A Connecticut pro-gun group launched personal attacks against a man whose child was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, accusing him of “profiting off of the tragedy,” the Huffington Post reported Wednesday.
In a press release Wednesday, the nonprofit pro-gun group Connecticut Carry attacked Neil Heslin, who has pushed for increased gun restrictions after his son, Jesse Lewis, was killed in the school shooting. The group brought up Heslin’s history of run-ins with the law, including a decade-old felony conviction for narcotics possession. Heslin was supposed to appear in court on Wednesday to answer to charges ranging from “operating with a suspended license to issuing bad checks to larceny,” the News-Times newspaper in Danbury, Conn., reported.
The group also said that Heslin himself is not eligible to purchase a firearm. “So often we find that the strongest critics of the right to bear arms are those people who cannot be trusted with firearms themselves,” the press release said. The release also raised alarm bells over the fact that Heslin’s activism on guns has brought him in contact with President Obama. “A felon within arm’s reach of the President of the administration so dead set on background checks,” the release said. “No better testimony to how ineffective background checks are needs to be presented.”
Referring to the charges of issuing bad checks, the press release said Heslin used the tragedy to find “the employment he has needed for so long lobbying against the rights of the citizens of Connecticut and the rest of the country as well.”
A spokesperson for Mayors Against Illegal Guns told the Huffington Post that Heslin was not compensated for participating in an ad by the group, which Connecticut Carry had cited as evidence of his newfound “employment.” The Huffington Post followed up on this charge and could not find evidence that Heslin has been employed or reimbursed for any of his gun-related activism. Heslin declined to talk to the News-Times, and referred questions to his attorneys, who did not return the newspaper’s calls.
*This post has been updated.