Connecticut moves to ban gun sales to US terror suspects

Agence France-Presse
Weapons confiscated from the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Police said the couple, Tashfeen Malik, 27, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, had two assault-style rifles, two semi-automatic handguns and 1,600 rounds of ammunition in their vehicle when they were killed.

Connecticut announced plans Thursday to ban sales of weapons to terror suspects, in what would be the first such measure in the United States as it seeks to fight a scourge of gun violence.

"Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris," Governor Dan Malloy said in a statement.

"They have been and should be a wakeup 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."

Under the executive order, suspects on government watchlists will be denied firearm permits.

State police already perform background checks on those seeking permits to purchase guns in Connecticut, the scene of a bloody massacre at a school in Newtown three years ago.

Malloy now wants police to collect the names of those seeking to obtain a permit against government terror watchlists.

But in order to do so, the governor of Connecticut, which has some of the toughest gun-control laws in the United States, needs approval from federal authorities.

Malloy cited FBI data showing that people on terror watchlists tried to purchase firearms and explosives 2,233 times between 2004 and 2014.

In more than 90 percent of those cases they succeeded.

The perennial US gun control debate was revived after last week's deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California by a Muslim husband and wife said to have been radicalized.

The couple shot 14 people dead before being killed by police.