Peter Kuck, an outspoken pro-guns member of the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, argues he is in the sights of Gov. Dannel Malloy. Kuck argues that Malloy is seeking candidates to replace the strong Second Amendment supporter.
"This is a continuing attempt to put their thumbs on the balance of justice," Kuck said, adding that he would not go quietly.
A spokesman confirmed that Malloy is thinking about getting rid of Kuck, but ditching Kuck is simply business as usual.
"We are currently reviewing all of the expired terms on the board," said Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Malloy. "The governor has made no secret of his efforts to improve public safety. Clearly, his work on the gun violence prevention bill was a huge step forward. But making sure the spirit of that law is reflected in the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners must be a part of that effort as well."
That response sounds reasonable, but one small detail throws doubt on that idea. Kuck was the subject of a story on the Courant, which discussed his consistent pro-gun voting policies. The following day, the office of Malloy sent a letter to Kuck stating that his term on the board had expired. It asked the Ye Connecticut Gun Guild, the pro-gun organization that put Kuck on the board, to select four other possible replacements. Kuck said that the last time the state wanted multiple nominees, the gun organization said, "we'd send up three names, and they'd be Peter Kuck, Peter Kuck and Peter Kuck."
"I think Peter's done a good job, so why change?" asked Edward Tytor, president of the guild. "I think if I know the membership pretty well, that it will be nearly unanimous that we want Peter to continue this fight."
Gun-rights advocates argue that Malloy is trying to stack the board in favor of gun control.
"There is a balance of perspectives on the board, and that's the way it's supposed to be," said Rachel Baird, a lawyer who often represents appellants.
Malloy might have a tough fight ahead if he seeks to replace Kuck.
"If there's a Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, I'll be there,” Kuck promised.