Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D.) defended calling the National Rifle Association a terrorist group on Sunday and accused the group of being against banning terrorists from buying guns.
In the wake of the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead, Malloy said the NRA had "in essence become a terrorist organization" in its gun rights advocacy.
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In an interview with MSNBC's Al Sharpton, Malloy defended the remarks by equating the NRA's political strength to terrorism.
"Well, what I said is they act like a terrorist organization," Malloy said. "So if you go to the dictionary, Merriam-Webster in particular, and you look up ‘terrorism,’ it is ‘the use of fear to coerce.’ That's what terrorist organizations do."
Malloy said the NRA has opposed the use of the no-fly list to sell guns to people, but he appeared to conflate those on that watch list with actual terrorists.
"You referenced Sandy Hook. The federal government hasn't done a thing since then," Malloy said. "They can't even bar terrorists from buying guns in this country because the NRA opposes that."
"We have a no-fly list, but the people on that list can buy guns in America," Malloy added. "How does that make any sense?"
NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker told the Washington Free Beacon Malloy's suggestion that the NRA opposed banning terrorists from buying guns was "offensive and wrong."
"The NRA does not want terrorists or dangerous people to have firearms, any suggestion otherwise is offensive and wrong," Baker said in a statement. "It is a fact that there are law-abiding Americans who are wrongly on these secret government lists and like the ACLU we believe they should be afforded their constitutional right to due process."