A small Connecticut gun rights group gained attention on Wednesday after issuing a press release that smeared the father of a boy killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Connecticut Carry released a “rap sheet” of Neil Heslin, listing his multiple arrests for driving under the influence and conviction for felony narcotics possession. The group also published a document entitled “Neil Heslin’s Troubled Past,” which included lawsuits related to foreclosure, collection efforts, and child support.
“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 nonprofit group wrote it its statement. “A felon within arm’s reach of the president of the administration so dead set on background checks. No better testimony to how ineffective background checks are needs to be presented.”
Heslin has spoken out in support of stronger gun laws, including expanding criminal background checks and restricting high-capacity magazines. His appearances on TV and at legislative hearings have made him one of the more well-known relatives of the victims of the tragic school shooting, which left 20 young children and 6 adults dead.
“While we all, as humans, share in the sorrow and outrage of Mr. Heslin’s tragic loss, as well as everyone who lost someone on that terrible day; we don’t all have to feel ok with Mr. Heslin profiting off of the tragedy and hurting the gun owning, law abiding citizens who did nothing wrong that day,” Connecticut Carry said.
How Heslin is profiting from his advocacy is unclear. The Huffington Post contacted several prominent gun control groups, but none of them said they ever employed Heslin.