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Connecticut Governor Targets Gun Owners To Fix Budget Woes

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There’s never been much doubt that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is one of the most anti-gun state chief executives in the country. And if any doubt did remain after Malloy’s several-year assault on the Second Amendment, it is certainly gone now.

Connecticut is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit this year, and it’s Malloy’s job to right the ship. And true to form, he’s chosen to do so on the backs of the state’s law-abiding gun owners.

Malloy’s new budget proposes a dramatic increase in pistol permit fees. Currently, the $70 local fee and the $70 state fee make the cost of an initial permit $140, with renewals being $70 every five years. But under Malloy’s proposal, the state fee would be increased to $300. With this $300 state fee and the existing $70 local fee, the total cost for an initial permit would be increased to $370, with $300 every five years for renewals. Additionally, the proposed budget would increase background check fees from $50 to $75.

As NRA-ILA pointed out in an analysis of the proposal, this increase represents a drop in the bucket for the state’s treasury—only about $9 million against the $3.6 billion deficit. But it would be very burdensome for ordinary citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, told the Hartford Courant that he considers Malloy’s plan to be outrageous.

“When you consider just six years ago a five-year renewal was only $35, in six years we’ve seen a near tenfold increase,” Wilson said. “It’s no secret that Gov. Malloy really does not care about gun rights or Second Amendment rights or gun owners in the state of Connecticut.”

In fact, those familiar with Malloy likely don’t find this story all that surprising, given his long track record of disdain for the state’s law-abiding gun owners and hatred for the National Rifle Association.

Back in 2013, Malloy took to National Public Radio to bellyache about Congress not passing restrictive background check legislation. According to a NewsBusters.org article, during the interview, anchor Melissa Block read back to Malloy his previous slanderous comments about gun manufacturers. “The gun industry wants to sell as many guns to as many people as possible, even if they’re deranged, mentally ill or have a criminal background—they don’t care,” she read, then asked Malloy for his comments.

Malloy responded by stating that respected Connecticut gun manufacturers Colt; Sturm, Ruger & Co.; Mossberg; and Stag Arms “created the NRA,” and by calling NRA a “monster” that prevents the government from making children safer.

In 2015, the Washington-based Center for American Progress issued a 28-point “framework” of suggested gun control measures. Speaking during a conference call with reporters, Malloy said, “These are great proposals.”

Later in 2015, Malloy made headlines when he basically assumed ultimate authority over who gets to buy a firearm in Connecticut. Specifically, Malloy said he intended to issue an executive order banning individuals on federal government watch lists from obtaining or possessing firearms in the state. He even indicated that he would be open to seizing firearms from those who had lawfully obtained them with retroactive enforcement of his new order—all without legal authority.

In fact, over the years Malloy has accomplished many of his goals to squash the rights of law-abiding gun owners. In a nutshell, he has:

Banned more than 100 commonly owned firearms, now classified as “assault weapons”;

Banned magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition;

Caused good jobs and honest business interests to leave the state of Connecticut;

Created an entirely new class of criminals—otherwise ordinary, law-abiding citizens who were immediately in danger of becoming felons for failing to register their commonly owned, lawfully acquired firearms.

Malloy’s latest attack on gun owners—the proposed exorbitant increase in pistol permit fees—can only be seen as a cynical attempt to inconvenience the law-abiding for no practical purpose. Rest assured, it won’t be his final slap in the face to the Second Amendment.

Article first appeared at NRA-ILA.

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