Calling their options “downright horrible,” opportunistic, or “absolutely delusional,” the gun rights group Connecticut Carry said Tuesday it will not be endorsing a candidate in this year’s gubernatorial election.
Gun control has played a significant role in this year’s campaign as a result of strict firearm regulations passed during the first term of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The bill was approved in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
By not backing a candidate, Connecticut Carry is at odds with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a similar group, which last week endorsed Republican Tom Foley. The group picked Foley, who narrowly lost to Malloy in 2010, over Joe Visconti, a petitioning conservative candidate who has made gun rights central to his campaign.
Connecticut Carry has maintained that none of the candidates deserve an endorsement.
“One of the primary reasons for this is that there is no one to endorse. The current crop of political candidates range from downright horrible to only wanting to use us for our votes to absolutely delusional,” the press release read.
Without naming any, the Connecticut Carry statement implied that some Second Amendment groups were making partisan endorsements rather than focusing on gun rights.
“We would require any candidate to meet our standards for the advocacy of individual rights no matter what party they did or didn’t belong to. Since we are the zero compromise, pro-rights organization in Connecticut, we refuse to make allegiances or alliances with politicians that can and will turn their backs on our organization and members once they get into office,” the statement read.
Connecticut Carry President Richard Burgess did not immediately return calls for comment.
Foley has been cautiously opposed to the 2013 gun control law. If elected, he has said he would not push to repeal the law, but would sign a repeal in the unlikely event the legislature passed one.
Gun control is an issue that has divided Connecticut voters. A Quinnipiac University poll released in May suggested that 56 percent of voters support the 2013 law with 38 percent opposed.
Democrats have publicized Foley’s endorsement last week by the 15,000-member CCDL. In press releases, they have referred to the group as “extreme right-wing gun advocacy group.” During a Democrat-organized conference call last week, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc accused Foley of selling “his soul to the devil” for the group’s support.