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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney Statement on Governor Lamont’s Comments on the Griswold Gun Range

January 25, 2019
Press Release

Norwich, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) today welcomed Governor Lamont’s commitment to removing Griswold from consideration for locating a new state police firing range and reviewing alternatives to meet training needs of the state police.

“Thank you to Governor Lamont for fulling his commitment to revisit the decision to locate a new state police gun range in Griswold,” Courtney said. “For over three years, the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services has attempted to identify a location for a new training range. And in every instance, they have both faced strong objection of local citizens and municipal leaders and resisted alternatives to this misguided plan. Every step of the way, I have opposed those efforts and spoken up on behalf of communities across eastern Connecticut who felt that they were not being heard in the process.

“By taking Griswold off the table, Governor Lamont has made the right call for people of this community and for eastern Connecticut. I welcome his decision to take a fresh look at this issue, and in particular his focus on evaluating the use of existing ranges and facilities to augment the training needs of our state police – an approach I have called for since 2015. Governor Lamont and I have spoken about this important issue many times before he was elected and since he’s taken office, and I am grateful for his understanding and shared concern about our region.”

At a press conference today announcing his nominee for Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Governor Lamont confirmed that the Griswold site for the proposed training facility was no longer under consideration. Further, he announced that he had directed his administration to review existing facilities sand ranges that could be utilized to meet training needs for the State Police.

Congressman Courtney has been a vocal opponent of plans to locate a new state policy training facility in eastern Connecticut. Below is a sample of this efforts:

  • November 13, 2015 – in a letter to Connecticut Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Melody Currey, I urged DAS to “consider the potential use of existing firing ranges and training sites in Connecticut before moving forward on … a new training center.” https://courtney.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/courtney-calls-review-alternatives-willington-firing-range
  • May 2, 2016 – in a letter to Commissioner Currey, Courtney again urged that the agency take “a fresh look at the options available to the state.”
  • June 2, 2016 – Courtney urged that DAS set aside the push for a new facility as the only option for meeting the training needs of our troopers and bring in in an outside consultant to evaluate alternatives.
  • March 6, 2018 – Courtney submitted testimony to the Public Safety and Security Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly for a hearing on the subject outlining his efforts to encourage the State of Connecticut to take a new look at the proposal and look at alternatives. https://courtney.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/courtney-releases-testimony-opposing-griswold-gun-range
  • July 4 2018 – Met with then-candidate Ned Lamont to brief him on the many arguments opposed to the Griswold site. Later that month, Lamont toured the Pachaug Forest area and publicly announced his opposition to Griswold as location of the range. 

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