The president of one of the nation’s oldest gun manufacturers closed down his Connecticut factory Thursday morning and bused 400 of his workers to the state Capitol so they could personally urge lawmakers not to pass gun control legislation that they say could risk their livelihoods.
Dennis Veilleux, president of the Hartford-based Colt’s Manufacturing Co., said even though he has spoken with legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s staff about his trepidations several times, he believes they don’t truly understand the financial ramifications of the legislation being proposed in the wake of the deadly Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
State officials have listened to the concerns he and other Connecticut gun company officials have voiced, “but I would say it’s more pacifying us,” Veilleux said. That’s why he decided to rent 10 buses and bring over his first shift workers, plus some second- and third-shift ones, and some suppliers.
“These are the faces of the jobs at Colt,” Veilleux said in an interview with The Associated Press while riding on a bus back to the factory. “Each of these people represents other people in the state. They represent the community and, in a lot of cases, they’re the breadwinners of their families. And more and more, manufacturing jobs are hard to come by.”
Colt has been operating in Connecticut for the past 175 years.
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