CT Legislators Are About To Vote On YOUR Rights! Action Needed ASAP!

Legislative Alert!
There is slightly more than a week left in this year’s legislative session. The following gun bills may come up for a vote as early as tomorrow!  Please call the House and Senate leaders, as well as your own Representative and Senator today, and tell them to take the specified actions on the pending bills below.

  • House Majority Leader: Joe Aresimowicz – (860) 240-8500
  • House Minority Leader: Themis Klarides – (860) 240-8700
  • Senate Majority Leader: Bob Duff – (860) 240-8600
  • Senate Minority Leader: Len Fasano – (860) 240-8800

Also be sure to your call your local Representative and Senator as well, and tell them how you, as one of their constituents, want them to vote on the following bills.
You can look up your local Representative and Senator and their contact information here: www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5054

AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5623

AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, ACCESS TO MARSHALS, AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders.
The same identical language from HB 5054 is included in this bill. This bill is a very unsettling attempt to divide gun owners to make them look like we somehow support human trafficking.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Oppose HB 5408

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT

This bill would undermine the “reasonable suspicion” clause in the current law and would deprive gun owners of Constitutional rights protected under the 4th Amendment.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Support HB 5409

AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR A REVOLVER.

 This bill is a worthy of support. This will help establish uniform criteria for local issuing authorities across the state.

________________________________________________________________________________

It is critical to contact your legislators to let them know your positions on these bills. Your communication with your elected officials is the only thing that will stop anti-gun bills from passing, and help pro-gun bills to pass. Remember, their job is to represent YOU!
If you need more information before contacting your legislators about these bills, please visit our blog for useful information, or email Ray Bevis at legislative@ccdl.us
CCDL’s strength lies in the actions of its members.  Please take action as soon as possible. Our rights are at stake!

Press Release – Post Office Armed Robbery

For Immediate Release:

(Groton, CT) – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League offers the following statement pertaining to the armed robbery of a Post Office in West Haven, CT earlier today.

Statement from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
“This was a brazen act by individuals who obviously had no fear of being met with any opposition from the people who work in or patronize an environment where firearms are banned by federal law.  Fortunately no one was hurt in this instance, but the very fact that this happened underscores the vulnerability that every postal employee and customer faces on a daily basis.

The CCDL President Also Stated: 
“If criminals will rob this post office in such a coordinated fashion, then why wouldn’t they go on and rob others in a similar manner? This highlights the very real fact that criminals do not follow laws or honor so-called “gun free zones”, and lawmakers should re-think their views. What happened today is a real life consequence of their decision-making”.

–End–

About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to over 22,000 members from across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state capitol, and well-recognized by committees that see firearms related bills.

As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information on the CCDL please visit http://www.ccdl.us

Press Contact:
Scott Wilson
president@ccdl.us
860-235-7490

Opposition To Gun-Violence Study Misconstrued

The following is a guest post by CCDL Executive Member Bob Starr. It was originally published in the Republican-American newspaper.

See our Letter Writing Guide for helpful tips and links for crafting your own opinion pieces for local newspapers.

________________________________________

This is in response to Jonathan P. Costa Sr.’s letter published in the Republican-American on April 11 in which he expresses his disagreement with an April 6 opinion offered by J. Mark Harran. (subscription required to read full links)

I am left wondering how Mr. Costa’s opinion was formed.

He claims that the NRA has thwarted efforts to conduct research on gun violence. The NRA has indeed opposed some research which it believed was being proposed by organizations which appeared to be starting with an agenda that might jeopardize the credibility of any reports that would result from it. What puzzles me is that Mr. Costa starts out by saying that research has not taken place and then proceeds to cite “facts” for which he gives no sources.

I have heard many opinions expressed both for and against “campus carry” (the original opinion’s topic). It is impossible to definitively know whether such a policy would result in positive or negative consequences. My feeling is that it would most likely be both.

The title above Mr. Costa’s letter claims that profit is the NRA’s motive in defending the second amendment, but I don’t see any indication in the letter to support that assertion or any actual expression of that belief. Since the NRA is a non-profit organization I’m not sure how that would even be a concern.
Robert Starr

April 12th Member Meeting

CCDL holds its monthly general membership meeting at 7:00pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Elks Lodge in Middletown, CT.

Our next meeting is Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

All CCDL members are welcome and encouraged to attend. We have a request from the property owners to please do not park on the grass when attending the meeting.

Meeting Agenda

  • Discussion and course of action on currently proposed legislation

  • Discussion on litigation against the State (Shew v Malloy)

  • Discussion on 2016 elections and how we can make a difference

  • Guest speaker: State Rep Dan Carter (candidate U.S. Senate)

  • Guest speaker: Linda Synkowicz (candidate 33rd House District)

  • Guest speaker: Matt Maxwell (candidate 5th District U.S. Congress)

  • Guest speaker: Andy Falvey (candidate 103rd House District)

  • Poker Run discussion (volunteers needed)

Merchandise
We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.
We also sell limited edition items that are not available in our online store. For hunting season we have camo/blaze hats, $25 each.
We still have patches, pins, and magnets (perfect to put on your car, gun safe, or refrigerator). We also sell the car decals in assorted colors and sizes that you can’t get online.

Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. Please bring non perishables to the meeting. If everyone that attends brought at least one canned good we would be helping to feed MANY!

Middletown Elks
44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT 06457
April 12, 2016 7:00pm-9:00pm
Please park in the event lot to the left of the building (looking at it from Maynard St) and enter the upstairs banquet hall at the front of the building. please do not park on the grass!!


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Immediate Action Required! Contact Your Legislator Today

To all CCDL members,
The following bills have passed out of committee, and will be going to the House and Senate for a vote.
Please call or email your state Rep and your state Senator and ask them to take the following actions:
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5054

AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5623

AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders.
The same identical language from HB 5054 is included in this bill. This bill is a very unsettling attempt to divide gun owners to make them look like we somehow support human trafficking.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5408
AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT This bill would undermine the “reasonable suspicion” clause in the current law and would deprive gun owners of Constitutional rights protected under the 4th Amendment.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Support HB 5409

AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR A REVOLVER.

 This bill is a worthy of support. This will help establish uniform criteria for local issuing authorities across the state.
________________________________________________________________________________

It is critical you contact your legislators to let them know your positions on these bills. Your communication with your elected officials is the only thing that will stop anti-gun bills from passing, and help pro-gun bills to pass.
If you need more information before contacting your legislators about these bills, please visit our blog for useful information, or email Ray Bevis at legislative@ccdl.us
Our strength lies in the actions of our members.  Please take action as soon as possible. Our rights are at stake!

Gun-Seizure Law Makes Us Less Safe

The following is a guest post by Brooke Cheney.
Brooke is a competitive shooter (IDPA), certified Range Safety Officer, certified firearms instructor, and an active CCDL member. She owns A Great Start Shooting School in Harwinton, CT.
This article was originally published in the Republican-American newspaper.

_________________________________________________________________


Even if they’ve never set foot in a courtroom, Americans know they have the right to “tell it to the judge.” This fundamental right, known as the right to due process, is the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. It’s a right our Colonial ancestors didn’t enjoy. As subjects of the British crown, they routinely were abused by government agents who brought false, baseless charges against innocent people. Our ancestors had no right to tell their side of the stories, face their accusers or demand evidence of crimes.

Today, Connecticut lawmakers are debating a bill that would take us back to the days when the government trampled our rights and freedoms. Under House Bill 5054 and others, the government could seize a person’s firearms without giving him a chance to tell his side of the story or face his accuser in court. He wouldn’t even have to be accused of a crime. Under this bill, a law-abiding citizen could be forced to hand over his firearms based solely on a brief statement by an accuser. Innocent people would have no right to defend themselves before being deprived of property and due process.

Our Constitution is under assault. Gun-control groups are trying to undermine our freedoms and chip away at our constitutional protections. Supporters of H.B. 5054 claim they want to protect victims of domestic violence by taking firearms from the accused. However, under this proposal, there is no way to know if they are taking the guns away from the abuser or the abused.

As a firearms instructor, I have heard many stories of women choosing to become educated with firearms to defend themselves against their abusers. This bill could leave victims of domestic violence defenseless. A better approach would be to change the attitudes and behaviors of the abusers, and promote measures enabling victims to defend themselves.

A tragic case in New Jersey illustrates the folly of gun-control laws. Carol Bowne, 39, of Berlin, N.J., was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend. Bowne had applied for a firearms permit in an attempt to defend herself — months before she was attacked. Bowne was granted a restraining order, but she knew it was only a piece of paper and would not protect her if her ex-boyfriend chose not to abide by it. But New Jersey’s gun-control laws prevented her from being able to defend herself.

This tragedy also shows that if you take away guns from domestic abusers, they will find other weapons, or acquire firearms illegally.

H.B. 5054 is part of the fear-based agenda Connecticut lawmakers have adopted in recent years. In 2013, they imposed a ban on magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds, banned all new general-purpose sporting rifles (a measure that was found ineffective because of the rarity of crimes committed with these rifles based on the federal assault-weapons ban of 1994), and imposed registration on all of the state’s existing rifles — while ignoring the suggestions from the FBI’s multi-year study on how to prevent school shootings.

H.B. 5054 is ripe for abuse by angry, bitter domestic partners, unhappy neighbors or coworkers, anyone who just doesn’t like you. Our lives can be messy, and motives are not always clear. But what is clear is our right under the Constitution to defend ourselves against an accuser and tell our side of the story.

I urge Connecticut’s lawmakers to reject H.B. 5054, no matter how well-intentioned the proponents are.

_________________________________________________________________

NOTE: The Judiciary Committee will be debating this and other related bills this coming Monday, March 28th. We urge members to call or email members of the committee and tell them not to strip domestic violence victims of their ability to defend themselves from violent abusers without the opportunity to tell their side of the story to a judge.

ALERT! Email NOW!

Did you submit your testimony for today’s public hearing?
Why not? You still have time. Testimony may be emailed up until 10am today.
Don’t know what to write?
Don’t know where to email it?
Just don’t have the time? Maybe this will help you. COPY & PASTE this letter below, fill in your information & email it to JUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov by 10:00am today.
MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD!
________________________________________________________________
14 March 2016

Dear Judiciary Committee members;

I’m a resident of Connecticut and wish to voice my opposition to the following raised bills;

H.B. 5054 ‘AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE’

H.B. 5623 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING’

H.B. 5622 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF ERASED RECORDS IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS A SUITABLE PERSON TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER’

S.B. 429 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING SERVICE OF RESTRAINING ORDERS’

I ask that all members of the committee not support these bills.
Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
[INSERT: your name]
[INSERT: address (optional)]
[INSERT: town, CT zip]
[INSERT: phone # (optional)]

Resources For Monday’s Public Hearing

We hope ALL of you will be attending or at least submitting written testimony for Monday’s public hearing. The antigun groups are mobilizing their members, it is vitally important we make our voices heard!
CCDL Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis has put together the following resources to help you out. If you have any questions, you may email Ray at legislative@ccdl.us

Resource Sheet for:

2016 – H.B. No. 5054 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

2016 – H.B. No. 5597 AN ACT PROTECTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS SEEKING RESTRAINING ORDERS

2016 – H.B. No. 5623 AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 Some Points to Raise:

  • Try not using the word victim, instead try using applicant or applicant of the ex parte restraining order.
  • Try referring to the alleged attacker as the respondent or subject.
  • Taking away a person’s natural right of protection without a hearing, without a criminal charges, without a police report, without due process.
  • This is just a gun grabbing law.
  • For an ex parte application, a judge cannot determine a fair preponderance of the evidence on the basis of one biased affidavit.
  • Connecticut already has a seizure of firearm provision for persons posing a risk of injury to self or others under 29-38c – “Seizure of firearms of person posing risk of imminent personal injury to self or others”.
  • Connecticut already has a seizure of firearm provision for when a peace officer determines that a family violence crime has been committed under 46b-38b.
  • Many states, including Connecticut, already prohibit people with violent misdemeanor convictions from acquiring or possessing firearms or ammunition, regardless of the offender’s relationship to the victim.
  • Applicants of temporary restraining orders commonly apply for them days and sometimes weeks after the alleged incident happened and often without a police report filed.
  • Alleged domestic violence victims are not required to report to the police in order to obtain a restraining order.
  • Rights are striped without a chance to be heard and without a police report.
  • If a crime is serious enough to cause an individual to lose a fundamental constitutional right, then that crime should be serious enough for a police investigation.
  • Police are trained to administer the Lethality Risk Assessment, which is the evidence-based instrument that’s used to identify domestic violence victims who are at heightened risk of injury or worse.
  • In 2014, 45% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing.
  • In 2015, 37% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing.


Background Information


Ex parte: /ˌɛks ˈpɑrtiː/ is a Latin legal term meaning “from (by or for) [the/a] party”. An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.

Protective / Restraining Order Glossary

Other References & Resources

Firearm possession & domestic violence restraining orders report from OLR:

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT:

THE FAMILY VIOLENCE ARRESTS ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2014 with great visual charts.

Hands, fists, feet were the most commonly used weapon to commit the murder used in 38 percent of the incidents

In only two incidents was there either an active or expired Court Order of Protection

In the 24 family violence homicides, hands, fists, feet were the most common weapon, nine (38%). Other weapons included knives, eight (33%) and firearms, seven (29%).

2014 Findings & Recommendations Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee

Letter to Gov. Malloy from Rachel M. Baird, Attorney

Regarding Connecticut Ex Parte Restraining Orders, Due Process, and Amending the Laws to Discourage Abuse of Process and Protect Victims of Domestic Violence.

Connecticut judicial branch statistics

Connecticut judicial branch statistics for restraining orders

CT Uniform Crime Reports: Publications & Statistics

U.S. Government’s open data

Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.

Restraining Orders Out of Control by Gregory A. Hession, J.D. 2008

Connecticut Law About Domestic Violence

New Gun Bills for 3/11/2016

S.B. No. 454 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING AUTOMATIC ERASURE OF CRIMINAL RECORDS’, to ensure that criminal records subject to erasure are automatically erased and to provide notifications of such erasure.
REF. JUDICIARY

S.B. No. 455 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING WEAPONS IN VEHICLES’, to address an issue presented in State v. Jason William DeCiccio, 315 Conn. 79 (Conn. 2014).
REF. JUDICIARY

*NOTE: SB455 in its current form makes no changes as far as gun rights are concerned. We’re following it to make sure it stays that way.