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April 1, 2013

Connecticut Delegation Aims to Make State’s Firearm Industry ‘History’


You really have to hand it to Connecticut’s Congressional delegation: It takes a lot of talent to talk so well out of both sides of one’s mouth.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal has been one of the most outspoken advocates of the gun-control agenda in the United States Senate, and he’s taken to encouraging Connecticut state lawmakers to pass legislation that will chase gun manufacturers out of his state.

So it is more than a little ironic, then, that Blumenthal is leading the charge to make a former Colt factory a national park. He introduced a bill, co-sponsored by the entire Connecticut delegation, to create Coltsville National Historical Park on the site of Colt’s original factory from 1855.

As Blumenthal acknowledged in a press release announcing the legislation, Colt – and by extension the firearm industry as a whole – had a “powerful role in advancing the industrial revolution in Connecticut and nationwide.” Blumenthal also went on to say the national park “will help preserve an important piece of our state’s history.”

The irony, of course, is that if gun-control legislation in Connecticut passes, the gun industry in Connecticut could become just that – history. If pending bills in the Connecticut General Assembly are passed, there will other vacant firearm factories in the state – and plenty of laid off former manufacturing employees who used to work in them. They all would make great monuments to the historic industry that Connecticut’s lawmakers turned their backs on, all in the name of politics.

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