Vice President Joe Biden visited Danbury, Connecticut on Thursday to speak at a forum on gun control, just a few miles from where the tragic Newtown shooting had occurred  His presence there will be to support a ban on “assault weapons,” “high capacity” magazines, and reforms to the background check system.

“There’s plenty of ways you can protect yourself and recreate without an AR-15,” Biden said at the conference. “…And let me say at the outset to all the press. No law-abiding citizen in the United States of America has any fear that their constitutional rights will be infringed in any way.”

Also at the conference was Connecticut Governor Daniel Mallory, who released, according to his website, a “comprehensive, common sense gun violence prevention proposal.” The proposal outlines several key factors that the Governor wishes to address in the state, including:

  • Making Background Checks Universal and Comprehensive
  • Banning Large Capacity Magazines
  • Strengthening the Assault Weapons Ban
  • Promoting Safer Gun Storage
  • Improving Enforcement of Existing Laws

“Whatever laws we have on our books in our state however, we do need strong leadership from federal government and legislation to be passed,” Governor Mallory said at the conference. “It has never been clearer, I think, on that point. The proposals outlined by the White House will make us and our children safer, and there should be no doubt about it.”

The governor’s proposal was immediately met with opposition by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry association based in Newtown. The NSSF and gun owner’s associations criticize the governor in not waiting for the General Assembly to make a full evaluation before putting his own proposal forward. They believe the Vice President’s visit may have spurred Mallory to make a rash decision.

Below is the statement from the NSSF in its entirety:

As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry with a sizeable economic presence and workforce in Connecticut, we at the NSSF and our members based in the state will review Gov. Malloy’s proposals in detail. We certainly hope to have the opportunity to engage with him in a meaningful dialog to achieve real and effective solutions that will help to make Connecticut safer.

We are, however, troubled by the Governor’s apparent change in attitude and seeming impatience with the approach of the General Assembly’s bipartisan Gun Violence Task Force and even his own commission. We do not believe a rush to quick-fix legislation is likely to produce real public safety solutions, while it holds the clear potential to hurt good-paying manufacturing jobs in our state.

We applaud the General Assembly’s bi-partisan task force for working to fully evaluate all the issues and points of view, including that of our industry, in an effort to craft an effective public policy response. We hope the Governor will give the General Assembly the opportunity to get it right. We believe that is more important than achieving headlines in connection with Vice President Biden’s visit to Danbury today.

Governor Mallory’s proposal can be read here.

Image courtesy the White House

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