Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Molloy announced today an executive order to ban people on federal "no-fly" watch lists from purchasing guns in the state.
“Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris,” Malloy said in a statement Thursday. “This should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is a moment to seize in America—and today I’m here to say that we in Connecticut are seizing it.”
Malloy told The Associated Press that this order would make Connecticut the first state to impose such a ban. “If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm while on that watch list as well,” Malloy told reporters Thursday. “This is basic common sense. The American people get it.”
Hardcore gun control opponents have insisted in the past that any form of gun control would "get the camel's nose under the tent" and lead to further restrictions down the line. Connecticut, the New York Times points out, currently has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, enacted following the Newtown shootings in 2013.
A spokesman for the National Rifle Association told me a terrorist watch list ban would only affect 2% of the individuals among the thousands of people on the list, since most are foreign nationals. He also said that there have been instances of people who've done no wrongdoing who've ended up on the list, including the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
"The governor knows full well that law-abiding Americans who pose no threat to national security are mistakenly on these lists," NRA public affairs director Jennifer Baker said in a statement, adding, "Due process is a pillar of the American justice system and cannot be discarded for a talking point that makes people feel safer.”
Still, you'd be hard-pressed to find gun control legislation more sensible than this.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.