Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob Crook, head of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, and his family. We’re told Bob suffered a stroke this weekend. Bob has worked tirelessly for decades defending our rights in Hartford, and the CCS is also a plaintiff along with CCDL in the lawsuit against our state’s unconstitutional gun laws.
We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Appellate Court Update

Many people are asking how we made out in court on December 9th. While we probably won’t get a ruling in the case for several months, CCDL executive board member and fundraising coordinator Bob Ferguson wrote this piece on the day’s events.

On December 9th, oral arguments were heard at the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in our case, Shew v. Malloy. The NYSRP v. Cuomo case (SAFE Act) was also on the docket. Since both cases involved similar, though not identical arguments and both plaintiffs had the same legal team, The panel of judges had our lawyers make a combined argument for both cases and then each side (NY and CT) made their arguments, followed by a rebuttal from our attorneys.

David Thompson from the law firm of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC was the lead presenter for our legal team. He was joined at the plaintiff counsel’s table by Brian Stapleton (the lead attorney at the district level) and Stephen Halbrook (noted firearms attorney from the MacDonald v. Chicago case.) These are among the top firearms attorneys in the country. We were treated to a brilliant display by David Thompson that made it clear that our attorneys are in the major leagues, and the attorneys for NY and CT are in the minors. In the short presentation time allowed, David touched on a huge wealth of information that had been presented in previously submitted briefs.

This was the first opportunity that any of us have had to hear our legal team present oral arguments since the arguments were cancelled at the Federal District court level. Many of the CCDL executive board were in the courtroom along with several CCDL members to see first-hand the stellar legal representation that ongoing contributions to the litigation fund have been paying for. The quality of the representation we have in this case is immeasurable.

We are asking all of our members to keep in mind that both sides had previously filed briefs and responses and the oral arguments are just the phase where the justices can ask questions. It may be that the minds of the justices minds are already made up, and they are just seeking to refine their opinions. However, it was abundantly clear by the end of the arguments that our legal team was best prepared with excellent responses to the justices’ questions.

David Thompson completely destroyed the testimony offered by Christopher Koper, the key expert witness for both NY and CT. By the end of the arguments, it was clear to the judges that Koper admitted that “There is little evidence that the AW ban will work or that bans of any ‘military features’ will have any effect.” Both lawyers for NY and CT scrambled to answer this apparent contradiction from their key expert witness with no effect. In fact, they were forced to resort to quoting the “Mother Jones” website as the only other ‘expert’ testimony that they could offer!

One key mistake that the NY and CT attorneys seemed to make was in arguing that the Heller case was strictly concerning handguns. In fact, the case made it clear that the type of firearms protected are “Those in common use for lawful purposes.” Our attorney made that point very clear and even quoted the dissenting Justice Stevens from the SCOTUS Heller case in agreeing that the Heller ruling was NOT only about handguns. It’s not a very good fact pattern for the defense when the Supreme Court Justice on their side actually agrees with OUR assessment of the case.

In short, our legal team clearly came out on top in this phase of the case. That does not mean that we will get a favorable decision however. Intellectual honesty on the part of the panel of judges is key at this point in order to win at this level.

Our attorneys expect a decision to be rendered in 3-6 months, after which, the losing side will no doubt appeal to the SCOTUS. The justices could remand the case back to the lower court for an incorrect ruling or they could affirm the district court’s decision. Regardless, we know this will likely be a long, drawn out legal process. Many thanks to all of you who have contributed to our litigation fund during this process. This truly has been a monumental effort to this point from all of you. Please keep those donations coming. DONATE HERE. A CD Disc of the arguments is being ordered, and we will make sure it is posted for all to listen to when we have it.

CCDL also wishes to thank the National Rifle Association for their continued tactical support in this effort. They have been a tremendous part of this effort to help restore our 2nd Amendment rights to the fullest.

Please join us at our January members meeting as lead attorney David Thompson comes up from Washington D.C. to address our members, and we provide a Q&A session with him. If you have questions about timelines, or other aspects of this case, this will be the time and place for it.

December 9th General 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, December 9, 2014.
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
Earlier in the day, oral arguments in our lawsuit will be heard at the appellate court in New York. CCDL execs attending that hearing will be back in time for our meeting and will discuss their take on how the arguments went. Unfortunately, we will not be allowed to record the court proceedings. Anyone planning on attending the court hearing should read the info posted here.

We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.
We also sell the limited edition items below that are not available in our online store.

Patches and Pins
We still have some of our limited run CCDL patches and pins. These $5 each and are meetings-only items, not for sale on the website.

Logo Magnets!
The return of the CCDL logo magnets. These are about the same size as our regular decals, but printed on a flexible magnetic material and are perfect for people who don’t want to permanently attach a vinyl decal to their vehicle. Priced at $5 each and sold at the meeting only.

Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. The holiday season is upon us, and this time of the year the strain on food kitchens is great. 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
December 9, 2014 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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Gun Groups Head To Court

Tomorrow, December 9th, 2014 The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, and all the other litigants in Shew v Malloy (our lawsuit against CT’s unconstitutional gun laws) will be in New York City before the Second Circuit Court Of Appeals.
Oral arguments will be heard in Courtroom 1703 of the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse located at 40 Foley Square in New York City. The hearings start at 1pm, but there are 4 cases ahead of ours, including the NY challenge to their (un)SAFE Act. Spectator seating is limited, so if you want to sit in the courtroom you need to get there early.
This is a federal court proceeding, not a rally, so please dress and act accordingly if you are going to attended. Also no weapons or recording devices (including cell phones) will be allowed in the courtroom. Arguments for our challenge are expected to last approximately 20 minutes.
We plan to be back in time to attend the member meeting in Middletown at 7pm, where we’ll discuss how things went.

Important Meeting For Chester Residents

The Chester Board of Selectmen are meeting this Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:00 pm to further discuss the (non)issue of “target shooting and discharging firearms in a residential area”.
In the past, CCDL members made a strong showing during these meetings. Hopefully we will continue to have our voices heard.

CCDL members who live in Chester believe current laws adequately address the issue. They feel there is no need for further regulations against Chester taxpayers who chose to safely exercise their 2nd Amendment rights on private property.

We suggest getting there early, we understand there have been some “issues” in the past with moving the meeting location at the last minute.

When: December 2, 2014 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Chester Town Hall
203 Middlesex Avenue, Community Meeting Room, Second Floor

If you live in Chester, please try to attend this meeting. If you have any progun friends there, please share this with them.

Here’s the link to the meeting agenda on the Chester town website