Gun rights group pulls Hatfield endorsement over ‘ghost guns’ stance

HARTFORD – The debate over so-called ‘ghost guns’ has cost a candidate for state Attorney General the endorsement of the state’s largest gun rights group.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) had previously endorsed Republican Susan Hatfield in the primary race.  Hatfield is the GOP-endorsed candidate who will face former State Representative John Shaban in an August 14th primary.

But in a statement on their blog on Thursday, the CCDL said Hatfield showed “wavering support for the 2nd Amendment” and withdrew the endorsement, while still saying that Hatfield “would make a far better Attorney General” than any other candidate. Hatfield is a state prosecutor, taking a leave of absence to run for office.

At issue are comments Hatfield made to the CT Mirror in an article on ghost guns – guns assembled from mail order kits or produced by 3D printers, which opponents say are untraceable.

She gave the Mirror a statement that said in part: “Preventing 3D-printed firearms shouldn’t be a political issue … we should work together to find a way to stop criminals, gangs, and terrorist from getting the blueprints to print 3D-printed firearms.” She also said she supported outgoing Attorney General George Jepsen’s decision to join other states in suing the Trump administration over ghost gun policy.

CT Citizens Defense League logo.

That was too much for the CCDL, which said it vets candidates’ views, but that “ultimately it is up to each of them to defend the 2nd Amendment in the face of political pressure from other candidates, or from media inquiries.”

On her campaign’s Facebook page, Hatfield said that she ‘will always remain a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment’ and that many people ‘including President Donald Trump are rightly troubled’ by 3D firearms. She pledged that ‘as attorney general I will put the safety of Connecticut residents, first – always.’