WTNH Special Report: Firearm Facts — AR-15

Last night WTNH‘s  Bob Wilson did what I thought was a pretty fair and balanced report on just what is (and is not!) an AR-15. They covered how it is not the same as a military assault rifle, and they covered how though it looks different, it is functionally the same as a hunting rifle. They even covered the fact that the AR in AR-15 stands for Armalite, the company who first marketed it; not Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle. My only complaint is it appears they only showed this on the 11pm news. Hey WTNH, how about putting this on the morning and evening news as well, so more of the public can learn the facts?

Press Release – Malloy Antigun Proposal

Groton, CT – February 21st, 2013 – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass roots gun rights group) is speaking out on the very restrictive anti-gun proposal put forth by Governor Dannel Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman.

CCDL President Scott Wilson stated the following: “Governor Malloy is undermining the Bipartisan efforts that have been exhaustive thus far in its efforts to obtain a complete look at the bigger picture of what happened in Sandy Hook.The findings of the task force and it’s recommendations are being shoved aside. This points to the Governor’s overzealous attempts to impose gun control without thought to the groundwork that has already been laid by the Task Force”.

CCDL continues to call out the legislature for full public hearings no matter which proposals move forward.

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 4,000+ members from all walks of life. Thanks to this large support base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture of the capitol, well recognized by all committees that regularly see firearms related bills as well as the state Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. 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//

Governor Malloy’s Proposed Gun Control

As mentioned earlier, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy intends to bypass the legislative process to enact gun control laws he feels will not pass using the normal lawmaking procedures, or even via his “Bipartisan Task Force On Gun Violence”. His office has released his prepared speech, and here is the money quote:

I believe we need to enhance and expand our system of background checks, so that whether you buy a gun from dealer, a private individual, or at a gun show – you must go through a background check before anyone hands you a firearm.

We need to expand the permitting process to cover more guns and keep guns away from people who have been convicted of violent crimes or making violent threats.

And we must track the sale of ammunition as well as firearms.

We need to ban large capacity magazines, and allow only the sale of magazines that hold 10 rounds or less.

We need to strengthen our assault weapons ban. We have decent laws on the books today. But that law didn’t prevent the sale of the AR-15.

I am proposing that we change the definition of assault weapon to any semiautomatic that has at least one military characteristic, and ban the sale of these weapons in our state.

We need to expand laws around gun storage so that these weapons don’t fall into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

Gun owners have a responsibility to store their weapons safely, and should be held accountable if a person is injured because of an improperly stored weapon.

And we need to increase the responsibility of those involved in the sale and use of guns.

The fact is that if you sell guns, or work at a gun range, and you see or know of illegal activity involving a firearm or banned magazine, you have a responsibility to tell someone in law enforcement.

If you see someone illegally using a banned weapon or magazine, you have an obligation to do something about that.

The full text of his proposal can be read here (pdf)

Senator Chris Murphy Town Hall Meetings

Senator Chris Murphy is continuing his tour of the state, holding town hall meetings in each of the 5 Congressional districts. His second meeting was last night in Hamden (3rd district). According to CCDL members in attendance, only about 60 people showed up, and only 8 were allowed to speak. This was the same night as U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s town hall meeting in Waterbury, so that might have hurt attendance. Still, we need to turn out hundreds of progun folks to the rest of his meetings and let him know how we feel about gun control.

Here is his schedule for the rest of the districts:

Sunday, February 24th from 12pm to 1:30pm
Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center
903 Main St.
Manchester, CT 06040
1st Congressional District

Saturday, March 9th from 12pm to 1:30pm
Location to be announced
New London, CT
2nd Congressional District

Saturday, March 23rd from 12pm to 1:30pm
Location to be announced
Fairfield, CT
4th Congressional District

Gov. Malloy Throws Temper Tantrum – Proposes Own Gun Control

Governor Dan Malloy sat down recently with the Journal Inquirer newspaper for an hour-long interview. In an article they published yesterday, the Governor comes across like a petulant child because he’s afraid he won’t get his way on gun control via his Bipartisan Task Force. According to the Journal News:

“It’s apparent to me that the legislature will not reach bipartisan consensus on this issue,” he (Malloy) said, sounding fed up. “I’m always being accused of trying to play this outsized role. I’ve held back. It’s not working, and I will very shortly be speaking on this issue on a fairly comprehensive basis.

“I’m not going to shy away from this issue,” the governor, a Democrat, added. “They wanted to do this — have a big panel with 50 or 60 people on the panel, and wanted to do this on a bipartisan basis and get to the same point. I’m now looking at leaders bailing out on hearings or rallies and people coming to talk about their own personal pain instead of gun control at a gun control rally.”

The last remark appears to be a dig at Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, the only Republican who spoke at a recent antigun rally in Hartford, And House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, who was scheduled to speak at the rally but pulled out when informed of its antigun agenda.

News site CT Mirror quotes Andrew Doba, Malloy’s communications director:

“At this critical juncture, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy in our own state, the governor believes that we cannot let the chance to affect real, positive change pass us by,” Doba said. “He thinks we should act quickly and decisively to make Connecticut safer.”

To that end, Governor Malloy is expected to announce his own gun control legislation today at 10 a.m., during Joe Biden’s symposium on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. The symposium is closed to the public, but will be broadcast and streamed on the internet by CT-N from 9am to 1pm.

Malloy is expected to propose universal background checks for all firearm purchases, a ban on standard-capacity magazines, and expanding the definition of so-called “assault weapons” to include most semiauto firearms. These will most likely be put forth by Democratic leaders as E-CERT bills, meaning no input from relevant committees like Public Safety, and no public hearings. Just like Governor Cuomo did in NY.

I’d like to give a little credit where credit is due. The Mirror quotes Democrat House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey (who is no friend to gun owners) as saying:

“I’m disappointed with the governor’s comments. As I said before, the country is watching Connecticut to see how we react to this tragedy, and taking quick action is important, but taking smart action is more important. We are working deliberatively to be an example of how to come together on a bipartisan basis to address a very serious and complex issue. Our expectation was to act by the end of February or early March and we are still on that timeline.”

It’s not much, but it at least shows a little respect for the legislative process.

UPDATE: Right after publishing this post, I was pointed to a blog post by an active CCDL member that says a lot of the same thing. Go read her post too. http://yedies.blogspot.com/2013/02/king-dannel-has-tantrum.html

UPDATE #2: We now have the text of Malloy’s speech, and his proposed laws. See this post.

Firearm Companies Boycott Government Agencies

Since the recent passage of the draconian NY State gun control laws, some companies have decided to take a stand. These companies have come out and said that they will no longer sell items to law enforcement and government agencies that law abiding citizens can’t possess. First, I have to give credit to Ronnie Barrett, of Barrett Firearms. He really started this list a decade ago, when first Los Angeles and then California banned .50 caliber rifles and ammo. Barrett responded by refusing to sell or service items for California law enforcement or government.

Fast forward to the present. Some states, including Connecticut, are pursuing anti-gun legislation. Other companies are following in Ronnie Barrett’s footsteps. Here’s the ones I know of, with links to their new policy.

If you know of any I’ve missed, leave a comment with the company and a link to the policy and I’ll add them. And if there is a company you do business with that isn’t listed, email or call them and urge them to join the companies above. Remember, there are approximately 800,000 police officers in the entire country. According to the FBI there were 2.5 million NICS checks in January alone. Think about that. In one month, law-abiding civilians purchased enough firearms to outfit every police officer in the country three times over. WE ARE THEIR CUSTOMER BASE.

Joe Biden – Panel On Gun Violence – 2/21/2013

For a week or more the media has been touting an invite only panel discussion on gun violence that Vice President Joe Biden will be heading. The conference is to take place on Febuary 21st, at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Supposedly all sides were invited, with “national, state, and local leaders, law enforcement, mental health experts, sportsmen, faith leaders, families and survivors of gun violence” all represented. Forget the fact that The Second Ammendment has nothing to do with sportsmen or hunting.

So today I finally see a list of speakers for this invite only event. Can anyone please point out the progun folks? How about the sportsmen?
Where is the NRA?
CCDL?
CT Coalition of Sportmen?
The only person I know on this list who is not rabidly antigun is Mayor Boughton.

UPDATE: The invite-only event is scheduled to be broadcast on CT-N, and will also be streamed over the internet via their website. Link.

Remarks from:
Vice President Joe Biden (D)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D)
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D)
U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D)
Governor Dannel P. Malloy (D)
Newtown First Selectwoman Pat Llodra (R)
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch (D)
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R)
Western Connecticut State University President James W. Schmotter

Panel on Gun Violence:
State Police Captain Dale Hourigan
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra (D)
Chris and Lynn McDonnell, parents of Grace McDonnell
Stacy Spell, retired New Haven Police detective and neighborhood activist
Matt Bennett, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at Third Way

Panel on Mental Health and School Safety Initiatives:
Dr. George Sugai, University of Connecticut Neag School of Education
Dr. Kathryn Seifert, author of Path to Violence
Dr. Philip Wang, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health
Mark Benigni, Meriden Superintendent of Schools
Steven Girelli, PhD, President and CEO, Klingberg Family Centers

UPDATE: Watching the forum live now, it looks like they added Dom Basile, firearms instructor from Metacon Gun Club and CCDL member. Thanks for going into the belly of the beast for us yet again, Dom!

Chris Murphy Town Hall – 2/20/2013

Senator Chris Murphy will host a town hall meeting tonight, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Hamden Middle School Auditorium, 2623 Dixwell Ave, Hamden.

This is to be the first of 5 town hall meetings for Murphy; one in each congressional district. Gun control is on the agenda.

Murphy will be accepting questions via Twitter prior to tonight’s meeting. To submit questions, tweet to @ChrisMurphyCT using the hashtag #AskMurphy

UPDATE: A comment from a CCDL member who attended the meeting:

We attended his HAMDEN town meeting last night. Turnout of 60, only about 8 were allowed to speak. Nothing new to report, says what the crowd wants to hear. Shocked to see NO media there. Don’t worry, folks, he says any changes will only affect new purchases, so, you know, relax. He shot down a few highly credentials citizens who spoke, and when they tried to reply he boomed “THIS IS NOT A DEBATE”

Updated Bills For 2/20/2013

These 2 bills have been updated from a proposed idea to actual language. They are in committee and may come up for a public hearing at any time now.

H.B. No. 6162 (COMM) PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY . ‘AN ACT CONCERNING INELIGIBILITY FOR A PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER OR AN ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE BASED ON A PRIOR HOSPITALIZATION’, to expand the mental health look-back period for permits to carry a pistol or revolver and eligibility certificates for a pistol or revolver to twenty-four months and eliminate the requirement that a probate court order a hospitalization in order for the hospitalization to disqualify a person for a permit or certificate.
REF. PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

S.B. No. 505 (COMM) PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY . ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM AGE TO PURCHASE A RIFLE OR OTHER LONG GUN’, to establish the same minimum age for the purchase of a rifle or other long gun as is required for the purchase of a handgun.
REF. PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY