Apr 9, 2014
11:23 AM
Connecticut Politics

Mark Boughton Drops out of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Mark Boughton Drops out of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

That didn’t take long.

Shortly after Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton announced he would run for governor, gun owners posted photos showing themselves holding $100 bills and pledged to donate the pictured cash if Boughton would leave Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the organization largely funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Boughton resisted until today, when he announced he would leave the organization.

"As a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, I was a strong supporter of the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut. This remains my position today,” Boughton said in a statement. “I joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) because I believe enforcement of existing gun laws is preferable to creating new gun laws. It is clear in recent months however that Bloomberg’s mission has changed from law enforcement to simply increasing gun regulations. As a result, today I have ended my affiliation with Bloomberg’s group."

Boughton had previously defended his stance on joining the organization and applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo for New York’s gun control laws on a Facebook post that also earned him criticism.

“What I like about this proposal is that hits all of the points, mental health, backgrounds, high capacity magazines, crack down on illegal gun running, and the ability to commit someone if they are a danger to themselves or the public at large. Legal, lawful gun owners can still own a gun,” he wrote in a Facebook post defending his opinion.

Photos of pledged cash as well as several posts questioning Boughton’s stance on Connecticut’s gun laws or criticizing his praise for the New York Gun law appear to have been deleted on the Mayor’s campaign Facebook page.

Gun owners have pledged to make the issue of gun control in Connecticut a central issue in the upcoming election. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League has spoken out against Boughton’s candidacy.

A representative for Mayor's Against Illegal Guns could not immediately be reached for comment. 

CCDL president Scott Wilson said he’s willing to sit with Boughton to discuss his views on the second ammendement, and was pleased with Boughton's resignation from MAIG, but cautioned that support has already been thrown behind three candidates and a change of heart might be too late.

“I can’t really read into what’s going on in Mark’s mind, I hope it’s not pandering. I really hope he’s starting to get it, and he’s really listened and had an opportunity to think over what hpeople have been trying to say. Possibly he’s been enlightened somewhat,” Wilson said. ‘But I would be remiss to not say I think that maybe the window, the timing may have closed as far as gun owners are concerned with regard to Mark Boughton. I’m always willing to listen to what he has to say…but it’s taken him so long, a lot of people have already thrown their support behind the candidates out there.”

Wilson said gun owners have so far supported the three candidates, they consider pro-second ammendement candidates: Tom Foley, Martha Dean and Joe Visconti. 

Following the news, the state Democratic party released a statement calling the move blatant “pandering.”

"After trying to position himself as a moderate, middle-of-the-road guy, Mark Boughton is now so worried about his political future that he's decided it's time to pander to the NRA. Was he spooked by seeing Tom Foley and Martha Dean at last week's rally? Who knows? Whatever his reasoning—and spare me the rhetoric in his press release; it's absurd—he's now shown that when it comes to commonsense gun control, Mark Boughton stands against the people of Connecticut,” state party chairman Nancy DiNardo said.

The gun-control issue has polarized the many candidates running for governor. There are candidates on both extremes; attorney Martha Dean, who represents the CCDL in its suit alleging the state’s gun laws are unconstitutional, and candidate Joe Visconti share the same view. State Sen. John McKinney helped draft the legislation, and voted for, the new gun laws. Candidate Tom Foley has said he would not go so far as to repeal the law, but says had he been an elected official at the time, the law would have been different. Boughton has criticized the law for not doing enough to help those with mental illness or school security.

In January of last year, Boughton voted favorably along with 80 other Mayors supporting legislative proposals crafted by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities that included some gun control measures. Read more on this vote here.

 

Mark Boughton Drops out of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus
 
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed