Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Thursday he intends to sign an executive order blocking people on federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns in his state.
The order, which Malloy said requires federal approval, would be the first of its kind issued by any governor in the nation and comes in response to recent terrorism incidents in the U.S. and Europe. He said in a statement:
"Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. They have been and should be a wake-up call to our nation.
"I am taking this common-sense step with this executive order simply because it's the right thing to do. It's the smart thing to do."
The federal government maintains lists of people who have alleged links to terrorists and are barred from flying. Democrats have tried to expand the list to bar gun purchases as well.
"If you can't fly without clearing government watch lists, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun," Malloy said. "Why anyone would stand idly by and knowingly allow those on government watch lists to purchase guns is truly unbelievable."
But the U.S. Senate last week defeated a bill that aimed to prevent known and suspected terrorists from buying guns, reported The Hill.
Malloy criticized Congress for not doing more to address the issue, saying, "If Congress will not act, we in the states will."
It's not clear how state officials would gain access to the watch lists, The New York Times said. It also noted:
"Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including measures enacted in 2013 after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012. In that attack, a gunman killed 20 schoolchildren and six staff members before killing himself."
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