Malloy said he expected failure of federal assault weapons ban

Gov. Dannel Malloy said the death of an assault weapons ban in Congress was to be expected.

“I can count,” he said.

Malloy said he determined there aren’t 60 votes for the ban that are needed to move the legislation forward.

On Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told bill sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.,  he would drop the ban from the package of gun control legislation he intends to bring to the Senate floor, possibly soon after Congress’ two-week break for Passover and Easter.

Malloy is in Washington, seeking federal funds and promoting gun control.

At a seminar hosted by the liberal Center for American Progress, where a CAP moderator tossed softball question,, Malloy spoke of the need for Congress to approve what Reid will allow to come to the floor.

That’s likely a package of legislation that would expand FBI background checks of gun buyers, increase federal penalties for gun trafficking and “straw purchases” and perhaps  outlaw high-capacity magazines.

“You have to put it in context. I can protect people from bad sales in our state, but I can’t protect people from bad sales in other states,” he said.

Malloy said he is satisfied with the progress made by Connecticut gun control proposals. He also said he sent every gun manufacturer in the state a letter “telling them they could stay.”

“But I can’t make them stay,” he said.

Several state gun makers, including Colt, say they are considering offers from other states to relocate.

Malloy also met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday. He said he asked HHS for help in a $50 million shortfall in the budget for state health programs, including Medicaid and the Husky Healthcare program.