Waterbury CT Police Chief Cancels Gun Show

by Rick Olson

“Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.” —James Madison 

Chief Michael J. Guggliotti, Waterbury Connecticut Police

Waterbury Connecticut Police Chief Michael Gugliotti  has cancelled the Northeast Gun Show’s January 12th and 13th dates scheduled at the CoCo Key Waterpark Hotel and Convention Center.

Why? Chief Gugliotti says he’s concerned a firearm purchased in his city might one day be used in a mass shooting. “We are not going to go ahead and issue a permit for the show until further notice,” said Chief Gugliotti to WTNH New-8.

“I felt out of honor and respect that the least I can do was to, for the time being, postpone an event like that from occurring so close to the incident,” said Chief Gugliotti.

The problem is that a gun show is not an illegal activity. The Chief’s reasoning to clamp down on the gun show bears insufficient legal reason to do so and can be construed as a governmental restrain on trade. Morever, this issue touches on free speech so this unilateral action by the Waterbury Chief could be construed as a prior restraint.

Of course, all the whiners are going to weigh in here…call me insensitive, callous, and not respectful of the Newtown tragedy. But certainly, they won’t be arguing anything hard and fast that is legal, to support their pablum. There simply is none, unless of course, one ascribes to the dictatorial doctrine of, “because I can.”

We need only look back 35 years when an ACLU fought for the right of Nazis to march in Skokie Illinois. (National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977)). And a gun show is an activity that is only offensive to hoplophobes.

Interestingly enough, transfers of firearms are tightly controlled at this show:

But, lets not let the facts get in the way of the Waterbury Police Chief’s PC emotional, knee-jerk response…that may be later deemed illegal…or lacking sufficient basis on which to act.

Leave a Comment

  • So – any liberals calling for Michael J Mussolini’s head on a pike for for shooting off his mouth and terminating the innocent exercise of the rights of contract and freedom of association of the attendees?
    Liberals scream “fascist” whenever conservative ideas are mentioned, but have no reaction when actual fascism is practiced.
    The gun show should be moved to a friendlier town, and the hotel should be encouraged to sue the police chief for its lost revenue.

  • If trade within the show is strictly controlled, complete with background checks, what happens if a bunch of gun enthusiasts meet in a parking lot, and hold a gun swapmeet?

    • In Connecticut, Mike, I am not sure that is legal. This is, after all, Connecticut…This would be akin to going to Massachusetts and conducting and informal swap meet there. Jurisdictions with laws similar to MA have implemented measures to ensure that when it comes to firearms changing hands, the state is in the middle of the transaction.


    Now I could see, it CT. was one of the 33 states that still had the “gun show loophole” – the chief’s actions might be considered justified. But since CT. gun shows are tightly regulated, I don’t see what his problem is. This seems to me not to have a thing to do with public safety. It seems to be all about politics.

  • C. dog e. doG

    Does Mikey Gugliotti also issue permits when folks want to congregate to exchange ideas?
    – C. dog, sans license to bark

Previous post:

Next post: