Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) likened National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and gun-rights advocates to "clowns at the circus," and said they were beholden to the gun industry for opposing further gun-control measures.
"The reality is that the gun that was used to kill 26 people on December 14th was legally purchased in the state of Connecticut, even though we had an assault weapons ban. But there were loopholes in it that you could drive a truck through. this guy is so out of whack it's unbelievable," he added.
Connecticut became one of the first states in the nation to pass restrictive gun control laws last week. The new measures ban high-capacity ammunition clips, expand the kinds of guns included in the state's assault-weapons ban and include funds for schools to improve security.
Malloy also said that there is "precious little" that gun-control advocates and the NRA can agree on going forward. The pro-gun group released a report earlier this week that proposed creating a training program for teachers who want to carry guns in schools.
Federally, lawmakers are having less success in passing expanded gun-control measures, and advocates for tighter controls have expressed frustration that even a law instating universal background checks — something that polling shows a majority of Americans support — may not make it through Congress.
The Connecticut governor charged that the NRA's opposition to expanded gun-control laws is based more in the gun industry's desire to sell firearms and less in a defense of the constitutional right to bear arms.
"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, even if they're mentally ill, even if they have a criminal background. They don't care, they wanna sell guns," he said.