Gov. Dannel Malloy plans to sign the first executive order in the nation to ban the sales of guns to people on federal government watch lists.
Maybe on the surface this seems like a good idea to help curb radical Islamists who are on a watch list, but what about everyone else? Who exactly is on this watch list?
“We intend to prevent, by executive order through my powers as governor, those on government watch lists from obtaining a permit to purchase a firearm in Connecticut,” the Democratic governor said in a news conference Thursday.
Anyone who wishes to buy a gun in Connecticut must first apply for a permit from a public safety agency, then a thorough background check is conducted, Malloy said.
“The executive order would add an additional level of protection and require those who apply for a permit to be screened against government watch lists,” Malloy said during the news conference.
It’s not clear how many people this executive order would cover, but the governor said he has reason to believe people living in the state are on watch lists and the state should be in a position to deny permits to those individuals.
The state created some of the strictest gun laws in the country after 20 students and six educators were killed in a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Those laws banned assault weapons in Connecticut.
The governor is seeking access to some federal watch lists and his executive order would prevent anyone on them from buying a handgun, shotgun, rifle or ammunition in the state.
People who are denied would have the option to appeal.
“I have been in touch with the White House directly on this matter and we are working with federal authorities to gain access to their lists for this purpose,” Malloy said.
He said his administration is working with the federal government to determine the appropriate lists to be included — from the no-fly list to a combination of those who should not have weapons.
The governor said the executive order will take effect as soon as he receives federal approval to obtain the lists.
“If approved, we will sign an executive order. We will take action. Like all Americans, I’ve been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris. This should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is a moment to seize here in America, and today, I am here to say in Connecticut, we are seizing this moment,” Malloy said.