A handful of Middlefield residents showed up at Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting to urge town officials to terminate the town's membership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities over the group's recent proposal for stricter gun control.
"I don't agree with any of it and I don't agree with my tax dollars funding their operations," resident Peter Brown told selectmen.
"I believe it's unfair for the local government, or any government to use tax money and use that to pay for lobbyists to lobby for laws that are against what the taxpayers would want," he added.
On Jan. 16, municipal leaders representing CCM, including the mayors of New Haven and Bridgeport, announced a "comprehensive" list of measures aimed at reducing gun violence.
The measures include expanding the state's definition of an assault weapon and limiting the magazine capacity to 10 bullets or less. If passed, the propsal would also require a permit for a long range gun such as a rifle or shotgun and to purchase ammunition.
While Brown called December's massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown tragic, he said additional gun control measures are not the solution to reducing violence.
"It doesn't matter what the firearm is, per say. It does not. It's what's inside the person, and what's inside the person is a lot of anti-depressants that are making them crazy," he said.
Read Brown's letter to the Board of Selectmen in the attached PDF
Resident Dave Lowry, who described himself as a gun owner and a survivor of the state's second worst mass shooting, said he no longer wanted to support CCM with his tax dollars and called the group's proposal to require gun owners to register all of their firearms — except antiques — a veiled attempt to tax gun owners.
"It seems pretty ludicrous that I have to pay for a right," he said.
"CCM should be much more worried about the bigger problem in this state, the fact that we're marching towards bankruptcy," Lowry added.
Another resident describe CCM's proposal as "radical."
"The federal government and state government is taking real advantage of these people up in Newtown, Connecticut, in pushing their agenda," said Bob Atwell.
The cost of membership to CCM was not clear Monday night but Brown asked town officials to consider becoming a member of the Council of Small Towns, or COST, an organization he said doesn't take a position on gun control.
"I don't see any other way for this to be remedied," he said.
Another member of the audience pointed out that 438,000 people die each year from cigarettes, compared to 30,000 from guns in America.
First Selectman Jon Brayshaw said the board would consider Brown's motion to terminate it's membership with CCM, although no vote was taken.