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. Notags

    Gov. Malloy, tell us this; Your state already had some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, would any law your state had on the books prior to the Sandy Hook incident have stopped Lanza's shootings? The answer is NO. Would any of the new law's you just signed into law have stopped Lanza's shootings? The answer is NO.

    Connecticut passed a bunch of new 'feel good' laws to satisfy the residents of Newtown that will not prevent another incident such as Sandy Hook. All the new law's do is restrict law abiding citizens, they do NOTHING to affect the criminal element.

    April 7, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Ruby

    Making laws against breaking laws is not apt to make much of a change for those who break laws.

    April 7, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. DaveinIL

    Malloy is as far to the left as LaPierre is to the right.

    April 7, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Linda

    Since when do you need to have an AK-47, or an AR-15 to protect your home. A good old fashion 12-guage can do the job. All you NRA supporters are idiots, pure and simple!!!!! LaPierre is another Heston, I think we need to see if he has dementia!!!! Way to go Malloy!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. toydrum

    The people of Connecticut elected Dan Malloy as their governor, not Wayne LaPierre. The head of the NRA should mind his own business.

    April 7, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. HZ

    The real problem with the NRA is it is too political. Sometimes the NRA has valid points but often it is just playing in the Republican vs. Democrat political show and only arguing for the sake of arguing and raising cash.

    The only gun laws we really need are ones that say: if you sell or give a weapon to someone and any reasonable person can see that you knew or should have known the buyer was going to use it in crime then YOU should receive whatever punishment the criminal who uses the guns get. WITHOUT EXCEPTION. True law abiding gun owners would not object to this because it only targets irresponsible people.

    April 7, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Shannon

    The Governor and congress should all be tried for treason!!! This is a violation of the second amendment. The purpose of the second amendment is so the people can rise up against the government if it gets out of control. This is why our founders put this in the constitution. Also, there was no colon in punctuation back then, so the semi colon was used. Back when the constitution was written, the semi colon was the same as a colon. It was the end of a sentence, and the beginning of a new one. ; shall not be infringed. What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand???

    April 7, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I own several guns, but I want nothing to do with The NRA. They appeal to the red necks and terrified outcasts of our society.

    April 7, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. some guy in New Hampshire

    LaPierre is paid more than $1 million to shill for gun makers and ammo makers while he disguises himself as a representative of individual gun owners. LaPierre isn't a clown; he's amoral with questionable perspectives on life.

    April 7, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Disenchanted

    Mallory and his fellow communist are the clowns. Trouble however is that there is nothing funny about their plans to strip Americans of rights and sign allegiance to the UN puppet masters.

    April 7, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. NRA4LIFE

    We don't have a gun problem. We have a morality and parenting problem.

    April 7, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Unit34Ahunter

    Malloy is a political animal who has absolutely no regard for civil rights and who'll ride any bandwagon of bigotry if it will allow him to grasp more power. He's the new face of Jim Crow type laws. Always advocating more government power, more abrogations of civil rights, always in the name of "public safety." And the real sheep are the people who buy into all this nonsense, happily waiving civil rights of which they choose not to avail themselves. The "gun control" crowd are going to destroy America.

    April 7, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. N-4LIFE

    We don't have a gun problem. We have a morality and parenting problem.

    April 7, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. Rickey G

    Really? A non-substantative childish personal attack? Really?

    April 7, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Joe

    Most rifle ammunition can shoot through a vest. Does this mean most hunting ammo will be banned?

    April 7, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Cartman42

    If LaPierre is a clown, this is the reason people are scared of clowns... This jackass's main point is that drug dealers and criminals won't obey the new laws. Did he already forget the latest mass murders were committed not by hardened criminals or drug dealers and were done with guns that were purchased legally. This is an evil clown that gives evil clowns all over the world a bad name.

    April 7, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. mike r

    Wait whos the clown here!? Im from CT and I remember governor malloys own son being arrested for selling drugs to an undercover cop 4x and also breaking into someones house and holding them at gunpoint and stealing thier drugs..he was charged with assault...then maolloy decriminalizes pot...hmm...wonder why!? These new gun laws in CT are ridiculous and in no way would have effected the outcome of Newtown. Emotions are high and common sense clearly is down. Malloy is the biggest hypocrite out there.

    April 7, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Mark


    The people of Connecticut elected Dan Malloy as their governor, not Wayne LaPierre. The head of the NRA should mind his own business

    That really is the bottom line; the NRA does not govern Connecticut – as much as they seem to think they do; guns ared not a big priority to me though I would agree existing laws are likely strong enough if they were enforced – and as a result it is certainly possible these are just' feel good' laws. After all that is all a politician does – create new ones to look busy.

    But if I am stuck between two evils: the NRA or this Governor,the NRA can go stuff it.

    April 7, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Name Arch

    The bushmaster rifle was not used in the killing at Newtown. It was found in the trunk of the perp's car. Nice how the elected officials keep spreading the lie. None of the laws passed in CT will do anything to prevent another tragedy.

    April 7, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. B.

    This country has got a serious cultural defect that is growing into a detriment to society overall and what should be solutions away from violance to problem solving! 30 thousand people being killed in year is beyond belief!

    We have our own version of civil terrorists amount us and a Congress that is bought and paid for by extreme special interests in the country.

    Countries like Canada are surpassing us as a civilized society hands down along with others in Europe and Australia.

    April 7, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. JJ

    Funny...................look who's talking ; his record is NOT that great for calling anyone names.

    April 7, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Name Uche Agonsi

    Yet the Connecticut Gun Law is not all inclusive. It forgot the gun insurance policy, the $10,000 fine for non-holders of the insurance & liabilities clause for damages against any gun owner whose gun is used for crime. Optionaly, if the Repubs & NRA want guns, as a defence against their so-called 2nd Amendment Right, they should go for legislation enforcing the use of guns by all American in any place & anywhere they go.......by this every congressman will carry gun(even amoured vehicle) to the congress, in market places, churches, parks, schools, during elections, .....hey is how rights work....even gams( baseball, olympics,). By so doing NRA will get their purse filled.....is part of America dreams.

    April 7, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Bill

    Well said...LaPierre is a clown, and so are his loyal followers. None of them have any comprehension of the second amendment and what it stands for. They understand the 'right to bare arms' part but I guess they're too simple to have understood the other part about 'well-regulated'. Also, none of the people who have conducted mass shootings over the past 12-18 months were drug dealers and all of them obtained their guns legally, so please Mr. LaPierre, shut up. You are a disgrace to this country and nothing more than a not-so-subtle shrill for the gun manufacturers.

    April 7, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Randal Flag

    All of this is side show so I guess he can call him a clown if he likes . However, the main event is confiscation:

    Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the Democratic Party’s leadership in the House of Representatives, suggested to Jason Mattera at a Feb. 13 women’s rights rally that plans for an assault weapons ban and private-sales background checks were only the beginning of a broader gun control agenda extending to handguns as well. She also said "

    When Mattera asked why legislators were not pressing for a handgun ban, given that most murders are committed with handguns, Schakowsky replied: “Because we’re not going to be able to win that. Not now.” She went on to explain why background checks were a useful interim policy, arguing that they would “address any kind of weapon.”

    April 7, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. glorydays

    I totally agree with him. The Congressional clowns who choose to bow to the NRA rather than listen to 90% of their constituents are no better and need to be replaced.

    April 7, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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