Customers Pack Conn. Gun Stores After Deal on Laws

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Mossberg has been in business since 1919 and employs 270 workers in Connecticut. It also has a manufacturing plant in Eagle Pass, Texas, and has been courted for years by other states.

“I’ve got a stack of invitations from governors, congressmen and economic development groups right here on my desk,” he said.

Mark Malkowski, owner and president of Stag Arms in New Britain, said he’s not threatening to move but that his biggest concern about staying in Connecticut is “staying in a state that does not support us.”

He said Stag Arms, which employs 200 people, manufactures about 72,000 rifles a year, at a cost of about $1,000 each. About 5 percent of the company’s sales are in Connecticut.

“It’s actually quite hypocritical, quite insulting,” he said. “If our products are so dangerous and so horrible that no Connecticut resident should be in possession of it, why is it OK to send it to the rest of the country?”

Echoing that was the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

“Connecticut’s firearms manufacturers will be forced to pay a price economically for the state’s double standard of you can build it here, but not sell it here, public policy formulation,” the Newtown-based trade association said in a statement.

Malloy said Tuesday he plans to write to the state’s gun manufacturers, informing them that as long as they are manufacturing a product that can be legally sold in the U.S. that they’re still welcome in Connecticut.

“Having said that, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration,” Malloy said. “And the public’s safety is one of those things.”

Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, was killed at Sandy Hook, welcomed the legislation. She credited lawmakers with listening to the parents, who had opposed allowing existing high-capacity magazines to be grandfathered into the law. Legislators did allow that but also required the magazines to be registered by Jan. 1 with the state.

“This is going to be one of the strongest gun laws in the nation, and that will be a model for other states to follow and for federal leaders to follow,” she said.

(Photo: AP)

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