A week after the brutal shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said his state would ban gun sales to suspects on the federal terrorism watch lists. His executive order would make Connecticut the first state to have this law.
"If you cannot fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to purchase a firearm," Malloy, a Democrat, said on Thursday according to TIME.
Efforts to ban firearm purchases to suspects on the terrorism watch lists stalled in the Republican-controlled Congress. The Senate voted down the bills last week and the House of Representatives blocked debate on it. Congress' apathy on the issue has forced states to take action.
"If Congress will not act, we in the states will," Malloy said, as per the Los Angeles Times.
According to the Governor's office, he would sign the executive order as soon as the federal government gave their state access to the terrorism watch lists. Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws on the books.
"Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris," Malloy said, according to The New York Times. "This should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is a moment to seize in America, and today I'm here to say that we in Connecticut are seizing it."
The Terrorist Screening Center, a branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, maintains the terrorism watch lists. The names are gathered from numerous law agencies and the FBI blocks certain people from flying on airplanes.
Critics argue that people have been placed wrongly on the terrorism watch lists. In turn, those people are not entitled to due process and Republicans don't want these people to lose their second amendment rights.
Within the past ten years, about 2,000 suspects on the terrorism watch lists legally purchased firearms.