BELLEVUE, WA – Anti-gun Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is trying to solve his state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit by forcing the state’s gun owners to empty their wallets in order to exercise a constitutional right, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Malloy is proposing an increase on the cost of the state’s portion of the pistol permit more than 400 percent, from $70 to $300, according to the New Haven Register. With the $70 local fee, that brings the cost to $370. Five-year renewal fees would rise to $300.

“This is an outrage,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb declared. “Malloy hates guns and the people who own them, and now he’s essentially trying to rob them blind to help make up for his own fiscal failure as the state’s chief executive. That’s not simply disgusting, it’s despicable.”

The newspaper report also said Malloy wants to raise the background check fee from $50 to $75, a 50-percent increase. It is estimated that these fee hikes would raise $11.6 million, including $2.6 million for just the background check fee hike.

“Governor Malloy obviously thinks it is okay to levy an outrageous fee hike on the exercise of a civil right,” Gottlieb observed. “How ironic that Connecticut is known as the Constitution State. The result of this will be a financial burden on the poor and middle-class gun owners. Evidently Malloy thinks gun ownership is a privilege reserved only for the wealthy because with this budget proposal, it is clear that he is trying to make lawful gun ownership beyond the reach of average wage earners.

“These proposed fee hikes are the equivalent of a poll tax,” he added. “Malloy apparently thinks this is acceptable because it penalizes something he doesn’t like, but it doesn’t pass the smell test. Connecticut gun owners are justifiably alarmed if not downright furious. It’s no wonder why there are now 31 Republican governors and only 18 Democrat governors with Malloy as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.”