April 7th, 2013
10:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Malloy: NRA’s LaPierre acts like a circus clown

(CNN) - Responding to criticism from the National Rifle Association over Connecticut's new gun laws, Gov. Dan Malloy argued the pro-gun group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, is simply blowing smoke.

"Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus - they get the most attention. That's what he's paid to do," Malloy said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

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The Democratic governor on Thursday signed into law some of the nation's strictest gun regulations, following the state's devastating school shooting in December in Newtown, which left 20 children and six adults dead.

The new Connecticut laws include the addition of more than 100 weapons to the state’s list of banned assault weapons - including the semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle, one of the firearms used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The law also bans the sale of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, as well as armor-piercing bullets. Buyers will need a certificate to buy ammunition.

It also requires background checks for all gun purchases.

LaPierre said this week that the only people who will follow the new regulations are law-abiding gun owners, not criminals.

"I think the problem with what Connecticut did is the criminals, the drug dealers, the people that are going to do horror and terror, they aren't going to cooperate," LaPierre said on Fox News. "I mean, all you're doing is making the lawbooks bigger for the law-abiding people."

Asked who will be most affected by the new laws, Malloy said they'll be "probably a little tougher on everybody."

"This guy is so out of whack, it's unbelievable," Malloy told CNN's chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, referring to LaPierre.

Connecticut became the third state to pass tough measures since the December rampage in Newtown. New York and Colorado passed gun control legislation limiting magazine capacity, among other provisions.

Malloy pointed to the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor the idea of more background checks, a proposal found in legislation currently sitting before the U.S. Senate. The NRA, however, opposes that bill.

"I can't get on a plane, as the governor of the state of Connecticut, without somebody running a background check on me. Why should you be able to buy a gun? Or buy armor-piercing munitions? It doesn't make any sense. He doesn't make any sense," he said.

Another controversial measure in the Connecticut law is the requirement to register pre-existing magazines that hold more rounds than the new limit. Malloy said the registry was needed so that there are no new high-capacity magazines in Connecticut, and so law enforcement can tell the difference between the ones that already existed in the state and the new ones.

“If you bring a magazine that you purchased in another state into our state, it's illegal. Period,” he said.

The NRA last week released detailed recommendations for its proposal to train and arm adults to keep watch in schools as a way to protect kids from shooters. It also had proposals for mental health programs.

Asked if there was anything in the NRA plan that he agreed with, Malloy said "precious little," adding that schools need tougher protection barriers from intruders - but not necessarily armed guards.

"What this is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible - even if they're deranged, mentally ill, a criminal background, they don't care. They want to sell guns," Malloy argued.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Rickapolis

    Not a clown. A clown makes you laugh. LaPierre is dangerous as is NRA. Look at all the deaths they've caused.

    April 7, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. PhillyBuster

    Of course the Governor signed new controls into law. After the tragedy in his state, should he throw up his hands and say that people kill people not guns? Right......

    April 7, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Rickapolis

    Congratulations to the Governor for calling LaPierre out. Very well done.

    April 7, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Ns

    To say that only criminals will not obey a law is just the definition of a criminal. Mr. La Pierre's argument that a law should not be passed because there are criminals who will not obey it leads to the conclusion that there should be no laws since there is always someone who won't obey it. Is the NRA advocating the repeal of all laws which are not obeyed by some? Is this a call for anarchy? It is disappointing that the NRA doesn't contribute any better argument than this.

    April 7, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Steveh09

    So this guy resorts to name-calling instead of real debate and expects people to take him seriously.

    April 7, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. scootfl78

    That statement isn't fair to circus clowns as I know a lot of them are mentally stable while LaPierre seems far from knowing reality from fantasy. It would be more accurate to call LaPierre a loon with a microphone and a camera.

    April 7, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Squeaky

    Kudos to a gov. with some sense!! The NRA is the closest thing to a terrorist organization this country has. Hopefully, as it appears, their strength is waning as people are starting to wake up and reject their brand of "patriotism" and 2nd amendment ABUSE!

    April 7, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Heebeejeebee

    LaPierre/NRA. No Vision. No Hope. No Brains

    April 7, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Quixote

    He is a clown like john wayne gacy. But way more scary and responsible for taking far more lives.

    April 7, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. mach30

    The real clown here is Governor Malloy. He doesn't get that all of the existing gun laws in this country haven't prevented the mass shootings, such as Newton, nor will the addition of more laws.

    April 7, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Tom

    Its funny how "We the people" of CT being 85 % disagree with the new laws put in place, Its a fact!! themselves. Not one of these laws would or will stop a mass shooting, how can you people NOT understand it?????. As for you people saying that "the weapons were legally owned in the shooting" your right. But the mother is 100% at fault for not locking them up away from the mentally unstable son of hers. But ya penalize people like myself how are properly trained in the weapons i own and abide by laws. But now since we have laws that infringe my rights, i will find it hard to believe that anyone in CT who owns a $2500 ar15 is going to turn it over.

    April 7, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Joe Momma

    I support universal background checks and inquiries on large orders of ammunition, but folks, these laws aren't going to stop criminals from killing people with guns. They might make you feel better, and they might make you feel like you're making a positive change, but its folly. It's fact that your best defense against a criminal intent to kill is to be armed and trained in the safe use of a gun yourself.

    April 7, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. regularguy22

    And the new Connecticut law would have done NOTHING to stop the recent tragedy. Thanks for targeting the honest law abiding gun owners. Not.

    April 7, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Tom

    Banning weapons is the answer!!!!!!! NOT... I mean look at Vermont with the 3rd lowest crime rate in the country, but have the least amout of gun laws....CHECK your facts people

    April 7, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. TDiddy

    This governor is a joke himself. The state is going to lose a lot of money and businesses over this one. Lots of gun manufacturers are in Conn. But NOT for long.

    April 7, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Sheepleherder

    In other words, "Yes, the NRA is right but I don't want to admit it because ... it's the NRA that's suggesting it".

    April 7, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. edpeters101

    Incredible how many people think that we shouldn't try to pass laws to slow down the "bad guys", because they don't pay any attention to them: i.e. they simply won't try to buy guns if there are laws to stop them! One is really temped to tell all the wackos to arm themselves to the teeth and have it out with each other (but I don't think somebody should be shot just because they're stupid)...

    April 7, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Chris

    So there should no longer be any shootings in Connecticut because the Gov. addressed the real issue at hand. -facepalm-

    April 7, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Serpico

    It will be interesting to to just how high the crime rate climbs in Connecticut.

    April 7, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Justified308

    "semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle, one of the firearms used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre"
    That rifle was NOT USED. It was found in trunk of his car!!!
    Banning it would have had ZERO EFFECT.
    Criminals will always find a way to do evil. The definition of criminal is law breaker!
    You only punish the law abiding citizen by banning firearms.

    April 7, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Donnie Goodson

    the only difference is they will now be able to go back and say "yep, that magazine that killed someone was (or wasn't) in our database." Still didn't stop anything. Or, "yep, so-and-so did in fact purchase that weapon and we have a record of it." Still didin't stop anything.
    In fact, I'd be more willing to bet that the governments are now setting their own selves up for lawsuits because Nanny let the next psycho buy a gun....because we all know that nanny already has too many laws on record that they can't enforce. Great PR stunt, Governor. Now, for your sake I hope it's enforced. Lots of lawyers out there! LOTS!

    April 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Optimist

    Wayne LaPierre is like a scary evil clown.

    April 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. brasstacs

    Malloy is a joke ...they rammed through a worthless gun control bill that will do nothing except to infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens...and for what ??...For symbolic liberal ideology..and he calls LaPierre names ??

    April 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. rick daum

    im from ct and let me tell you malloy is the biggest clown of all he has ruined this state itwill take years to undo the harm that he has caused

    April 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Alex

    LaPierre is correct, the only people who follow the law are law-abiding citizen. So, why do we bother having any law at all?

    April 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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