Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wants his state to become the first to prohibit the sale of firearms to those on government watch lists, per his executive action that he announced on Thursday.
Malloy’s executive action comes a week after two shooters who were considered Islamic State group sympathizers killed 14 in San Bernardino, Calif. Also last week, U.S. Senate Democrats were unable to move a bill that would have banned the sale of guns to those on government watch lists.
Malloy said that he is working with federal officials on determining which government watch lists to use. The executive order, if given federal approval, would require the State Police to cross-reference terrorism watch lists when gun sellers perform a background check on a customer.
Malloy added that in addition to the changes to background checks, those with gun permits would have their permit revoked if their name is found in the database.
“I think the appropriate thing is to deny access to weapons to people in the United States that are here on those list,” Malloy said. If you have the wrong person, “that could be something that is resolved relatively quickly and administratively.”
Malloy claimed the reason the Senate failed to pass the federal legislation was because of pressure from the National Rifle Association.
While Democrats in Connecticut are supporting Malloy’s action, gun advocates are decrying the move.
“Governor Malloy is planning to take what is in our view unconstitutional executive action that would prohibit firearms purchases and seize firearms of individuals who have not been indicted or convicted for any crime, said Scott Wilson, president of Connecticut Citizens Defense League. “While we are all concerned about terrorism, this approach is very un-American and shameful.”
Malloy did not give a timetable for when the executive order would go into effect.