A measure making its way through the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states. Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., responding to a speech delivered by the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, called the bill “dangerous.”

“What the bill means, simply, is that states with strong gun laws, like Connecticut, would be forced to honor concealed carry permits obtained in a state with lax gun laws, even if the individual’s criminal record would prohibit them from obtaining a permit in Connecticut,” Murphy said Thursday in an email to members.

The “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015,” introduced in February by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, of which Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is a member.

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LaPierre, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, said that concealed carry permitting is a matter of safety.

“The Islamic State is consolidating power. With beheadings, rapes, murders and atrocities, they’re carving a bloody trail that leads to our doorstep. They’re already here,” he said. “How much longer before the horrors we’ve witnessed in Paris or Copenhagen come to the supposedly ‘gun-free zone’ of the Mall of America? Or for that matter, the mall in your town?”

Blumenthal ‘Welcomes’
FEMA Review of Sandy Claims

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Thursday that it would open reviews for every insurance claim made after Hurricane Sandy, the October 2012 storm that devastated parts of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

More than 2,200 claims of insurance fraud against insurers that assessed and covered damage after the storm are currently being litigated, but FEMA may review as many as 144,000 claims, according to spokesman Rafael Lemaitre.

Blumenthal issued a statement Thursday in support of the review, calling claims of possible abuse “deeply troubling.”

“I welcome FEMA’s review. While I am not aware of any instances of fraud or abuse in Connecticut, the allegations of serious abuse in New York and New Jersey are deeply troubling,” Blumenthal said. “Such abuse may have robbed Sandy victims there of millions in badly needed assistance, and FEMA’s review is necessary and appropriate. I will remain in close contact with FEMA officials throughout this review and encourage anyone in Connecticut who believes they may have been a victim of such fraud to contact me.”

Delegation Responds to Possible Sikorsky Sale

The long-rumored sale of Connecticut-based helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky became a real possibility Wednesday when Gregory Hayes, CEO of Sikorsky-parent United Technologies Corp., told investors he was considering “strategic options.”

“As part of the portfolio review announced last December, we are exploring strategic options for Sikorsky to determining the best way to enhance its long-term success and create improved long-term value for UTC’s customers and shareholders,” Hayes said in a written statement Wednesday, as was reported by the Hartford Courant.

In response, several members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation expressed concern over potential losses for Connecticut.

“The uncertainty created by this announcement is most troubling for its impact on Sikorsky’s workforce,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, said Thursday. “Connecticut and Sikorsky have a long, mutually beneficial relationship, dating back to 1929, with Connecticut supplying the lynchpin: the talented, dedicated men and women who make the best helicopters in the world.”

Senators Blumenthal and Murphy issued a joint statement, suggesting that Sikorsky was a “vital” part of Connecticut’s industrial puzzle.

“For generations, Sikorsky and its uniquely skilled and highly-trained Connecticut workforce have provided our nation’s warfighters with the most capable and advanced helicopters,” Blumenthal and Murphy wrote. “During this period of uncertainty over its ownership structure, we will remain in close contact with Sikorsky and UTC leadership to ensure that any change preserves the vital defense industrial base in Connecticut and the manufacturing workforce that clocks in every day to build the best helicopters in the world.”

Jordan Fenster is an award-winning freelance journalist. He lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.

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