HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- There was another huge turn-out at the State Capitol Thursday as the gun debate in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook goes on.
Employees from several gun and gun-related companies were at the Capitol on Monday. Thursday, the most famous gun maker of them all, Colt, closed down and bussed hundreds of employees in with a very loud message to lawmakers.
"Save our jobs!, Save our jobs!, Save our jobs!"
Even though most of them did not sign up to testify, their chants made it clear they fear for their jobs if the state moves toward banning Colt's most popular product, the AR-15 rifle, the one used by the Sandy Hook shooter.
"You have an industry that's going to be pretty much shut down, not only the gun manufacturers but all of our vendors and suppliers also. It would be quite a trickle down affect," said Jerry Deveau of Bloomfield.
Just like jet engines and submarines, Colt and the other gun makers depend on dozens of smaller sub contractors for certain parts.
"You're afraid what they're talking about is going to close down Colt," asked News 8's Bob Wilson.
"Well, it sounds like it could and we don't want it to happen," said Lee Adams of Bloomfield.
"We want to stay in Connecticut, we have a lot of good people here in Connecticut and without the state's backing, who knows what will happen," said Kara Royce of South Windham.
"We have been in Connecticut for a hundred and something years and we wouldn't really like the company to move out of Connecticut," said Albert Seville, of Windsor.
"I know that other states have offered different packages to go down to those states and we want to keep it here," said Jeff Bifolck, of Vernon.
But the Governor says that even though Colt's most popular product, the A-R-15 rifle is among the things he wants to ban, he doesn't believe the company will move and can continue to make it here.They can continue to make it here, even if they can't sell it here.
"I believe ultimately that we're going to toughen our gun safety laws. That's overwhelmingly supported by the people of the State of Connecticut, at least as represented in a couple of recent polls," said Governor Malloy. "I don't want them to leave. As long as they are manufacturing a product that can be legally consumed or purchased in the nation, they're welcome to stay in our state. I've sent them a letter to that effect."
The NRA had two lobbyists there Thursday and they tell News 8 their goal is to redirect the debate among lawmakers to school safety and mental health services.
"We believe they could go deeper into those issues," said John Hohenwarter, NRA, "Those issues obviously cost money, it takes some time to figure them out, but I think it's worth it obviously."
Legislative leaders from both parties continue to negotiate and sources say they hope to have something to vote on before the end of the month.
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- After two days of lobbying from both sides of the gun control issue, there's a public hearing today at the state capitol on gun control legislation.
The hearing by the Public Safety and Security Committee will look at several bills, including:
The minimum age to purchase a rifle or other long gun.
Permits for gun shows.
Fingerprinting and criminal background checks prior to the sale, delivery or transfer of all long guns.
Those gun law proposals and others are in response to the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which happened three months ago today.
The hearing was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Here's the agenda.
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hacksaw007 | March 15 2013 10:26pm
Binky, You are a perfect example of an ignorant liberal. You probably don't know the difference or similarities between an AR-15 and other semi automatic rifles, yet you still have an opinion that they should be banned. I am a legal law abiding citizen who has done nothing illegal, immoral or wrong and I am being attacked by you and others like you for the actions of a person whose emotional thinking may be similar to your own. And for that reason, I fear you!
binky6567 | March 15 2013 4:49pm
I a not anti gun just anti AR-!5 or any thing like it. Yes the police need to enforce the laws already on the books BUT we also need to totally BAN the AR-15 and all the guns like it. No ifs ands or butts. BAN THEM NOW.
jprog7 | March 15 2013 4:21pm
Binky, do you think criminals will stop using them if you get more boondoggle legislation passed in this state? I love these Utopian ideas. The genie has been out of the bottle, this nation was founded on firearms, there are 300 million in the country. Passing laws is not going to stop criminal behavior.
Enforce laws that are on the books. Adam Lanza tried to buy a firearm legally but was denied. Why didn't a police officer follow that up?
Furthermore, how can you pass legislation before the police report comes out?
binky6567 | March 15 2013 3:11pm
Save our jobs you say? I can trump that with "SAVE OUR KIDS" I do not care how many jobs are lost to these people the make things that KILL people. Find a new job now! We are going to do every thing we know how to stop the AR-15 from being used by the public ever again. You will not go along with background checks or gun registration so we will go around you now and shut you down. Period! OUR KIDS COME FIRST!
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