Connecticut courted AR-15 manufacturer with incentives days before Newtown shooting

The Hartford Courant reports today that just eight days before the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, Conn., the state had reached a deal with AR-15 manufacturer Freedom Group to move its headquarters to Connecticut.

The Courant, through a freedom of information request, uncovered documents showing that the state had offered Freedom Group, a holding group for the manufacturers of Bushmaster and Remington firearms, a low-interest loan and other incentives to move 25 top executives to Stamford. The deputy commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development had written a letter to Freedom Group, saying that “One of Governor Malloy’s top priorities is to create a business-friendly environment that attracts investment, spurs job growth and helps industries become more competitive in the global marketplace.”

Four days after the Newtown massacre, the state withdrew the offer. In his Jan. 9 State of the State Address, Gov. Malloy stated that “when it comes to preventing future acts of violence in our schools, let me say this: more guns are not the answer. Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom.” He also noted that the conversation on gun violence “must take place nationally.  As long as weapons continue to travel up and down I-95, what is available for sale in Florida or Virginia can have devastating consequences here in Connecticut.”

Today, Gov. Malloy participated in a panel on gun violence presented by the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit “founded on the ideals of the progressive movement at the turn of the century.” Malloy was scheduled to discuss his “five-part gun-violence prevention proposal,” which includes a ban on the sale or possession of any gun that can fire more than 10 bullets without reloading.

The Courant called the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission’s list of 42 recommendations “some of the strongest gun control measures in the nation.”

blog comments powered by Disqus