Lawmakers Hear Industry Voices

On March 11, more than 3,000 gun owners and members of the industry from across Connecticut filled the halls of the state legislative office building in Hartford. NSSF joined forces with NRA, Connecticut Citizens Defense League and Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen to coordinate and promote the “Lobby Day.”

Those taking part in the gathering included Stag Arms employees, with the company shutting down its operation for the day. They met with their representatives and spoke to the media, addressing opposition to proposed anti-gun laws, including banning modern sporting rifles.

On March 14, Colt Manufacturing and Colt Defense shut down their operations and provided bus transportation so more than 550 of their workers could visit the state legislative office building to deliver the message: “Save Our Jobs.”

During the day’s General Assembly committee hearing, industry representatives testifying included Mark Malkowski, Stag Arms president; Joe Bartozzi, O.F. Mossberg & Sons senior vice president/general counsel; Michael Homes, Colt United Auto Workers Shop chairman and Jake McGuigan, NSSF Government Relations director.

Neighbors, Too

Also, in separate television commercials, the management and employees of three firearms manufacturers with operations in Connecticut let their voices be heard. NSSF produced the commercials and is paying for the airtime on several cable television systems in the state.

“The firearms industry has a long history in Connecticut, and continues to have a sizeable economic presence and workforce in the Constitution State,” said Jake McGuigan, of NSSF. “Despite these facts, legislation before the General Assembly that would institute an outright ban on the sale of the most popular model of semiautomatic rifle today presents the real prospect of decreasing good-paying jobs in our state.”

Titled “Don’t Lose Us In The Discussion,” the commercials capture the operations of Colt, Mossberg and Stag Arms. Each concludes with a “we don’t want to move” message.

“Many other states have called here, repeatedly, asking us to move there. The Mossberg family resisted those efforts. We want to be part of the solution. We want to be here. These are our neighbors, too,” said Joe Bartozzi, of Mossberg.

To view the commercials, visit

To stay up-to-date on legislative issues, and for links to contact legislators, visit and click “Government Relations.”
By Russ Thurman

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