by Jennifer Swift
Apr 16, 2014
08:59 AM
Connecticut Politics

John McKinney Would Back Repeal of Tougher Connecticut Gun Laws as Governor?

John McKinney Would Back Repeal of Tougher Connecticut Gun Laws as Governor?

State Sen. John McKinney.

At a right-wing group's meeting Tuesday night, Republican State Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield, a GOP candidate for governor, played the “what if” game concerning the future of Connecticut's new, tougher gun laws, which resulted from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

What if the Connecticut legislature, now  monopolized by Democrats, gained a Republican majority, and what if that majority were to vote repeal the state’s tougher gun laws—passed with bi-partisan support last year? If McKinney were to win the GOP nomination for governor, and then defeat incumbent Democrat Dannel Malloy, would he sign into law legislation calling for that repeal?

“If the legislature repeals something, I think the governor owes great deference to what the legislature does, and I would,” McKinney says in a 23-second video being circulated by the state Democratic party.

But the chances of a scenario happening that would leave McKinney with such a decision are slim to none.

In the Connecticut House, Democrats hold a 97-to-54 majority. Such a huge shift in power is unheard of. Democrats have a 22-to-14 edge in the State Senate.

McKinney’s comments are cut short in the video, leaving out any additional explanation of what he would do if the legislature passed a repeal of the gun law.

The video, taken at the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots Meeting, was circulated by the state Democratic party Wednesday morning.

"It is unbelievable that John McKinney, who voted for the gun control bill, SB 1160, now says if he were governor and the legislature sent him a bill repealing the legislation, he would sign it," Nancy DiNardo, Connecticut Democratic Party chairwoman, said in a statement. "This is political pandering at its worst."

Hours following the video's release, McKinney reitereted his statement that he would defer to the legislature-- but that he still stands by his vote.

“In our republic, the will of the people is expressed through its elected representatives. I stand by my comments: if the legislature repealed a law, I as governor, would give them great deference," McKinney said in a statement. "That standard would apply equally to SB 1160 – the bi-partisan bill which I helped pass into law. However, as I said last night and have consistently said, I stand by my vote and as governor I would not offer legislation calling for its repeal."

He then went after the Democratic party's tactics in releasing the video.

"The misleading attack by the Democrat party and the Malloy campaign represents exactly what's wrong with politics. They took a two hour long conversation and reduced it down to a 22 second sound bite to distort my record and the truth," he said.

John McKinney Would Back Repeal of Tougher Connecticut Gun Laws as Governor?

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