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Malloy Calls Withdrawal of Support For Coltsville ‘Sour Grapes’

by Christine Stuart | Jul 10, 2013 12:01pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Congress, Town News, Hartford, Jobs

Christine Stuart file photo

View of the Colt smokestack from the Blue Onion

When the National Shooting Sports Foundation withdrew its support from efforts to turn the Colt complex in Hartford into a national park, “a number of things crossed my mind,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday.

“I think they went out and cut a bunch of sour grapes and ate them,” Malloy concluded.

Malloy, who has called the Colt complex a “temple to the industrial revolution,” commented in March — before the gun control legislation was passed — that he doesn’t believe the expanded assault weapons ban will impact manufacturers in the state, since they are still allowed to manufacture the banned weapons for sale in other states.

But the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents the manufacturers and sporting enthusiasts, believes the state is being hypocritical.

“Our industry is offended by the hypocrisy of our elected officials in Congress and the state government that simultaneously advocate for legislation that pays homage to our industry’s heritage and legacy in Connecticut by establishing a National Park on the site of the legendary, iconic Colt factory, while at the same time pursue gun control legislation,” Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, wrote to U.S. Rep. John Larson in June.

Keane’s letter was copied to Malloy, who has been helping Larson achieve the national park designation. During a tour of the Colt building in Sept. 2011 with former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Malloy said he believes the site would attract 60,000 to 100,000 tourists a year.

But Keane said he would prefer to keep gun and ammunition manufacturing jobs in the state.

“Our Connecticut members are unwilling to trade valuable manufacturing jobs for ticket-taker jobs at a national park,” he said.

What Malloy and Keane seem to agree upon is the storied history of the Connecticut gun industry and the Colt complex.

“Henry Ford came to Coltsville to understand what he needed to do to improve and lower the cost of manufacturing cars,” Malloy said Wednesday. “Henry Ford did a pretty good job of copying what was done by Samuel Colt.”

He said Ford’s visit is part of the more modern Industrial Revolution in our country and it should be shared with all Americans. A national park would allow that to happen.

In a statement, Larson stressed the historical implications, which he said had nothing to do with new efforts to pass things like universal background checks.

“This is a site of national historic significance. Anyone who understands the significance and importance of Coltsville gets it. It was and will remain the cradle of the Industrial Revolution — the site of precision manufacturing, assembly line production and interchangeable parts. It was significant socially in that for most of its history it was led by a woman who produced major economic and social reforms before women even had the right to vote,” he said.

But Keane is more worried about the present than the past.

“Our industry is more than just a legacy,” Keane said. “The firearms industry is, still today, an important and vital part of Connecticut’s economy.”


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(10) Comments

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | July 10, 2013  1:05pm

100,000 visitors a year without showing any guns?  Dannel is using medicinal marijuana.  When I get foreign business clients here the first thing they want to do is see Colt (the real colt factory not the museum).  They also want to go to the range so we substitute a trip to the Smith and Wesson Store and Range in Mass.

posted by: CTResidentForLife | July 10, 2013  3:06pm

Malloy’s sour grapes remark demonstrates his arrogance and comfort getting down in the mud.  We need jobs right now, not national parks or other silly initiatives.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | July 10, 2013  3:21pm

Good ol’ Dannel is always willing to step up and add some intellect to his argument.

posted by: Salmo | July 10, 2013  5:18pm

C’mon, Folks. No one should be surprised by this.

posted by: dano860 | July 10, 2013  7:57pm

I don’t think anyone is surprised, just disappointed. Further disappointment…nothing new is it?
I kept saying they hadn’t done a thorough job of vetting that crazy “emergency” legislation. They needed to take much longer and think this through. The long term effects will be more detrimental to the law abiding citizen and the State than it will ever be to the criminals and people in need of help.
Poorly though out, poorly applied.
This State isn’t open for or to anything except exclusion. Exclusion of jobs and opportunities in order to pander to the few.

posted by: Noteworthy | July 10, 2013  10:27pm

It’s always nice to see our governor add some class and insight to the discussion.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | July 11, 2013  7:14am

The police report was suppose to be out in June. Where is it?

posted by: redlady | July 11, 2013  11:04am

One Party Rule Tactic: call your opposition names and count on the fact that the masses only retain the last sound bite.

posted by: RichTut2014 | July 11, 2013  5:35pm

The Colt National Park will be a good addition to our History and Tourism.  Keeping The manufacture of guns in Connecticut as a substantial Industry will be good for validating our History,  and contributing to a future robust State Economy. There are laws in place to prevent crimes with illegal guns. There is not much help for mental illness; Or for programs to recognize problem children and adults.  Blaming one industry is “political expediency”.  It does not make US safer.  Being sensitive and attentive to all involved in Colt Park would be a better approach.

posted by: ad_ebay | July 12, 2013  8:16am

DirtyJobsGUy, RichTut2014 et al,
I, and thousands of others, would LOVE to see blossoming economy and a state where current manufacturing and display of age old products, and the skill that craft them, are respected and appreciated in this state. 
Unfortunately, we live in the era of “midnight legislation” (see the Hartford Courant article, “Surprise Issues Pass in Final, Frenzied Hours At State Capitol”.

Respect for the will of the people, history, and the power trips of the rich politicos trump the REAL “common sense”.

It appears the current administration has some confusing agenda to create a “Tourist Centered” economy that is magically sustainable.  This IS NOT possible in this economy.  I feel we need to take back OUR government.