Myth: This is just a gun range.
Fact: The current State Police training center in Simsbury, Connecticut, consists of one control tower, a classroom for 20 students, two firing ranges (which cannot be used simultaneously) and a multipurpose building. It sits on about 12 acres of land.
The State Police are looking to buy up over 300 acres of privately held land to build a massive new complex that will include a training center the size of the White House, parking for over 120 vehicles, four outdoor firing ranges which can all be used concurrently, and two control towers. Various sources have included space for the K-9 unit, the SWAT team, the Search and Rescue unit, and the Bomb squad.
Make no mistake. This is not a gun range. This is a massive paramilitary compound that is at odds with the country's attempts to move away from the militarization of police forces.
Myth: Our State Police need this facility to get the training they deserve.
Fact: Our State Police put their lives on the line for us every day. They absolutely must have a modern, safe training center to practice the skills they need to protect and serve the people of Connecticut. However, the proposed paramilitary compound is not only a massive overbuild (given the specs of the project, all 1300 of our State Troopers could run through recertification in less than three months, begging the question- who is planning on using this compound for the other nine months of the year?), but the proposed location- in the middle of a residential section of a small, rural town is a shockingly poor choice.
The State Police need a training facility. But they do not need a massive paramilitary compound sited less than two miles from churches, community centers, and schools.
Myth: This fight is about gun control.
Fact: People from all ends of the gun debate are united in opposition to this proposal. This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It has everything to do with state overreach, fiscal irresponsibility, environmental recklessness, and the irreparable damage this could do to a small town.
It's not about gun control. It's about control by the government- and one town's fight against it.
Myth: This is a done deal. The State will do what the State wants to do.
Fact: While the State Police probably expected to find Willington a rural little town, asleep at the wheel, what they discovered was a group of dynamic, driven residents who are committed to protecting and preserving the town that they love. Because of our efforts, the Environmental Impact Evaluation has been pushed back to find answers to our outpouring of questions. We have had a successful rally in Hartford, resulting in a private meeting with the Lt. Governor. We have overwhelmingly voted to appropriate $100,000 to help fund legal representation and experts. We continue to meet, brainstorm, and make our voice heard- this proposal is bad for Willington, and it is bad for Connecticut.