Major Win For Gun Rights

A few hours ago, gun rights received a major boost with a favorable decision in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kolbe v. Hogan (formerly known as Kolbe v. O’Malley) is a case in Maryland very similar to our Shew v. Malloy here in CT. Both cases concern bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “Large Capacity Magazines”. Both cases argue that the ban on “copies” of banned assault weapons is unconstitutionally vague. In both cases the courts failed to apply strict scrutiny, instead applying a lower standard.

Today the Court of Appeals issued its decision. They vacated the lower court’s decision upholding the assault weapon ban and magazine limits, and returned them back to the District Court for failing to apply the required strict scrutiny under the 2nd Amendment. This means the case isn’t over, but the state will now have a far more difficult chance to win.
Strict scrutiny “requires the Government to prove that the restriction furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest” and that [t]o be narrowly tailored, the law must employ the least restrictive means to achieve the compelling government interest.”
The lesser intermediate scrutiny merely “requires the government to ‘demonstrate . . . that there is a reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and a substantial government objective.’”. Strict scrutiny should be a difficult standard for Maryland to satisfy.

This may set up a split decision among the various Federal Circuit Courts, which greatly increases the chances of the Supreme Court taking up ours or a similar case.

Speaking of our case, this will slightly delay our filing with the Supreme Court, as our legal team analyzes this ruling and adjusts our case to these new facts. Also, I must remind everyone that Supreme Court cases are VERY expensive. If you can afford to, please donate to our Litigation Fund. CCDL is an all volunteer organization, which means every donation goes right to the fight for your rights, not to pay our salaries, like some other organizations do. We are also a 100% free to join organization, which means everything we do comes from your generous donations. Please donate here: Litigation Fund

If you would like to read the entire 90 page decision, you can download it here: Kolbe v Hogan opinion (pdf)

Blog Updates Via Email

CCDL is the best resource there is to stay up-to-date on pending gun legislation and issues here in Connecticut. For the newer members, we’ll repeat a few older posts to help you get the most from this resource.

CCDL usually sends out 1-2 emails a month to keep our members updated on what’s going on with the organization and our gun rights. With the political climate the way it is, things sometimes happen far too fast to wait for a monthly email. A good way to stay up to date with everything happening is to subscribe to this blog. Just look down the right side of the blog home page (http://ccdl.us/blog/) and you will see a place to enter your email address. It looks like this:

Simply enter your email address and press the subscribe button.
You will then get a confirmation email from “CCDL Blog”. Open that email and press the Confirm Follow button. Now you will get an email when there is a new post here. Don’t worry, if you ever change your mind, every email has a link to unsubscribe.

One last thing, if you are active on Facebook, besides the Official CCDL page, there is also a CCDL discussion group. It’s a good place to interact with fellow CCDL members.

2016 Legislative Session Begins

Yesterday was the opening day of the state legislative session. This is a short year (they adjourn May 4th) so things will move quickly. We already have a few gun-related bills to track. Remember, the full list of all the bills we’re following can always be found under “Pending Legislation” in the menu above, or at this link: http://ccdl.us/blog/2016-legislation/

H.B. No. 5054 REP. SHARKEY, 88th DIST.; REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th DIST.; SEN. LOONEY, 11th DIST.; SEN. DUFF, 25th DIST. ‘AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE’, to implement the Governor’s budget recommendations.
REF. PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

S.B. No. 20 SEN. LOONEY, 11th DIST.; SEN. DUFF, 25th DIST.; REP. SHARKEY, 88th DIST.; REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th DIST. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING CARRYING A FIREARM WHILE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL’, to implement the Governor’s budget recommendations.
REF. PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

Newtown Action Alliance Urges All Newtown Business Owners to Ban Guns in their Establishments

Following closely on the heels of our federal legislators, The extremist antirights group Newtown Action Alliance is also trying to circumvent state and federal laws by bullying establishments into banning their law-abiding customers right to self-defense. This is the press release they sent out today, followed by comments from CCDL’s president Scott Wilson.

Open Letter to All Business Owners in Newtown

Newtown, CT- On January 6th, a customer shopping at Caraluzzi’s in Bethel was concerned upon seeing another customer openly carrying a handgun. After this incident, some Newtown residents called for a boycott until Caraluzzi’s bans firearms in its stores. Last week, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Representative Elizabeth Esty called on the Connecticut Food Association to ban open carry of guns in retail stores.

There are no federal laws restricting open carry of firearms and, with the gun lobby’s influence, more than 40 states now allow open carry. In Connecticut, there are no state statutes that prohibit open carry of handguns for someone with a valid pistol permit, and no permit is required to openly carry a long gun. The law, with few exceptions (such as police officers on duty), prohibits carrying firearms on school or General Assembly property, loaded handguns in vehicles, and handguns where barred by law or a property owner. Supermarkets, food retailers, restaurants and other private establishments in Connecticut have the legal authority to ban firearms from their premises.

Last year, when Texas approved its controversial open carry law to allow handgun license holders to carry their handguns openly, numerous private business owners including H.E.B. (the largest private company in the state of Texas) and Trader Joe’s stood up and banned open carry in their stores.

Many U.S. companies have created policies to ban all guns in their establishments nationwide. These include Safeway, Chuck-E-Cheese, Ikea, Sonic, Whole Foods, Costco, Buffalo Wildwings, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, California Pizza Kitchen, AMC Theaters, Disney World, and Toys-R-Us.

Contrary to the rhetoric from the gun lobby, more guns do not create a safer society. A 2014 Stanford research study reaffirmed that right-to-carry laws are linked to an increase in violent crimes. Research demonstrates that states with higher gun ownership have higher rates of gun deaths. Americans are 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by a gun than those from other developed nations. Nearly 100,000 Americans have died from guns and guns have injured nearly 250,000 more since Newtown. Gun violence is a public health and safety issue.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, the gun violence prevention movement is stronger than ever. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 125 gun safety laws have been passed in 41 states since that time. We now have comprehensive background check laws in 18 states. While we fight for more legislative changes, a broad coalition of advocates, responsible gun owners, civic organizations, faith groups, celebrities and corporations must work together to change the gun culture to end gun violence.

The Newtown community in particular requires increased sensitivity, love, and compassion from local business owners, as there are many in our community who continue to suffer from PTSD. We strongly recommend that all business owners in Newtown join our movement to create a safer and less intimidating environment for our children and families by banning all guns in their establishments.

CCDL president Scott Wilson responds:
“The press release from the Newtown Action Alliance (Feb 3rd) in which they request ‘all business owners’ in Newtown ban the lawful carry of firearms into their establishments is a flat-out wrong course of action. This is an insane request for a couple of reasons. The first of which is that anyone who is carrying a firearm legally has been background checked on multiple levels and should be entitled to be able to protect themselves. The second reason should be a reminder to the people in Newtown that if there were armed people in Sandy Hook at the time of the massacre, it may have been stopped in its tracks, or might have never happened at all. To have the mindset that people should not ever be armed is utter madness and insanity. It’s an open invitation for slaughter”.

“I really hope that business owners and the like understand that police cannot be everywhere, and that most mass murders happen in places where guns are banned outright. The Newtown Action Alliance is deliberately trying to put innocent people in real danger. They need to understand that applications for pistol permits in Newtown increased after what happened in Sandy Hook. People want to have the ability to protect themselves and not have to cower in fear and left pleading for their lives to a madman”.

In addition to Scott’s comments, let me add this. One of President Obama’s Executive Orders following Sandy Hook was to give the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) $10 million to study gun violence. When the study came out, it received little media attention, and was virtually ignored by groups like Newtown Action Alliance. Perhaps because the study President Obama commissioned found that:

  • Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker
  • Defensive uses of guns are common
  • Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining
  • “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results
  • Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime
  • Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime
  • The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides

Not exactly the findings NAA and other anti-constitutional groups wanted to hear, which is why they ignored it and kept shopping around until they finally found a so-called “study” that matched their agenda.

I will also point out that a recent Pew Research study shows that homicide rates have decreased 50% in the last 20 years, while firearm ownership is at historic highs. The study also found New Hampshire one of the “safest places on the planet”. NH has minimal gun-control laws. No permit is needed to purchase a gun. As a matter of fact, no permit is required to openly carry a firearm in public. A (easily obtained for $10) permit is only needed to conceal a firearm. Many other states with what NAA considers lax and inadequate gun control laws like Vermont and Maine are almost equally safe. But people like NAA will continue to peddle fear and emotions; because when the facts are not on your side, what else is there to do?

One last thing for the business owners of Newtown and elsewhere.
While nobody intent on committing a crime or causing harm is going to see a “No Guns Allowed” sign on the door and go elsewhere, your law-abiding customers will.
We’ve made the decision to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We won’t NOT carry a gun the day we shop in your store; we will simply not shop in your store. We have expended considerable time, effort and money to be able to legally carry a firearm; we won’t give that up because your store is a mile closer or a few cents cheaper.

Press Release – Lawmakers Demand Stores Ban Guns

01/29/2015
for Immediate Release:

(Groton, CT) The Connecticut Citizens Defense League addresses letter from members of Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation sent to the Connecticut Food Association.

Comments from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
“Senators Blumenthal, Murphy and representative Esty are over-stepping their bounds with regards to their authority. Instead of concerning themselves with federal issues, they are using the Federal Government letterhead to harass a state level association (Connecticut Food Association). This is a bully tactic that is being deployed by legislators that in reality have little to say about Connecticut state laws. What the three of these people are doing has absolutely zero to do with state law anyway. Esty, Blumenthal and Murphy are actually trying to circumvent existing state law by forcing retailers into enacting a policy that dictates the manner in which law-abiding citizens can carry firearms.”
“As a 2nd Amendment rights organization, we wish to remind our two senators and representative that there are nearly 250,000 legal carriers of firearms in Connecticut. Their attempt to arm twist the Connecticut Food Association into imposing a policy on lawful gun owners is beyond their job description, and does nothing to enhance public safety. They should concentrate on fixing Washington, because it needs it”.

–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

Scott Wilson Sr.
President
CCDL, Inc.
www.ccdl.us

This is the letter that was sent to the Connecticut Food Association
supermarket OC ban letter

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed CCDL president Scott Wilson and attorney Craig Fishbein on the radio Saturday, we have the audio. Scott and Craig were on 94.9fm with Dan Newmyer and Devin Keehner from the website CTNewsBreaker.com.
Listen while they discuss various gun-related topics, including the upcoming legislative session, 2016 elections, gun-rights activism, Shew v Malloy, the function of the BFPE and appellant rights regarding appeals.
ctnewsbreaker - political class

Listen to part 1:

Listen to part 2:

ctnewsbreaker interview 1ctnewsbreaker interview 2ctnewsbreaker interview 3

CCDL On WJJF-FM 94.9 Saturday

This Saturday (1/23) CCDL president Scott Wilson and attorney Craig Fishbein from the CT Board of Firearms Permit Examiners (BFPE) will be on 94.9 WJJF-FM in Ledyard from 8:00am-9:00am. Scott and Craig will be interviewed by Dan Newmyer and Devin Keehner on their radio show “Political Class”. Dan and Devin also run the website “Connecticut News Breaker“. If you can’t pick up the station, you can listen live from your computer or smartphone at 949newsnow.com.

Scott and Craig will be discussing various gun-related topics, including the upcoming legislative session, 2016 elections, gun-rights activism, Shew v Malloy, the function of the BFPE and appellant rights regarding appeals. Make sure you listen!

ctnewsbreaker - political class

The Irony Of Gun Grabbers

Today is the day we celebrate the birth and life of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is also the day that various anti-gun groups will gather in Newtown to protest your right to self-defense.

NAA-MLK

Oh, the irony of people rallying to limit the constitutional rights of those they dislike on the very day that we celebrate a man who gave his life fighting for all Americans to be guaranteed those same constitutional rights.

A man who was denied the right to lawfully keep and bear arms based on the color of his skin, but defied the law to exercise that basic human right.

A man who these same anti-gun groups would today condemn and demand be jailed because he illegally owned guns without any background checks.

And while it is true that later in life King himself decided to go unarmed, much has been written about how his supporters continued to possess firearms in defense of both themselves and Dr. King.

“The right to defend one’s home and one’s person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 1967

CCDL is asking people to come out and show your opposition to this intrusion upon your rights. See this previous post for more details.

Counter-Protest The Antigun Rally in Newtown!

According to a letter recently published in The Newtown Bee, the antigun crowd is planning another protest for Monday, January 18th, in front of the headquarters for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. In part it appears they are protesting the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe. For the life of me I can’t figure out why people who claim they aren’t actually anti-gun but just pro gun safety would oppose an actual, effective gun safety program is beyond me.
I would think if they really wanted to stop the violence and promote gun safety they should protest in front of a drug gang’s headquarters or in a high crime neighborhood. I can only guess it’s because we’re safe and law-abiding gun owners and the NSSF is located in a nice suburban neighborhood, and drug dealers are scary  criminals and hang out in the bad part of the big city?

Whatever their reasons, they say they are speaking for all of us. We need you to show up and show them that’s not the case. Connecticut has a large number of legal gun owners. We’ll be meeting in front of the NSSF headquarters at 3:30pm, located right off rt 25 at 11 Mile Hill Rd, Newtown. Parking is tough, but you can park behind the Reed School, by the soccer and baseball fields on Old Farm Rd (see map below). DO NOT PARK on Tinkerfield Rd. Any crossing of Mile Hill Rd. is prohibited, except up by Reed School where you park.
Remember you are technically parking on school grounds.

  • Bring Pro2A signs.
  • Bring American flags.
  • Bring a sign thanking the NSSF for what they do.
  • BE RESPECTFUL AND POLITE! Don’t let someone goad you into an argument or fight. Remember the media will be there.

What: Counter-protest in support of the NSSF
When: Monday, January 18, 2016 at 3:30pm
Where: NSSF Headquarters, 11 Mile Hill Rd, Newtown, CT 06470

nssf-parking


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Meeting Reminder – January 12th

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, January 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.

This is our big “kick-off” meeting for the New Year. Your help is needed!

Meeting Agenda

  • CCDL will conduct our yearly Legislative Workshop. This includes a PowerPoint presentation and informational handouts to prepare our membership for any gun control bills that may emerge this session. The 2016 session convenes February 3rd and adjourns May 4th. This is both educational and informative. The only way to defeat new gun control proposals is by gun owners engaging our legislators.

  • NRA-ILA State Liaison Christopher Kopacki will be on hand to introduce himself.

  • NRA Grassroots Coordinator Christian Ragosta will also be back for a visit.

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

  • Len Suzio (past State Senator for District 13), and possible candidate will be a guest as well.

  • Matt Maxwell (candidate US Congress 5th District) will be on hand as well.

  • Discussion on proposed federal legislation and executive orders involving firearms.

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. The holiday season is here, and the local food banks get stretched thin. 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
January 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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