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. dalynn parks

    I am not necessarily against universal back-ground checks. My problem is when they do the checks they do now, and 37,000+ checks turn up with someone illegally trying to buy a firearm but ONLY 44 are prosecuted, now that is a problem. So they are basically wanting MORE checks that they won't do diddly about!! What is that all about?

    April 7, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Kate

    Proud of my state and my governor. He is absolutely right. He will have to endure the hatred of the gun nuts for taking a stand and he is brave to do so. But it's what's right for CT.

    April 7, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. jungleboo

    @Millington man – you stated: "... You can make your laws to make you feel safe. Let me keep my gun to make me feel safe."

    So this is all about you FEEELINGS?? Reminds me of a trite song from the 1970s. Your FEEELINGS that you are safe because you have a gun is nothing more than a pretend. Any gun-toting fool can knock your head off from a hundred feet away, and you wouldn't even have known they existed. That's the most cowardly statement about FEEELINGS I have ever read. Like the man who drives a big noisy car around the neighborhood. He wants to FEEEL powerful. It is no longer necessary for those of us who are sensible to have to put up with your need to have really good...well, I won't type the word again. Thanks for your humanity. It rocks.... I mean, it's a rock.

    April 7, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. dalynn parks

    And Wayne is right. These potential laws would ONLY affect law-abiding citizens. The criminals will be more secure knowing they will be dealing with more unarmed victims when they are committing their crimes.

    April 7, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Harvey Sarnat

    Why do Americans always so introvertedly cite their own cities for comparison of the effectiveness of gun control laws. Whey do they not compare the U.S. with civilized countries that have strict gun control laws and look at the rate of gun-related crime (e.g. Canada, Australia, most European countries). The rate will never be zero because there are deranged individuals in every country and society, but the rate can be brought down considerably with sensible legislation. Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, yet crime is very low. Americans need to get over their "national narcissism" and stop talking about American exceptionalism and join the world community of democratic countries!

    April 7, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. andres

    The governor is wrong, la perrir is not a clown, he is a shil l for the gun industry and only looking to line his pockets with money sent in by members responding to his scare tactics. Yes I am a former NRA member, I left when I understood the NRA is not about hunters any longer, only about money and lots of it.

    April 7, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Realityblowz

    The Governor will look like a clown when the crime rate goes up and more innocent people are killed in his state. Still haven't learned the hard lesson in life have you Governor. There are real monsters out there. You just took away the tools for defense of innocents. The people won't be standing for this too much longer.

    April 7, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Bryan

    Way to go Malloy! And way to go CT....at least a few states in this country are somewhat civilized!

    April 7, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. cp

    LaPierre has not made one single statement that would make a person believe that he understands the reasons for some changes to gun laws. Instead he is pouring oil on the fire to get Congress to vote down any and all gun bills.

    The 2nd Amendment is not being attacked. Our children have been attacked in a very real way. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to stop the violence, stop the sales of guns to those who should not have them, and background checks for anyone who buys a gun. Let's just get this down now so we can all move forward. There is so much that needs to be done and once again we are deadlocked and Congress is falling into the same old pattern of keeping bills in committee.

    April 7, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Gregc011

    Let’s cut to the chase and get the facts. Do a Google search for “FBI +2011 murders by weapon type” and you’ll find that in 2011 there were 12,664 murders. Murders by firearms were 8,583.
    Of the 8,583 murders, 6,115 were done with handguns (71.24%) and only 367 by rifles (4.27%) and only a few of those were by those scary “Assault Rifles”
    Our Administration and Press hold the “Assault Rifle” and the “High Capacity Magazine” up as “THE KILLER” weapon, when it’s handguns that are the real killer. In fact, from “table 8”, 728 murders were committed by Hands, Feet. Fists …i.e. “Personal weapons”, or almost twice as many murders than by Rifles ! The most dangerous weapon in the U.S. is the Glock 45 cal., and not the AR15 or AK47.

    April 7, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. Joe

    All new gun laws are futile and will be overturned by the Supreme Court. We already had a ruling on this in the Heller case. Any common used firearm by the citizens shall not be banned. the AR 15 is a very common rifle and therfore is protected under the existing ruling.

    I know people, to some it is a scary looking rife, GET OVER IT !

    April 7, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. SirBo

    I'm just tired of the same old rhetoric on both sides of this issue. I don't have a solution to offer here, but the truth of the matter is that people continue to get gunned down en mass at schools, train stations, and movie theaters, and all we're getting is endless debate.

    April 7, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. kbv206

    The NRA are just looking after the interests of gun manufacturers. If you think they are after the interests of American gun owners, the joke is on you.

    April 7, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. samuel e. gunther

    The Governor is the clown. His gun control laws would not have prevented Newtown. This is about mental illness.

    April 7, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. kbv206

    If you think the NRA cares about the rights of gun owners, then the joke is on you. The NRA is fully funded by gun manufacturers and there are the ones driving the NRA's agenda.

    I suspect the compromise should be in the middle. Increase police routes around schools and also have universal background checks to decrease the likelihood that mentally unstable people or family members in their households can purchase a gun.

    April 7, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Carl Monday

    The leadership of CT is stupid, when the next shooting happens and shows that this political horse crap don't help are they going to admit the were wrong? All this does is make it harder for honest people to protect themselves from people who don't care about laws and rules. Criminals have always went against the laws and always will, that's where there criminals. I am a federal detective and this law is crap.

    April 7, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. mountainlady

    Mr. LaPierre has done more to convince gun control advocates they are right than any other NRA member in recent history. The man is a wacko. Worse...he's a wacko with a gun.

    April 7, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. NameScott

    I wonder if the law abiding citizens that can't manage to get a ID to show for voting will be able to get one to buy a gun?
    So to use their own logic this new law is racist against minorities.

    April 7, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. thompson f. montgomery

    So there should no longer be any shootings in Connecticut because the Gov. has now addressed the real issue.....

    April 7, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. elucidated1

    There are some pretty silly posts here. .. by people desperate to not allow background checks. The good news for them is that 34 states do not require backgrounc checks or that even dealers to be licensed. And we wonder why straw buyers continue to purchase thousands of guns a year.

    April 7, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. James

    Why bother having any laws if criminals are only going to ignore them? Should we bother with laws against stealing or murder too?

    April 7, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. Jim in Florida

    The Governent should not have the right to force Americans who own magazines with greater than 10 rounds capacity to register that data with eh Government. It won't stop there. If Conn does want to allow their citizens the ability to defend their lives and property that is their business – they have made their bed now let them sleep in it. For a politician like Malloy to call anyone a clown would be funny if it weren't so sad (coming from just another vote seeking politician). Just what type of "barriers" does Malloy propose to keep a shooter out of a school? Best barrier is an armed policeman who knows how to use deadly force to stop a shooter. Any other barrier won't stop a determined shooter. But a politician like Malloy will promise you that. Who's the clown here?

    April 7, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. elucidated1

    The Achilles heal for those paranoid enough to pack daily is that if somethng goes down . . .they are going to save the day. Yeah, we really want Mable and Harvey pulling out the piece in the mall to protect everyone. What could possibly go wrong?!

    April 7, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  24. Jim in Florida

    Dohhhh folks....there are already background checks in place....wait...the theater shooter passed his background check. This bill doesn't propsoe background checks, it expands current checks into a method by which the Government will deny law abiding people guns. Wait and watch.

    April 7, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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