticut, Malloy seems relatively unconcerned about people in other states owning firearms produced by Connecticut firms.  In fact, Malloy has repeatedly implored Connecticut’s gun manufacturers to stay put even if a ban is passed.  Malloy is trying to make nice with Connecticut firms like Colt, which are often approached to move jobs and taxbase to other states.

It’s not the first time Malloy has seen the positive impact the gun industry has on his state’s economy. Eight days before the Sandy Hook tragedy, Malloy’s economic development office attempted to entice Freedom Group International to relocate to Connecticut with a subsidized million-dollar loan, only to pull the offer in the days following the tragedy.

And just last week, Malloy signed a bill to add $60 million to the state’s manufacturing assistance program, citing the importance of job creation for the state…even while his legislative agenda threatens to push thousands of jobs out of the state.

The NSSF recently released a radio ad highlighting the importance of the gun industry to the state. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll find out whether Connecticut’s political leaders really care about their state’s economy or if they’re more concerned about scoring political points on the gun-control issue.

Larry Keane is senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @lkeane.

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