Over 3,000 residents came to the Legislative Office Building on March 11 to make their voice heard regarding gun control. Scott Ennis, Founder of the Disabled Americans for Firearms Rights group, said that Governor Dannel Malloy insulted these residents and called them “the fringe of the fringe”.
“His statement concerns me because the more than 3,000 Connecticut residents that he was referring to are hardworking, law abiding, tax paying residents that were exercising their right to speak to their legislators about various bills that are being proposed by the state. Many of the individuals he remarked about are disabled residents. To call these individuals “the fringe of the fringe” is totally unprofessional and uncalled for. By Governor Malloy making those remarks he is sending a clear message to the residents of the State of Connecticut that if you wish to voice your opinion during the legislative process, you will be considered an outcast in the state’s eyes,” Ennis said.
Approximately 15,000 disabled firearms owners nationwide are represented by the Disabled Americans for Firearms Rights group with about 2,700 of those being Connecticut residents.
“As disabled individuals we have a difficult enough time dealing with discrimination, disadvantages, and stereotyping. To have our governor directly insult state residents in their right to participate in the legislative process only serves to discourage people from doing so and further promote stereotypes,” Ennis explained, adding “to hear such public discriminatory remarks against his constituents simply because they represent a view that opposes his platform is abhorrent.”
Ennis testified on Jan. 28 at a Connecticut Gun Violence Task Force hearing that his organization is concerned about legislation that would mislabel certain semi-automatic rifles as assault weapons and possibly ban them.
“Many responsible disabled firearms owners can only utilize the AR-15 type rifle as it is easily adjustable for each individual’s special needs…I currently use an AR-15 type rifle for both home defense as well as for sport shooting. The pistol grip, adjustable stock and addition of a vertical foregrip allows individuals with certain disabilities, such as myself, to be able to adjust the firearm to their own specific need as well as the ability to hold their hands in a vertical position. Without these types of options, thousands of responsible disabled firearms owners would not be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights…The adjustable and adaptable options I am speaking of have nothing to do with the lethality of the firearm.”
Ennis suffers from hemophilia, a bleeding disorder which has caused bleeding into his joints for 40 years which prevents him from straightening his arms or the ability turn his hand to grip the foreend of a rifle or handgun in the traditional manner.
“The rights of responsible disabled firearms owners as well as all responsible firearms owners within the State of Connecticut should take precedent over any such unfair proposals or extreme reactions based on the actions of one severely disturbed individual criminal,” Ennis explained.