The 19,000 member strong Connecticut Citizens Defense League has been calling and sending emails to Gov. Dannel Malloy's office urging him not to go through with an executive order that would be aimed at blocking anyone on a federal terror watch list from purchasing a gun.
The governor announced his intention last week but said today that he has not yet signed the action.
“Our hope at this point is that the governor will have a change of heart and see things our way for once" said Scott Wilson, the group's president.
A spokesman for Gov. Malloy said the feedback received by the administration through its Constituent Services division had been, "overwhelmingly positive."
Some emails were provided by the CCDL to NBC Connecticut. One of the emails from a CCDL supporter read, "We have the right to know, and confront our accusers. Other countries in our world, the very quasi-governments that seek to destroy us in the name of radicalized extremist views. You have become the hero of those groups. With the stroke of the pen, you seek to destroy what they do not have, and they want."
When asked about the feedback, Gov. Malloy said Tuesday that the CCDL is standing on the wrong side of the issue. He argues that if names have ended up on watch lists that shouldn't have been, then they're minor mistakes that shouldn't discount his effort to keep guns out of possible terrorists' hands.
“Why don’t we just call it what it is?" Malloy asked rhetorically. "They don’t want anything that inhibits anyone’s rights, even terrorists.”
He added that he thinks CCDL is "out of step" with how the majority of Connecticut residents feel about the topic.
The CCDL's Wilson says he agrees with the governor that terrorists shouldn't be able to legally purchase guns, but said there have to be limits on how government could block certain purchases.
“We don’t want terrorists to get guns but we want to make sure that every American has their due process rights and we do believe that the federal government should step up investigations of anybody that is on a terrorist watch list" Wilson said.
People with credible terrorist ties, Wilson said, "should be arrested, charged, convicted, removed from society, removed from the country if need be.”