CT Lawsuit Has Been Filed!

And the lawsuit is filed! Here is the official release:


Contact: Scott Wilson
President, CT Citizens’ Defense League

Contact: Brian Stapleton, Esq.
Goldberg Segalla, LLP

Bridgeport, CT – Today, a widely-anticipated lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, challenging the constitutionality of the new firearms law that was passed hastily by the Connecticut legislature in response to the tragic shooting in Newtown by a disturbed individual. The lawsuit seeks immediate injunctive relief and a ruling declaring the new law unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It alleges that Connecticut’s new firearms law is not only unconstitutional but dangerous, since it makes both citizens and law enforcement less safe by depriving citizens of firearms that are in common use throughout the country. The very firearms and design features banned by the new law are commonly used in part because of safety, accuracy and ease-of-use features that make them effective in the hands of citizens who must defend themselves and their families against criminals and the mentally ill who do not obey such laws.

Brought on behalf of individual gun owners, retailers, and citizen’s defense and sportsmen’s organizations, the lawsuit seeks to vindicate the constitutional rights of citizens who are harmed by the broad prohibitions and unworkable vagueness of the new law. The legal challenge focuses on Connecticut’s ban of more than 100 additional common firearms that the law now dubs “assault weapons” and on the ban of standard design features, including magazines that hold more than 10 round of ammunition, that provide improved safety, accuracy, and ease-of-use. The lawsuit also challenges the practical bans imposed by the new law on an even broader array of firearms due to the law’s vague language and interpretative confusion combined with severe criminal penalties.

Plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit include individuals such as an elderly widow who lives alone in a rural area where the emergency response time of a lone resident trooper serving the area is 45 minutes, a rabbi whose synagogue in the Bridgeport area has been broken into by intruders, a young professional woman whose efforts to defend herself are made more difficult by the loss of an arm due to cancer, among other individuals.

In addition, retailers whose businesses have been severely harmed by the law have joined the lawsuit, which was conceived and organized by fellow-plaintiff organizations the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, commonly known as CCDL, and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen. Both organizational plaintiffs represent large numbers of Connecticut citizens whose rights to own the firearms of their choice for self-defense and other lawful purposes, such as sports shooting and hunting, have been harmed by the new prohibitions.

Despite the new law being called “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety,” Connecticut’s new firearms law makes Connecticut citizens less safe. Among the individuals harmed by the law’s provisions are women, the elderly, and anyone of a smaller physical stature — individuals who typically lack the strength to operate older style, heavier, or difficult to use firearms and yet who need to be able to protect themselves in challenging home-invasion and other self-defense situations.

CCDL’s President, Scott Wilson, who has seen his organization’s membership grow from 2,500 to 7,600 in just a few months, says “On behalf of our members and all of the plaintiffs, we wish to thank the National Rifle Association, whose vision and stalwart defense of citizens’ fundamental rights has helped make this important legal challenge possible.” Wilson says, “Connecticut’s new gun ban violates Second Amendment rights by depriving law-abiding citizens of firearms that are in common use throughout the country precisely because of their known effectiveness in the protection of citizens, their families, and homes. Criminals and the mentally ill will not abide by this terrible law, which means it has the perverse effect of actually making citizens and law enforcement officers less safe.”

Bob Crook, Executive Director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, says, “This law will do nothing to prevent a tragedy or solve the problem of crime committed with guns. Instead of violating constitutional rights, we need to get serious about addressing violence and mental illness.” He continued, “Two recent independent studies by Pew and the federal government have just revealed that gun homicides are down almost 40% and general crime involving guns has dropped a whopping 70% since 1993, which corresponds with the elimination of the federal assault weapons ban. In contrast, the few areas of the country where gun crimes have increased dramatically are the very places where local or state governments have banned or severely restricted gun ownership by law-abiding citizens.”

Many of the design features now banned by Connecticut’s new law have long been standard in firearms design as they enhance safety, accuracy and ease-of-use, and include: design features that enhance a citizen’s ability to balance a firearm properly so that it can be shot safely and accurately based on the size of the owner – especially if the owner is smaller-sized like many women, the elderly, and youth shooters (retractable shoulder stock); design features that allow a long gun to be held more easily for accuracy and to be held onto by its owner if an attacker tries to take the gun from a victim (pistol grip and forward pistol grip); design features that allow those who are in stressful situations with multiple home-invaders or attackers to have sufficient bullets for meaningful self-defense without impractical situation of having to try to reload or access a second gun (standard magazine capacities over 10 rounds), etc. The specific firearms now banned by the law include some of the most commonly used and popular models in Connecticut and in America today, including the light and versatile AR-15.

Some local retailers supporting the lawsuit say that in addition to the increased dangers created by the law, the law is vague and unworkable. Although they are knowledgeable about various types of firearms, many are having difficulty trying to determine which firearms are banned and which are legal to sell. If they decide incorrectly, they could be facing years in jail. Some say it is difficult for reputable dealers to continue serving the law-abiding citizens of Connecticut under these circumstances. If licensed dealers leave the state, it will become increasingly difficult for the people of Connecticut to acquire firearms to defend themselves. Meanwhile, these retailers say, the criminals will still be armed and in an even stronger position to harm and terrorize the people of Connecticut.

The Connecticut lawsuit, like similar legal challenges in New York, Colorado and Maryland, is expected to better define the limits of a citizen’s right to own a commonly used firearm of personal choice for self-defense, defense of family, and other lawful purposes. Each of these states has enacted new firearms laws that make citizens and law enforcement less safe as they try to defend against criminals and the mentally ill who do not obey these laws.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a pdf of the actual lawsuit:
Filed Stamped Copy USDC CT Complaint (pdf)

56 thoughts on “CT Lawsuit Has Been Filed!

  1. Great! Hopefully we’ll get the injunction, that’ll help a lot.
    Why can’t we petition for a recall vote like they’re doing in Colorado?
    Thanks for all your great work.

  2. Awesome! This is the start of something good. Let the games begin.

    Would it be proper to celebrate with a 21 gun salute?

  3. Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.

  4. Best of luck CT in getting this repealed. I hold out less hope for us here in NYS, I’m afraid.

  5. is there somewhere we can go to read whatever was filed? I’m assuming it’s public record thus not a secret.

  6. has the official report of what happened at Newtown been made public yet ?…have these lawmakers passed legislation based on what they heard on CNN.. Do you think that is far fetched..if you do you are not paying attention….No laws should be passed before a complete analysis of the shooting is made public and there has been time to digest the findings….

    • They are trying to bury it for good now. It was in the Waterbury Republican American newspaper just today.

  7. Pingback: Here Is The Lawsuit | CCDL Blog

  8. After browsing much of your site and hearing what you have to say I find myself leaning toward the side of the CCDL. Seems like all you chubby weirdos have by way of amusement is making unhealthy decisions. I’m surprised Dandy Cankles up in the left hand corner there can even slide his Vienne Sausage fingers through a trigger guard without a good deal of butter.

    I would have started with a softball team but this seems like a rational decision and time well spent. Hope you “sportsmen” don’t get diabetes before your lawsuit comes through.

    ps: If you win try not to spend all the cheese (I mean money not real cheese. Don’t get excited) on the chocolate fountain at Golden Coral.

  9. Dom,

    If we ask for a revote it will pass again. If declared unconstitutional its null.

    • Get it knocked out due to technicality v getting a ruling that its unconstitutional … I understand the desire for an unconstitutional finding but there is no guarantee that this will happen in our lifetime … SCOTUS has already decided not to hear some gun related cases .. want to trust your rights to Roberts? He sold us out in Obamacare.

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  11. Not only is the report not out yet, but if you caught the front page of today’s Hartford Courant (or go here http://www.ctnow.com/news/hc-newtown-foi-0522-20130521,0,5713903.story) then you would see that there are parts we may never get to see. They are secretly writing legislation that would block the release of photos of the victims (that’s ok-I don’t need to see those picks), 911 tapes, and possibly “other things”. The problem here is what they will include in the other things. Anything they want to hide could be in there and then we’d be none the wiser to what actually happened.

    • 911 tapes are being hidden because they are damaging. A LEO responded, radioed in that he sees someone with a gun in school and was told to stand down and wait for SWAT.

    • I have filed three FOIA requests for records for Newtown shooting records over the past 6 months … of course I have gotten zip. I have filed a FOIA request with Colleen Murphy of the FIC for the draft of the bill … thanks for the news link.

    • Got a reply from Colleen Murphy .. here is the exact wording of what Sharkey sent to the freedom of information commission:

      Proposed to amend 1-210(b)(3) to include “(H) criminal investigation photograph, film, videotape, other image or recording or report depicting or describing the victim or victims.”

      Like a “proposed bill” language … a little more specific …

  12. Finally, The best news i have heard in a long time coming. If need be we should do everything in our power to once and for all rid our selfs of these so called politician’s who sold us out just to save there own butts and make themselves look good. First and foremost get rid of the Biggest Phony of them all,Senator Chris Murphy who had no business in the first place saying or doing nothing he had no idea what he was talking about let alone when questioned he could not even answer being he knew Nothing about nothing when it came to firearms etc. in general All he did was Grand Stand along with the other Anti Gun leaders especially Martin Looney who can hardly speak without stumbling on his own words. And last but not least the next biggest Phoney is non other then Senator Richard, Dick Blumenthal. The so caledd Marine who turned out to be nothing more than a Phoney. It’s now our time to get even and get rid of all of them and do everything in our power to support this site and sponsers so we as Americans can live freeely and not have are constitultional rights restored.

  13. Its about time, The politicians have been voting their own minds and the minds of the few for to long. They can’t run their own houses how can they expect to run ours as they have been I will gladly sign my name to this suit.

  14. Why can’t we petition for a recall vote like they’re doing in Colorado?

    Because CT law doesn’t allow for recalls like in Colorado.

    • Let’s not forget that a California style recall lead to the circus of an election they had with over 200 petition candidates. Arnold was probably one of the best out of that crop and even he had allot of problems. Plus recalls lead to mob rule and in CT the last thing we want is to allow further control of our one party system by the low information voters.

  15. Then we should collectively have this changed so we the people run the state and not the Polticians. Enough is enough. We need to elect people who will do the right thing and support the people they are sworwn to not themselves. Get rid of all of them and start new. We got rid of the British and started a new order/constition so maybe it’s time we start anew and run the contry for the people not the fat cats in the state capitol or the federal goverment. Just look at what they recently found out what the IRS was doing and who knows what else. Get rid of the Biggest Trader of them all, The President. We should have impeached his butt long ago. He and the rest of his gang of thugs have nearly ruined our contry. Especially Erik Holder our Attorney General. Remember him, Fast & furious, The guy who gave the green light to sell Fully Automatic Assault weapons to the Mexican Drug Cartel. On top of that one of the guns recovered in a fire fight with the U.S. Border Patrol was used to kill one of are guards. All he got was a slap on the hand from his buddie Obama. But yet they want to take away our firearms. Give me a break. It’s time to rise up and be heard and all of the truth not just what the TV/news is told to tell us and the liberals. What about Hillery Clinton, Another Trader who’s trying to dodge the answers about Bengenzi. Her last statement was whats the big deal, this was months ago. She is a real winner and they want to run her for the President, GOD Help us all. Amen Brothers & Sistera. God Bless America and it’s people.

  16. Our elected officials are not representing us. They are making their own decisions about what they think is good for us. We are not their children. We need to vote them out if they don;t represent the people who elected them.They are not representing our best interest. Vote them out!

  17. CT People, you guys waited too long to take your self defense rights SERIOUSLY.

    Over the years, you allowed over and over and over again incremental infringements upon yourselves by electing rabidly antigun wingnuts, who, guess what, banned your self defense.

    Even though you all are FOOLISH for allowing this to happen over the last 20 years, I fully support you guys in your effort to re-claim your god given rights.


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  20. Besides the fact that the new law is unconstitutional, why are so few people complaining about the misuse of E-Cert (Emergency Certification) for the passage of laws? Passing a law is NOT an emergency, and the use of E-Cert for that purpose effectively denies citizens their right to vote on the subject. What is happening to our democracy?

    • It doesn’t deny our right to vote … it denies the right of us to state our opinions, ask questions, get answers, and clarify the law and our position. But you are right, CCDL complained about this numerous times and here comes the complaint with nothing regarding the very serious breach of our 14th amendment rights. Maybe they’ll amend the complaint ~ they have 30 days to do it w/o leave of the court.

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  23. IG Report: DOJ Official ‘Smeared’ Whistleblower
    Posted by Editor on Thursday, May 23, 2013 · Leave a Comment

    (GunNews.com) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General published a new report Monday that confirms former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke leaked a document intended to smear Operation Fast and Furious scandal whistleblower John Dodson. Burke resigned from his post as U.S. Attorney over the incident in August 2011.

    The IG report showed that Burke — the former chief of staff for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appointed as U.S. Attorney for Arizona by President Obama in September 2009 — lied when asked if he leaked sensitive documents to the press meant to undermine the credibility of ATF whistle-blower John Dodson.

    “Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum [was] inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney,” the report said.

    The IG report, released Monday, also said, “We also concluded that Burke’s disclosure of the Dodson memorandum was likely motivated by a desire to undermine Dodson’s public criticisms of Operation Fast and Furious. Although Burke denied to congressional investigators that he had any retaliatory motive for his actions, we found substantial evidence to the contrary.”

    “We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member,” the IG wrote.

    In addition to Burke’s involvement in leaking the document, emails the IG uncovered show senior officials at the Department of Justice discussed smearing Dodson.

  24. A New Twist: Is ATF Harassing Citizen’s Groups, Too?
    Posted by Editor on Thursday, May 23, 2013 · 1 Comment

    (GunNews.com) — The woman who spearheaded two Texas groups seeking tax-exempt status from the IRS has gotten undue attention not only from the revenue agency, but also the FBI, OSHA — and the ATF, according to a story by National Review.

    The new twist is that the ATF also got involved, arriving unannounced at the plant after contacts by the IRS and FBI.

    The National Review piece begins, “Catherine Engelbrecht’s tale has all the markings of a classic conspiracy theory: She says she thinks that because of her peaceful political activity, she and her family was targeted for scrutiny by hostile federal agencies.

    “Yet as news emerges that the Internal Revenue Service wielded its power to obstruct conservative groups, Catherine’s story becomes credible — and chilling. It also raises questions about whether other federal agencies have used their executive powers to target those deemed political enemies.”

    The lengthy story (link below) goes on to describe how Bryan and Catherine Engelbrecht’s tiny manufacturing plant in Rosenberg, Texas, located southwest of Houston, received federal scrutiny from a list of alphabet agencies after she tried to form two advocacy groups, True the Vote and King Street Patriots.

    The National Review story describes King Street Patriots as “… a local community group that hosts weekly discussions on personal and economic freedoms; and True the Vote, which seeks to prevent voter fraud and trains volunteers to work as election monitors. It also registers voters, attempts to validate voter-registration lists, and pursues fraud reports to push for prosecution if illegal activity has occurred.”

    According to the story, “…the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) launched an unscheduled audit of their machine shop, forcing the Engelbrechts to drop everything planned for that day. Though the Engelbrechts have a Class 7 license, which allows them to make component parts for guns, they do not manufacture firearms.…”

    Gunowners may wonder if pro-2nd Amendment groups — like “patriot,” “tea party,” and “9/12″ keywords used by the IRS to single out certain political groups — have received special attention from the revenue agency. A pro-gun lawyer who is widely involved in national gun litigation told GunNews.com that the IRS has shown ongoing interest in certain gun groups, but he can’t definitively say that it’s a widespread policy.

    He said, for example, that “NRA is essentially in a perpetual audit,” but that attention from the IRS has dogged the top gun group for years prior to the current controversy.

    The lawyer said his firm was contacted “by one small gun collectors club in the Southwest about a year and a half ago. They were relatively new, but were being audited. It made no sense, and they asked their accountant to ask us if it was possibly political. We looked into it, but could not find any evidence of any other organizations being audited disproportionately.”

    He added, however, that it is not uncommon for low-level government employees to assume a policy position based on things highly placed elected officials say. “We figured, at most, that it was a low-level functionary toadying up to the administration by auditing this group.”

    “In their particular case,” the lawyer said, “I still think that had to be the situation because it was not a political group by any stretch of the imagination. I also know a lot of organizations — just like people — don’t want to talk about the fact that they’re being audited, so it’s very hard from the outside to really see a pattern if people don’t talk.”

  25. Did Cuomo Threaten NY Sheriffs Who Oppose SAFE?
    Posted by Editor on Thursday, May 23, 2013 · 1 Comment

    (GunNews.com) — The Times-Union newspaper in Albany, NY, has reported that sheriffs who thought they were summoned to the state Capitol to discuss ideas for changes to New York’s gun control law were instead told to keep quiet about criticisms they had about the law or perhaps face removal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

    In a May 21 article, the newspaper reported that in an April meeting with the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Cuomo pushed the sheriffs to stop publicly speaking out against the act, Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss said.

    One person briefed on the meeting said Cuomo threatened to remove sheriffs from office, a little-used power afforded the state’s chief executive under the state constitution. Moss would not confirm this, the Times-Union reported.

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  27. Its About time !!! I would Strongly urge them to use U.S. Criminal Code Title 18: Section 242. and Section 241.

    Also using American Jurisprudence “A Good U. S. Supreme Court Decision ” : WHICH STATES: ” Any Law which is Repugnant to Our U.S. Constitution,

    Is Null and Void from the Moment of its Conception ” ! It’s time to take the Gloves OFF !!! Learn, Revive, and Preserve OUR U.S.Constitution! Amendment [Nine] is just as important as the Second Amendment! READ IT! We LIVE IN A REPUBLIC!!! Not a Democracy! As the Pledge of Alegence reminds us ” To the Republic for which it stands”!….. One Nation Under God, With Liberty and Justice for all! Amendment 14 Section 1, “No State Shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, LIBERTY, or property, …..nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the [equal protection of the Laws.] Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, …….,
    are reserved…respectively or to the people.
    Amendment NINE “THE Enumerationin the Constitution, of cerrtain rights, shall not be construed to deny or dispathrage others RETAINED By the people. Also Connecticut Constitution to defend ones self and the defense of the State.

  28. Fantastic. Now i hope this will be sent to the lawyers who will be representing us and have them state this very clearly that the laws of this state/country have been broken and miss used and there fore all of the new laws written should be null & Void. Enough if enough,when our we the people going to start to wake up and take back our state and run it according to the real way it should be and not be dictated to by a bunch of so called Clowns that say they represent us. These so called persons are voted in by us and there fore should be voted out by us especially if they fail to follow the laws and rules set forth. Just the other day only the Democrats voted to give the so called undocumented aliens Drivers Licenses. The Republican party was not allowed to vote on this. What the hell was that all about. How can we be equally represented if only the Democrats are making laws & policies. They use the excuse that these people are driving without licenses and there fore pose a thereat to everyone. So i ask you just because you allow them to get a drivers license does that mean they are goint to buy a car, register it and and then insure it as well. ?? Ya Right with who’s money. The welfare they are already getting or through some other means that the Democrats will figure out. First and fore most lets get one thing straight here. These so called undocumented aliens as they refer to is there politically correct way of saying ,Illegals Aliens that are here illegally in the first place so why our we giving them anything. What we should be doing is giving them a one way ride back to where they came from and stop draining the hard working people of the state and country who work for a living pay there tax’s and pay there own way. Something is very wrong here and it all started with the crusader Rev. Manship, A Catholic Prist of New Haven who is the pastor of St Roses/Lima church in New Haven who started this whole business in East Haven. Now he is a lead proponent of this newest give away. He needs to go. The Bishop should say enough is enough and ship his butt to somewhere like Mexico or Central American. If he wants to be such a mayrter or crusader then let him go where he’s needed most,There and not here. We can handel are own problems without any Rebel rousing priest who has no business in the first place sticking his nose where it does not belong. He should be limited to the church and the pulpit where he is assigned, not the crusader of the people of East Haven the so called undocumented aliens, Illigal alliens is the correct term.

    • Even if the Republicans has been “allowed” to vote, would it have been any different? Would the likes of Frantz (a supposed gun club member), Cafero (a compromiser) or McKinney (the architect of the bill) have made the vote any different? Would they just trade a yes for whatever little scrap their Democrat masters give them? Would they vote yes of their own free will and then pat themselves on the back because “they did something”? In my mind we need to get these RINO’s out of office. I would rather have a principled representative that gets voted down than a slimy worm who sides with the enemy in the name of bargaining.

      • In regard to your statement that may be true but not really unless we,they the republicans had there say. Only then can you make a factual statement. This is the problem we have been faced with time and again. I hear the same old song,There’s nothing we can really do about it. That is pure BS. If all of us collectively get off off of our butts and say and do something then we at least have a fighting chance. But if we just sit there on our hands and say and do nothing but complain amongest ourselves then what you say has merit. Last year or so before the tragady at Sandy hook these same people tried to take away our rights and ban Hi Cap or as they refere to them,LCM/Large Capacity Magazines. We collectively went to Hartford and chose to fight this. Guess what we won and it never even came out of committee. There is an old saying and i firmly believely in it. It is better to go down slinging the be considered a defetest. A real person stands up for one self and fights to the end. There is no shame in trying to win but there is noting worst then turning away and doing nothing by using the excuse there is nothing we can do. If you scream loud enough and long enough then you will be heard and perhaps win your battle. But if all you do is wave the white flag and surrender then you have no say and should just remain along with the silent majority. No one wins a batttle by giving up befor it even has started and never will. I rather be know as a person who went down swinging the a person who turned and ran. It’s far to long to that we idley stood bye and let this happen. It’s now time to take of the gloves and come out swinging. Remember even a bully does not want to get hurt and smacked around at the cost of winning a battle just to prove a point unless they are a dam fool of some sort. Growing up i learned a hard lesson. I was pushed around and picked on because i was told i could not win. Well finally i decided it was time to take a stand and when that day came i stood my ground and knocked the snot out of one of the bullys who have been tormenting me for a long time. I droped him with a strigt riht hand and bloody his nose. From that day on i had no more problems with anyone simply because i stood up and let them know you may win the battle but the war goes on and your going to get hurt to prove that you are the tougher guy. That my friend is how you win not only the battles but the war. Never give up,Never surender or you are surly lost and will be forever more. As a Viet Nam Combat veteran i can tell you that first hand. You never give up and you never give up or all is lost.

        • I agree with you 100%. I did not mean that we (the people) should lay down without a fight. I meant that those we elected will lay down without a fight as a matter of course. It is for want of a better term their modus operendi. Part of fighting for our rights is to work diligently to find better Republicans to represent us, at least in my area of the state. There are some good representatives up there, Courtney and Sampson to name a couple, but for those that simply sell their votes to complain that they didn’t get the chance to sell their votes is distasteful at best and treasonous at worst.

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