Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday he plans to issue an executive order banning the sale of firearms in the state to those on government watch lists.

Malloy, long a strident advocate on gun control issues, feels he needs to take unilateral action to implement the prohibition over concerns that potential terrorists may legally purchase guns.

“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.  If you can’t fly without clearing government watch lists, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” said Malloy in a statement. “Why anyone would stand idly by and knowingly allow those on government watch lists to purchase guns is truly unbelievable.”

A federal ban of the same sort has been a hot button issue on Capitol Hill in recent weeks following a perceived terror attack in San Bernardino, California that claimed the lives of 14 at a holiday party.

Although the husband and wife team in that shooting are not believed to have been on a watch list and the four guns they used were purchased legally in California, a state with among the strongest gun laws in the country, the mass killing has provided impetus for a move to turn the so-called “no fly list” into a list of individuals who cannot purchase firearms.

Republican lawmakers and gun rights groups argue the watch list is a bad tool for an arbitrary gun prohibition list…

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