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Connecticut’s U.S. Senators Defend Opposition to ‘Sportsmen’s Bill’

by | Jul 11, 2014 2:55pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share

Hugh McQuaid Photo Connecticut’s U.S. senators were unapologetic Friday for opposing legislation — that would have aided Democrats facing difficult re-elections — in an effort to debate domestic violence and gun control policy.

During a Hartford press conference, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy explained their recent procedural vote against the so-called “Sportsmen’s Bill,” a now-defeated piece of legislation that would have expanded hunting and fishing on federal land.

According to Politico, the bill was a “political boon” to Democrats facing re-election battles in conservative states like North Carolina, where its Democratic co-sponsor — Sen. Kay Hagan — is seeking re-election. However, the bill fell victim to a battle over amendments on gun control and although many were proposed by Republicans, Blumenthal and Murphy tried amending the bill as well.

“We may not be the most popular senators among our colleagues today but we took a stand to make sure that there would be no expansion — none — of firearms on federal property . . . without changes in federal law to better protect people from the ongoing scourge of gun violence and domestic violence in this country,” Blumenthal said Friday.

The senators wanted to amend the bill with legislation that sought to prevent people who are the subject of temporary restraining orders from obtaining guns. Although the law bars the subjects of permanent restraining orders from possessing firearms, it does not apply to temporary orders. Blumenthal has named that bill for Lori Jackson, an Oxford resident who was shot to death by her estranged husband in May. Jackson had a temporary restraining order against her husband at the time.

Murphy said the debate over the Sportsmen’s Bill was their best chance of getting the restraining order bill passed.

“Our message was clear this week — if the senate was going to spend a week debating gun policy, then we should be talking about how to reduce gun violence, not expand gun use on federal lands. Time is precious . . . and if we have a week to talk about guns we should talk about saving lives rather than increasing gun rights,” he said.

Murphy said he agreed with some of the provisions of the Sportsmen’s Bill and considered the expansion of gun use on federal land to be relatively minor. Blumenthal said that opposition from he and Murphy was not the only reason the bill failed.

“This is not — here’s a newsflash — the first time a fairly innocuous bill or maybe even a good bill has failed because of an inability to compromise on the amendment process,” he said. “. . . The effort, increasingly as you know, is to load amendments onto a bill that looks like it may be going somewhere.”

Although both senators have been critical in the past of lawmakers using the senate’s procedural rules to halt the progress of legislation, they said their amendment was pertinent to the subject matter of the Sportsmen’s Bill.

“There are very legitimate bills that come before Congress that are held up for procedural reasons as a means of avoiding the substance,” Murphy said. “We truly objected to the process in this case. Our objection was that the senate was going to spend a week debating a bill that increased gun rights rather than spending a week on a bill that addressed gun violence.”

Both senators said they hope the chamber’s leadership will allow more time to debate the restraining order bill after Congress recesses next month. Murphy said they have several Democratic cosponsors for the legislation, but believes it will pass if given a floor vote.

“Ultimately, while Republicans may not co-sponsor it, I do not believe they are going to vote to effectively arm-up domestic abusers,” he said.

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(27) Archived Comments

posted by: cnj-david | July 11, 2014  4:32pm

Murphy said “Our objection was that the senate was going to spend a week debating a bill that increased gun rights rather than spending a week on a bill that addressed gun violence”. 

Which really means “Our objection was that the senate was going to spend a week debating a bill and not buy into our disarming of the law abiding population”.

Murphy and Blumenthal, (among others), aren’t really interested in stopping gun violence.  If they were, they’d do something to address violence in places like Chicago and Washington, which have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation that obviously aren’t working.

Their agenda is to take guns away from the law-abiding because they don’t feel that we need them. 

I’m not a senator, I don’t have state police and armed bodyguards protecting me.  I’m responsible for my own safety until the police can arrive, and despite their best efforts, that probably won’t be soon enough in an emergency.

Until you can guarantee my safety, why don’t you quit trying to limit my rights?

I’ve already had the local police, the state police and the FBI run background checks on me so that I can carry a pistol within CT.  Like most people who’ve been issued a gun permit, I’m not part of the problem.

Murphy & Blumenthal - why don’t you take a break from posturing in front of the cameras, do some real research and come up with some real solutions?

posted by: DanofiveO | July 11, 2014  4:33pm

Yet again the two senators from CT are a complete embarrassment to our state.
Why do they keep pushing the “we need more gun control” button when there is plenty of mounting evidence that proliferation of guns actually has resulted in less violent crime and a lower murder rates. Using the latest tragedy to elicit emotion, enrolling shell shocked victims and telling them their cause is the only thing they can do is totally obscene. No one believes for a second that the police will be there when you need them or that it is better to be the one without the gun when attacked, they are just wrong. Last week they were trying to tell us that we had to find it in our hearts to accept any amount of illegal immigration as the distraught central american parents were sending their most prided possession, their kids, to ride the tops of freight trains only to be swaddled by our border patrol. That we should provide 3.7 billion dollars for legal representation, healthcare, housing, food, transportation and a first class education to these people at the expense of our veterans, our poor, our children and give up our jobs willingly for their benefits as they are little kids and not just MS-13 gang members. I apologize to everyone for voting for these clowns. The policies they support are ruining our state and our country. The evidence is all around us and all around the world.

posted by: justsayin | July 11, 2014  7:24pm

So Laurel and Hardy could not, AGAIN, get there amendment tacked on so…they voted down a good bill. A bill that had nothing to do with their amendment other than both mentioned guns. They make CT so proud, by not getting anything done.

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 11, 2014  7:29pm

It’s Friday so it’s guns. Ho hum. More manipulation

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 11, 2014  7:44pm

Blumenthal and Murphy never stop their “political posturing agenda.”

posted by: art vandelay | July 12, 2014  7:24am

art vandelay

Murphy, Blumenthal, and the Democrats just come out and say what they really want. The abolishment of the 2nd amendment confiscation of all guns owned by private citizens.

posted by: dano860 | July 12, 2014  8:44am

Why do they stop at ‘gun’ violence? Why not address violence in general? I believe that this pair will not do anything unless it benefits them personally.
Allowing more firearms on federal property, thousands and thousands of acres, will not promote ‘gun violence’ in Chicago or Hartford. Without compromise where there is no problem they will do nothing to get to the root of the real problem.

posted by: bob8/57 | July 12, 2014  9:38am


It’s refreshing to see these brave men stand up to the forces of chaos and doubt that is the Republican party and their (Not Really Americans) minions.

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 12, 2014  11:31am

If they really cared about innocent people they would come up with a plan to dramatically reduce gun violence in Chicago or DC and then tout that success as a plan for everywhere.

Since they know that their plans would never work they don’t do that. Yet since they keep harping on this topic, its not unreasonable to think that they are just talking points for a more nefarious master plan for all Americans.

posted by: Han Solo | July 12, 2014  11:37am

cnj-david &DanofiveO; you are right.  All these two buffoons want to do is punish the law abiding and take our rights away!  No matter what serious scientific research there is out there that supports that more guns and concealed carry means less crime the Lib/Progressive politico will always say it is funded by the firearm industry or the NRA.  Unless this type of info comes from Handguns INC, or Mothers Against Guns or our friendly mayor that thinks he mayor of the whole USA Bloomberg, they will keep voting against the law abiding firearm owners.

posted by: bob8/57 | July 12, 2014  2:53pm


Great to see these Senators standing up for Connecticut values.

posted by: shinningstars122 | July 12, 2014  3:38pm


You guys are completely pathetic. Keep blindly regurgitating that CCDL and NRA narrative.

So for the record you all think anyone who has a temporary order of protection against them should be able to keep their firearms?

I think another bad aspect of this bill was to allow lead made ammunition on the proposed expansion onto federal lands…that is simply complete stupid and unnecessary.

It must be those paint chips Wayne LaPierre ate as a kid?

Read this link for more information and it from a hunter’s group.

posted by: Noteworthy | July 13, 2014  1:11am

So these two guys would rather kill good legislation, a bill that would allow greater use of land we the taxpayer’s own, pay to manage, bought and maintain - over bad or questionable legislation that has no chance of passing even by Dems. This is what’s wrong with DC - and why nothing ever gets done that is of direct value to taxpayers.

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 13, 2014  12:31pm

I just had a conversation with a woman in my company who I am traveling on business with. Great person, great values, hard work responsibility etc so I respect what she says regardless of whether or not we agreed.

She said when she was in college her Poli Sci prof made the argument that the 2nd Amendment was focused on the minutemen, who one minute could be militia and the next just private person. Minutemen were called that because it took a minute to load a firearm. He told the class that he was for law abiding citizens having the right to bear arms without gun registration or limits on how many you can buy, but that he disagreed with the concept that people could fire in 30 round magazines because that wasn’t the intent of the original amendment.

I thought that was interesting trickery on his part and of course you all know me and I disagreed with my thoughts that if protection from a tyrannical government is the common ground then if we fight with 3 round rifles and shotguns, the government isn’t too worried and the purpose of the amendment is defeated. We just need enough firepower to give them pause to realize that turning on the people is foolish and unwinnable.

She is concerned about nut jobs shooting places up like never before, her brother is a Marine, and she isn’t sure how we solve that. It was a good chat with a conservative person who is torn on what guns are doing in society because of the mentally ill.

posted by: Tim McKee | July 13, 2014  12:32pm

This NRA bill sets up gun ranges on public lands. Target shooting with lead at National Parks? please this is insanity! go to private LAND YOU ANTI GOVERNMENT HYPOCRITES!
All guns sales should have a background check even private sales have through   gun dealers in California!

gun nuts is right for SOME of these people!

posted by: NoNonsense2014 | July 13, 2014  3:33pm

This is very interesting. (Side note: I am not a fan of Blumenthal or Murphy.) CT’s two senators are trying to get a law passed that would require surrender of firearms from a person who is the subject of a temporary restraining order. Temporary restraining orders are not issued against “law-abiding gun owners”, and yet so many of the commenters here don’t seem to see that. Now perhaps, given the appalling state of can’t-get-anything-accomplished in Congress, this was the only way CT’s senators could get that issue raised, as an amendment to the “sportsmen’s bill”. Shouldn’t we all be wondering why all the other senators didn’t think their amendment was common sense?

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 13, 2014  6:11pm

“Murphy said he agreed with some of the provisions of the Sportsmen’s Bill and considered the expansion of gun use on federal land to be relatively minor. “

Tim, there is a reason for this and even Murphy see’s it. You have to hunt on federal lands to thin herds and kill predators so the eco system doesn’t get out of whack.

As for lead ammo would you rather they shoot wolves and grizzlies with biodegradable paper mache.

C’mon give me a break

posted by: shinningstars122 | July 13, 2014  8:25pm


Once again the majority of posters are not answering the simple question I posed, which was the main reason our Senators did not support the bill.


Tangent anyone?

posted by: dano860 | July 13, 2014  9:25pm

...and military foreign ranges are on whose land using what?...plastic bullets! Lead is a natural element that does decompose over time, just like us.
Let us not forget that more than 75% of firearm owners DO NOT belong to the NRA or subscribe to their beliefs. Also this is hardly a Rep only issue.

posted by: shinningstars122 | July 14, 2014  5:56am


@Dano860 if you read the link I provided the answer to not using lead is copper.

Plastic? OMG! Although 3-D printers are already making guns, and I am sure ammo, with plastic so maybe you are onto something there?

posted by: OutOfOutrage | July 14, 2014  3:04pm


Why not actually read what their proposed amendment would have done rather than take their word for it b/c (spoiler alert) their not telling the truth about it.

Here’s their amendment:

I would support a restriction on sales to people who are subject to a temporary order.  I’d also be ok with taking their weapons if their behavior suggested that they were threatening or had a mental issue. I would also require that the person complete an evaluation of their mental health b/c gun or no gun, the people who commit these crimes have a mental problem, not a gun problem.

posted by: shinningstars122 | July 15, 2014  6:11am


@Nononsence2014 so you are going on the record to claim that law abiding gun owners have never been arrested for a domestic dispute and issued an temporary order of protection?!?

My goodness what world do you live in?

Clearly one not based on reality of the issue.


posted by: sofaman | July 16, 2014  9:22am

How about a thought for the women who desperately need protection like this. Nevermind, seems like there’s more interest in talking about the love of guns…

posted by: whatsprogressiveaboutprogressives? | July 17, 2014  7:03pm

Bloomey and Murphy, like some here just don’t get it. You see in order to get something you have to give something in what may be called a compromise. Their arrogance is their way or the highway. I would propose to our “crimefighters” batman and robin(boy wonder) that closing the gun show background check could happen,if and only if, a law abiding was given the capability to carry/transport/use their firearms thru interstate means without the threat of arrest in another state because of an existing difference/variance in interstate laws. The 2a provides for this and yet has been trampled upon by all 2a haters. Translation: firearms reciprocity laws will be acknowledged in all 50 states. But this will never happen because this is what the far left is trying to do; to thwart civilian gun ownership by whatever means possible including excessive taxes,fees,and over burdensome laws.

posted by: GBear423 | July 18, 2014  6:53am


Our Junior Senator: “. . . and if we have a week to talk about guns we should talk about saving lives rather than increasing gun rights,”
This is how the anti-Bill of Rights/US Constitution politicians manipulate the perception.
“Gun Rights”??  What the heck is Gun Rights? I thought we are talking about the People’s Rights? This “representative” talks about taking away a person’s Constitutional Rights, trampling not only the 2nd Amendment but the presumption of innocense, basically penalizing a citizen without due process. He and Dick are grandstanding on an issue they think they are entitled to due to our State tragedy.  Not everyone that responsibly owns a fire arm is an Adam Lanza or other deranged person.

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 18, 2014  9:28am

I’m going to use the CEO of Mozilla as an example here.

He never did anything wrong but actually supported gay rights in the company that he founded. He was run out of that position by threats from gay rights groups to the board of directors that they would work to destroy Mozilla. This was because in his private life someone found he donated 1000 dollars to the campaign in the State of California to not allow gay marriage. Because he is worth a few hundred million easily that was like us donating 5 dollars.

Now, like Senator Murphy says, I certainly would not want to take away the rights of gay activists to express their opinion. However, we need some limitations on this because why do we need people to form groups? You have the right to free speech, so that should be good enough to get your opinon out. Groups are too powerful and can be too dangerous like militias.

Therefore, my idea is that we allow people to speak their mind as individuals, but we make it a crime for them to get together in groups and threaten the livelihood of other people. By doing that we can be fair to everyone and everyone can speak.

Let’s just pick and choose what rights we want to follow depending on the day of the week, the year, or which way public opinion is going. This man and others like him make me just sick.

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 18, 2014  10:40am

1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally, you live in a country run by idiots.

2. If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion, you live in a country run by idiots.

3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government, you live in a country run by idiots.

4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy leaders in Egypt, you live in a country run by idiots.

5. If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched, you live in a country run by idiots.

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