June 12, 2014/Press Releases


Hartford, CT – Tom Foley appeared on WNPR’s “Where We Live” with John Dankosky this morning to discuss the gubernatorial election. During the segment, he received some very simple questions on Connecticut’s gun safety legislation that clearly stumped him – and Connecticut voters should fear his answers.

“Mr. Foley, once again, has shown why he is completely unfit to be Governor. Recklessly claiming our smart, strict gun law was too ‘inconvenient’ for residents, he showed why he is wrong for Connecticut,” said Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo. “It seems like each week our nation faces a new gun-related tragedy – would he tell a victim’s family that our commonsense law is just too ‘inconvenient’? He lacks even the most basic understanding of public policy. His responses not only lack coherence – they’re reckless. Connecticut voters simply can’t trust him.”

Mr. Foley was asked some very simple questions about Connecticut’s smart gun law. In the process, he said Governor Malloy “overreached” with the commonsense bill, provided no specifics on what he disagreed with, claimed it was “inconvenient” for residents, and refused to say whether he believed in background checks. He then said he would vote for changes to roll back the bill if the legislature proposed them. A short portion of the exchange is below and the audio of the entire exchange is attached.

Foley: “…I think that Governor Malloy overreached with this bill. I’m not quite sure why. I think a lot of things that were in the bill would not prevent.”

Dankosky: “Be specific about the overreach. What do you think is in the bill that shouldn’t have been in the bill?”

Foley: “Well there are an awful lot of things in there that inconvenience law-abiding citizens who believe they have a right under the Second Amendment to own and use firearms and I don’t, what I said when this tragedy happened was that the government should address any solutions they can to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, but there’s an awful lot in that bill that had nothing to do with what happened in Newtown and wouldn’t prevent another Newtown from happening.

Dankosky: “But I was just asking for some specificity. Is there something specific you can point to that says, ‘That’s in there that I wouldn’t have put in that bill.’”

Foley: “Well, anything that is inconveniencing to law-abiding citizens who believe they have a right under the Second Amendment to bear firearms…”

Dankosky: “Do you think we should have background checks for gun purchases?”

Foley: “Well,  listen, I, these, [pause]. The weapons that were used in Newtown were all legally purchased, the ammunition was all legally purchased, none of this would have prevented Newtown from happening…”

Dankosky: “So how do you get at this nexus of mental health and gun control and making sure that Newtown doesn’t happen again, because I think a lot of people who err on one side say, you know, we need to have stronger mental health systems. And the other side, people say we need to have fewer guns. Clearly there needs to be some mix of these two things because the problem is someone with mental health issues having guns, causing problems. So, how exactly would that work in your mind in order to keep people who have mental health issues from having guns. What would that look like?”

Foley: “Well, I think, people are [pause] misfocused. Listen, we’ve had a lot of tragedies similar to Newtown since then and…”

Dankosky: “I believe 74 school shootings since that time.”

Foley: “Well, they aren’t all shootings. Some of these are stabbings.”

Dankosky: “No, 74 shootings.

Foley: “Well okay, well I mean all of the tragedies aren’t just shootings. The one that happened in Southern California, the three young men that were killed in his apartment were stabbed. So I don’t think anyone’s proposing getting rid of knives…”

Dankosky: “The second part of Bethy’s question: would you repeal the current law, if you were governor?”

Foley: “Listen, I think that’s a fixed law right now. People have asked me if the legislature came to me with some modifications to the law, most laws are, they’re corrections and modifications over time, it was a pretty comprehensive bill, if the legislature came to me with some changes that made it less inconvenient for law abiding citizens who own firearms, I would sign that, but a full repeal of the bill seems very unlikely.”

The audio of the exchange is below.