They couldn’t get an audience with Chris Christie.
So the New Jersey governor will get one from the Connecticut opponents of high-capacity gun magazines when Christie visits Greenwich Monday night for a GOP fundraiser — and a rude audience at that.
The group Connecticut Against Gun Violence is planning to bus in demonstrators from Newtown for a protest outside the big-ticket fundraiser, which will support Republican efforts to win back the governor’s office, Hearst Connecticut Media has learned.
Christie drew the ire of gun violence prevention activists earlier this month when he vetoed legislation that would have reduced the cap on magazine capacity from 15 to 10 rounds of ammunition, bringing New Jersey’s law into line with Connecticut’s.
Multiple family members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims say they tried to meet with Christie, but to no avail.
“High capacity ammunition magazines were designed as weapons of war,” Greenwich Selectman Drew Marzullo, a Democrat, told Hearst Thursday. “The governor of New Jersey’s veto last week, simply put, was wrong. The only logical explanation for his decision not to reduce the size of a magazine must have been rooted in pure politics. The parents of the 20 young students who were slaughtered in bright daylight on December 14, 2012, should have been afforded the opportunity to meet and talk with Governor Christie. I don’t care one iota if his schedule didn’t permit it.”
Christie’s office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. Flirting with a run for president in 2016, Christie has characterized the 10-round limit as arbitrary, but said he sympathized with families of the victims of gun violence.
Connecticut GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. questioned the logic behind the protest, which is being planned in consultation with police since the fundraiser is taking place in the exclusive private enclave of Belle Haven.
“I guess it’s their right to bus people in to protest the laws of New Jersey,” Labriola said. “But it’s also Governor Christie’s right to govern the affairs of his state as he sees fit. We are a union of 50 sovereign states, this is Connecticut. The purpose of Governor Christie’s visit is straightforward — to raise money to defeat (Governor) Dan Malloy so we can pull Connecticut’s economy out of last place.”
The price point for tickets to the fundraiser ranges from $10,000 for a VIP host to a $1,000 minimum for supporters — there’s a $250 option for young Republicans 35 and under.
The event is being hosted by Brian Olson, a co-founder of Viking Global Investors, a hedge fund that manages more than $10 billion in investments. Olson’s Belle Haven estate is valued at $13 million.