Gun Group Pulls Support of Coltsville

By Jeff Saperstone
|  Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013  |  Updated 9:45 PM EDT
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Gun Group Pulls Support of Coltsville

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It was home to one of the state's largest manufacturing complexes. Today the former Colt Armory is slowly coming back in the form of offices, apartments and school and possibly a national park.

"We would love to become a national park," Larry Dooley, the developer of Coltsville, said. "It would be a beautiful thing."

On Tuesday the National Shooting Sports Foundation suddenly pulled its support for the federal effort to give the site national park status sending a letter to the congressional delegation and Governor Dannel Malloy.

It read in part: "Our industry is offended by the hypocrisy of our elected officials in Congress and the state government that simultaneously advocate for legislation that pays homage to our industry’s heritage and legacy in Connecticut by establishing a National Park on the site of the legendary, iconic Colt factory, while at the same time pursue gun control legislation."

The letter sparked a colorful response from Gov. Malloy on Wednesday.

"I think they went out and cut a bunch of sour grapes and ate them," he said. "That's what I think."

In their two-page letter NSSF is hoping to send a message but it's a message Connecticut lawmakers call a scare tactic.

The bill to make Coltsville a national park has been discussed for the better part of twenty years.

Dooley told NBC Connecticut he does not want to get involved in politics. He said their plans to create a visitor's center under the iconic dome are moving ahead either way.

"I really don't understand how politics has to do with history and this becoming a national park," questioned Dooley. "It's not going to effect our ability to become a successful project."

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