Press Release: Tim McGraw and Sandy Hook Promise

04/17/2015
For Immediate Release:

 

CCDL Reaction to Tim McGraw’s Anti-Gun Concert  

 The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) has issued the following statement on a benefit fundraiser to be headlined by popular country music star Tim McGraw:

Statement from CCDL President Scott Wilson:

“We have watched and followed this story closely over the last several days to gauge the reaction of Tim McGraw’s fan base, and the fans of country music in general. I sincerely believe that Tim was not aware that the organization known as ‘Sandy Hook Promise’ actually operates with a completely anti-2nd amendment agenda. SHP (as they are known) has cheered on every piece of legislation in this state (and at the federal level) intended to curtail or eradicate our rights as law abiding Americans.”

“Mr. McGraw has now been brought up to speed on what this anti-gun organization which masquerades as something else is all about, but  apparently he is doubling down by going forward with this event. In spite of Tim’s claims that he is about protecting children and family, the organization he is supporting would leave families defenseless with their zeal. It’s hard to believe it, but apparently Tim McGraw has gone Hollywood Country.”
Wilson thanks the nation for their support:

“Connecticut has had a very tough couple of years with the aftermath of Sandy Hook. Innocent children were murdered here, and we all felt it.  The blame however was placed squarely on the shoulders of gun owners. Laws were passed that crippled our rights, and new laws are waiting to be passed that will hurt us even more.”

“I am very humbled by the outcry I have seen from country music fans from all over that are outraged a superstar like Tim McGraw would align himself with an organization like SHP. Country music is one of the last bastions of entertainment where people express patriotism and aren’t afraid to admit that they are proud gun owning Americans.  Connecticut gun owners, and our organization ‘Connecticut Citizens Defense League’ thanks everyone from all over this great country for supporting the 2nd Amendment.”

 

Special Thank You:

“We also wish to send a special thank you to country artist Billy Currington for stepping aside from this event, and for recognizing those behind it for exactly what they are.”

__________________________________________

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 nearly 18,000 members across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture of the 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

 

April 14 Member Meeting

CCDL holds its monthly general membership meeting at 7pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Elks Lodge in Middletown, CT. Our next meeting is Tuesday, April 14, 2015.
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

  • We are in a critical part of the legislative session as committee deadlines for bills are passing. We will be discussing what course of action to take with any bills that make it out of the Judiciary Committee.
  • CCDL Executive Member Ray Bevis will give a breakdown on leftover gun related bills and our strategy.
  • Christian Ragosta, Grassroots Field Coordinator for the NRA-ILA will make a brief presentation on how to help increase pro 2A voter turnout and related matters in advance of elections for next year.
  • Any Updates on Shew v. Malloy that are available will be given. We are now 4 months past the date of oral arguments at the 2nd Circuit Appellate level.
  • Special guest Chris Fields, owner of King 33 Training will be on hand to make a personal presentation to our members about his 360 degree live fire facility located in Southington.

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. Right now we have patches, pins, and magnets (perfect to put on your car, gun safe, or refrigerator). We also sell the car decals in assorted colors besides white.


Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. The holiday season may be over, but people still need to eat. 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 14, 2015 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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Action Alert: Please Contact Your Legislators – Your Input Is Critical

Immediate Action is Needed on the Following Bills:
Governor’s Bill 6848
Senate Bill 650
Emails, phone calls and/or personal visits can go along way to defeating these pieces of proposed legislation. We need you to tell your elected officials to oppose both of these bills. Both bills have passed out of the Judiciary Committee as Joint Favorable and could be voted on very soon!

These bills violate due process of law, a right which is protected under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution and also Article 1 Sec 7 of the Connecticut State Constitution. If either of these laws are passed, Connecticut citizens who have even a Temporary Restraining Order (ex parte) filed against them will not have an opportunity to be heard by a judge before firearms, ammunition, and their permits are seized.

For more information on these bills and calls for action by CCDL pertaining to these bills, please look here: CCDL Blog – 2015 legislative session

You may find and contact your legislators here: Find Your Legislators

Immediate Action Needed!

I wanted to write something about this myself, but my real job (the one that actually pays me) comes first, so I’m just going to share this alert from the NRA-ILA. I’ll insert a comment or two of my own in [dark blue text].
____________________________________________________________________

Unconstitutional Bill That Denies Due Process Before Committee as Early as Today

Today, the Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on an unconstitutional bill that denies due process to gun owners, sponsored by “F-rated” Senator Martin Looney (D-11).  Since previously reported, Senate Bill 650’s language has become available, and it is even worse than expected. [See our previous posts on this bill here: link ]

SB 650 would allow your gun rights to be stripped without due process of law.  This legislation would require a sworn police officer to serve all ex parte temporary restraining orders when the applicant indicates on the application that the respondent has access to a firearm or ammunition, or holds a valid state-issued firearm or ammunition permit or eligibility certificate.  An ex parte temporary restraining order is one where only one side, the applicant, makes a claim and doesn’t have to appear in front of a judge before the order is issued.  Upon the delivery of the order, the police officer would then immediately confiscate all legally owned firearms, ammunition, carry permits and eligibility certificates BEFORE a person has had a hearing before a court to determine the merits of the complaint made against them.

If firearms are confiscated erroneously or a court ultimately dismisses an order, and since a person does not have an immediate ability to have a hearing or right to be heard before a court before their firearms, ammunition, permits, certificates are taken, the wait is often as long as two years or longer to get your firearms, ammunition certificates and permits returned to you.  There is also, unfortunately, no reprisal for filing a false claim.  This bill takes unnecessary steps to blatantly circumvent your rights. [There is also no provision to return any so-called "assault weapons" or "large capacity magazines". Once these are removed, even erroneously, they can not be returned to you. Even members of the antigun groups CAGV and CADV have testified in favor of return of firearms, and immediate reinstatement of pistol permits if ex parte orders were found invalid and vacated at an ensuing hearing.]

It is clear that the Governor and some misguided legislators have only one interest –gun confiscation and limiting the rights of the law-abiding in Connecticut, as they have shown no interest in providing respondents with an opportunity to be heard before a judge ahead of losing their Second Amendment rights.  In fact, this legislation even removes verbatim “an opportunity to be heard” from the current state statute that protects individuals in these circumstances today.

It’s important for gun owners to have the opportunity to put up their own defense before losing their Second Amendment rights.  This bill’s low evidentiary standards and lack of a mechanism for individuals to present their own defense before being deprived of their constitutional rights is unacceptable.

There is a small group of legislators that recently held a press conference to expose the severe problems in this bill.  They need your help convincing the remaining committee members that this bill is unconstitutional.  It is CRITICAL that you IMMEDIATELY use the links provided below to contact members of the Judiciary Committee and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 650. Please also consider submitting testimony by clicking here.

 

Judiciary Committee:

Senator Eric Coleman (D-2), Co-Chair

Representative William Tong (D-147), Co-Chair

Senator Paul Doyle (D-9), Vice Chair

Representative Daniel Fox (D-148), Vice Chair

Senator John Kissel (R-7), Ranking Member

Representative Rosa Rebimbas (R-70), Ranking Member

Representative Al Adinolfi (R-103)

Representative William Aman (R-14)

Representative Angel Arce (D-4)

Representative David Baram (D-15)

Representative Jeffrey Berger (D-73)

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26)

Representative Cecilia Buck-Taylor (R-67)

Senator Beth Bye (D-5)

Representative Vincent Candelora (R-86)

Representative Christie Carpino (R-32)

Representative Jeff Currey (D-11)

Representative Patricia Dillon (D-92)

Representative Doug Dubitsky (R-47)

Senator Mae Flexer (D-29)

Representative Mary Fritz (D-90)

Senator Terry Gerratana (D-6)

Representative Bob Godfrey (D-110)

Representative Minnie Gonzalez (D-3)

Representative Stephen Harding (R-107)

Representative Ernest Hewett (D-39)

Representative David Labriola (R-131)

Representative Roland Lemar (D-96)

Senator Art Linares (R-33)

Representative Ben McGorty (R-122)

Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24)

Representative Bruce Morris (D-140)

Representative Tom O’Dea (R-125)

Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69)

Representative Robyn Porter (D-94)

Representative Emmett Riley (D-46)

Representative Robert Sampson (R-80)

Representative Joseph Serra (D-33)

Representative John Shaban (R-135)

Representative Caroline Simmons (D-144)

Representative Richard Smith (R-108)

Representative Steven Stafstrom (D-129)

Representative Joe Verrengia (D-20)

Representative Toni Walker (D-93)

Senator Gary Winfield (D-10)

Please Contact Judiciary Committee Members

The Judiciary Committee has held public hearings on four gun related bills so far. Over the next 10 days is the time to call, write, email, and/or visit these legislators and voice your opposition to the following bills:

  • SB0650 – AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS
  • HB6962 – AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARM SAFETY
  • HB6848 – AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
  • HB7028 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPT OF CORRECTION, ACCESS TO THE FIREARMS DATABASE BY PAROLE OFFICERS, AND PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT.

Sometime between now and April 13th, the Judiciary Committee will vote to find these bills favorable or not. A Joint Favorable Bill that passes a committee will move to the next step, and become closer to becoming law. A simple voicemail message, letter, postcard, email, or visit can go along way. Now is also a great opportunity to start a dialog with your Representative and Senator and let them know that you are concerned and oppose these bills that are currently in the Judiciary Committee. They can influence other legislators. The committee information and members can be found online at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/jud/
You can also download a list of the Committee members contact information here: CCDL_Judiciary_Contact_List (pdf)

Now is also a great opportunity to start a dialog with your Representative and Senator and let them know that you are concerned and oppose these bills that are currently in the Judiciary Committee, they can influence other legislators. Your legislators can be found online here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

These things will only take a few minutes of your time this chilly March weekend. Imagine these legislators walking into their offices on Monday morning and finding hundreds of voice mails and emails from CCDL members concerned about the issues above. Wouldn’t that be great? Make it happen!

Common Sense Gun Lies

The following is a guest post by CCDL member John Sturmer. It is in response to an op-ed published recently in the Greenwich Time and other Hearst Media newspapers. That op-ed was written by Jonathan Perloe, who runs the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence and also serves on the board of Ron Pinciero’s Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV).
If you haven’t already, first read “Perloe op-ed: Standing ground on tough gun laws”, and come back here to read Mr. Sturmer’s excellent response.

UPDATE 4/1/2015: The Greenwich Time has published this. Feel free to comment there.

Common Sense Gun Lies – A response to Jonathan Perloe- “Standing Ground on Tough New Gun Laws”

I am writing this because I am tired of lies and misinformation being spread by our bevy of anti-”gun violence” groups in Connecticut.  At one time I believed them to be ignorant, but I now know better.  So, I would like to dissect and discredit these statements point by point.

Mr. Perloe points out that “90 Percent of legislators who voted in favor [of SB1160, the 2013 gun law]” were re-elected.  Most of those legislators ran unopposed.  Another way to look at it was of the large 12 seat gain by the GOP, 11 of those seats were replacements of legislators who voted for SB 1160.  Only 1 legislator who voted against the law lost his re-election bid.

Mr. Perloe also contends that the now banned “Large Capacity Magazine” enabled Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza to fire “…154 rounds in under 5 minutes”.  5 minutes is 300 seconds.  154 rounds is 1 round roughly every 2 seconds.  Try that.  Clap your hands, count to 2.  The rate of fire had zero to do with magazine capacity.  That rate of fire could be maintained with a 5 shot revolver by one of my basic pistol students including reloading.

Mr. Perloe goes on to mischaracterize “Stand your ground” as “letting gun owners shoot to kill whenever and wherever they feel threatened”.  This is a LIE.  Stand Your Ground means nothing of the sort.  In every jurisdiction in this country, you must “Reasonably believe that deadly physical force or great physical harm is being used or about to be used against you or another person”.  Stand your ground does not change that requirement, either legally or MORALLY.  Additionally, any trained person will tell you that we shoot to stop… not to kill.  This isn’t the movies where you “decide” whether or not to kill someone.  Someone is about to kill you.  Your only focus is to STOP that.  Tell a judge in any jurisdiction in this country that you were “Shooting to kill” you go to prison.

Mr. Perloe also contends that “… right now Congress is considering legislation that would force every state to allow virtually anyone to carry a loaded, concealed gun in public. That would mean convicted felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people from Florida and other states with lax gun laws could legally and secretly carry their guns anywhere in the country, including in Connecticut.”  This is the biggest lie.  Felons and the mentally ill are prohibited from possessing firearms by federal law under 18 USC 922(g).  In other words, felons, mentally ill people and domestic abusers are PROHIBITED IN EVERY STATE AND JURISDICTION IN THE COUNTRY from possessing a firearm.  Additionally, Florida has a permitting process for carrying a firearm, which includes training, fingerprinting and background checks.  Those requirements are remarkably similar to Connecticut’s own requirements.  Florida does not have “lax” gun laws.  The measure being considered by Congress does not absolve anyone of following CT law, which also prohibits possession of a firearm by felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill.

Reasonable people can disagree on the Second Amendment just like any other issue.  However, Mr. Perloe’s article goes beyond disagreement, and bridges the gap into willful misinformation.  Don’t believe the lies.

 

John Sturmer is the Principal Owner of JJ Firearms Training, LLC. He is also a Certified Firearms Instructor, Range Safety Officer, Glock Armorer, and a CCDL Member.

Hearing Today

Reminder, today is a public hearing on another anti-gun bill. Please attend today if at all possible. Even if you are afraid to speak, you can attend as a show of solidarity. If you can not attend, there is still time to submit written testimony via email. All the info can be found here.

If you are attending, please keep a few things in mind.

  • No firearms or weapons of any kind allowed inside the building. This includes those credit card knives and keychain knives you may forget you have. There will be metal detectors at the door.
  • Because of the metal detectors, expect there to be a line getting in. The line may be long, so get there early to sign up to testify. You need to be in room 2500 before 9:30am to sign up.
  • Dress appropriately. Business casual or better. Show respect for the American legislative process, even though you oppose what some legislators are trying to do. No signs or props please.
  • Parking in and around the LOB can be limited. Get there as early as possible for the best parking. Parking info and directions to the LOB can be found here.
  • When you get there, look for other people with the CCDL logo. We’ll have people there to help you and answer any questions. We’ll also have small logo stickers you can wear. Make sure you get one and wear it when it can be seen. It quickly shows the legislators how many people support our positions.
  • There is a cafeteria where you can buy breakfast and lunch. After you sign in, you will usually find CCDL members there killing time before the hearing. Stop in and say hi!

Even if you can’t make it, you will still be able to watch the hearing live on the internet. You should be able to watch it at the following link starting at 10:30am. http://ct-n.com/CTNplayer.asp?livestream=1

Women Respond To Gabby Giffords

The following is a guest post by Linda Czaplinski; a wife, a mother, and a CCDL member.
_______________________________________________________________________

At the Hartford, CT press conference on March 17, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords said the following:

“Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women. For mothers, for families, for me and you, women can lead the way. We stand for common sense, we stand for responsibility. We can change our laws, we can win elections. Please join your voice with mine.”

The voices of CCDL women are joined in direct opposition to SB650, the bill Ms. Giffords was referring to in her comments.

The women of CCDL understand that we bear responsibility for our own safety and that of our loved ones.  We recognize and embrace our constitutional right to protection through the use of firearms. When a person shifts from potential victim to survivor, it changes the status quo.

It is disappointing that Ms. Giffords has overlooked the oath of office she took while serving in Congress – to protect and defend the Constitution.  Not only does the Constitution give us the right to keep and bear arms, it also affords due process.  SB650 usurps due process. Ex parte orders rely only on the word of the accuser.  Rep. Buck-Taylor stated during public hearings that she has witnessed ex parte orders used as a tool.  On someone’s word, without probable cause, your constitutional rights could be ignored and your personal property seized.

State statute 29-38c is better poised to address an imminent threat.

We are empathetic to Ms. Giffords’ injuries. However, they came at the hands of a mentally unstable stranger, not an abusive partner.  It would have been much more appropriate and indeed welcomed if she had spoken on helping mentally unstable people get the help they need along with commentary on how to keep them from having firearms while not infringing on the stable and law-abiding.

The women of CCDL will continue to aid in the fight against our Constitutional infringements by winning elections and replacing gun grabbers with those that will roll back laws that stand in defiance of both our State and Federal Constitutions.  We stand for common sense and responsibility. We will lead the way.

Linda F. Czaplinski

Public Hearing This Friday

Raised Bill H.B. No. 7028, the new “show me your papers” bill I told you about last week is already scheduled for a public hearing this Friday, March 20th (details below). Please attend this hearing if at all possible. Even if you are afraid to speak, you can attend as a show of solidarity. If you can not attend, there is still time to submit written testimony via email. All the info can be found at the end of this post.

If you are attending, please keep a few things in mind.

  • No firearms or weapons of any kind allowed inside the building. This includes those credit card knives and keychain knives you may forget you have. There will be metal detectors at the door.
  • Because of the metal detectors, expect there to be a line getting in. The line may be long, so get there early to sign up to testify. You need to be in room 2500 before 9:30am to sign up.
  • Dress appropriately. Business casual or better. Show respect for the American legislative process, even though you oppose what some legislators are trying to do. No signs or props please.
  • Parking in and around the LOB can be limited. Get there as early as possible for the best parking. Parking info and directions to the LOB can be found here.
  • When you get there, look for other people with the CCDL logo. We’ll try to have people there to help you and answer any questions. We’ll also have small logo stickers you can wear. Make sure you get one and wear it when it can be seen. It quickly shows the legislators how many people support our positions.
  • There is a cafeteria where you can buy breakfast and lunch. After you sign in, you will usually find CCDL members there killing time before the hearing. Stop in and say hi!
  • There will be other bills being heard, on other topics, with other people there to testify on them. They may have no opinion about the bills you are there for. Make sure they leave with a good impression of us.

Even if you can’t make it, CT-N.com usually streams the hearings on their website. We’ll post a link here on the blog as soon as they post their schedule.

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015

The Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. in Room 2C of the LOB.  Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system.  Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:00 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB.  Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.  Please submit 50 copies of written testimony to Committee staff any day prior to the hearing but no later than 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB.  Written testimony submitted by a person(s) or organization(s) which exceeds five (5) single-sided pages per bill or resolution will only be posted on the Judiciary Committee’s website at the discretion of the Judiciary Committee chairs.  Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.  Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format toJUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov.  Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related Bills.  The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials.  Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.  The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement.  Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.  All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information.  As such, it may be made available on the Judiciary Committee’s website and indexed by internet search engines.

SUBJECT MATTER:   Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

H.B. No. 7028 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ACCESS TO THE FIREARMS DATABASE BY PAROLE OFFICERS, AND PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT.

Press Release – Gabby Giffords

03/17/2015
For Immediate Release:

 Response to Gabby Giffords Press Conference

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) has issued the following response to a press conference being held today by Governor Malloy, former Arizona U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords and others.

 

Opening Statement from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
“As a group of law-abiding gun owners, CCDL respects life, and we abhor violence of any kind. This includes domestic violence or any other type of violence that may be perpetrated against innocent persons”.

Wilson on Gabby Giffords Visit:
“With all due respect to Gabby Giffords and the horrific tragedy that she has survived, she is now just a tool in the hands of those who seek to eradicate our constitutionally protected rights. She is essentially a professionally paid victim that advocates for any and every possible angle to dismantle our 2nd Amendment rights”.

 

“The most troubling aspect of the legislative proposal by the Governor is the complete elimination of ‘due process’ for individuals that have a temporary restraining order filed against them. Legally owned firearms would be confiscated with no hearing until a date after the guns are seized”.

 

“If a person with one of these temporary orders is cleared of any wrong-doing by a judge, confiscated firearms will probably not be returned for over two years. Some of these firearms in fact may never be returned to an individual”.

 

“It is also important to note that nearly half of all temporary “ex parte” restraining orders never become permanent ones after a court hearing. That is an awful lot of people whose rights will be stripped from them, and many more will be at risk if this proposal becomes law”.

 

Wilson also stated:
“Like them or not, guns are private property, and we are a state and a country that has constitutional protections for good reason. Connecticut also has a long history that includes the manufacturing and lawful use of firearms that goes back to the founding of this country. Connecticut residents know what’s best for ourselves, not some paid spokesperson from out-of-state that is exploiting her personal tragedy for whatever the reason may be”.


former Arizona U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords