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

Guest Post – Thank You

This is a guest post by CCDL’s president, Scott Wilson.

I would like to say “Thank You” to the CCDL members who testified before the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday (03/11). It was a very long day, and many of you stayed there until 3:00am or later to testify on several bills that would impact gun owners. I also want to thank those of you who could not testify in person, but submitted written testimony electronically to the committee. I’ll also throw in a third “Thank You” to our members that watched the hearing and communicated with us via social media throughout the night. Many of you had a long day as well.

Our side scored some great points during the hearing. We nailed the proponents of the bills on ‘due process’ violations that will impact gun owners if one of the proposals is passed. We were also well spoken and very respectful of the legislative process throughout day.

It’s not an easy task to go to Hartford to speak about gun rights when you feel that the deck is stacked against you. But if we don’t take the time to do this and the other things that we do, things will get a lot worse for us. With that point in mind, I am keeping my vision towards the day when the wind shifts favorably in our direction. That day will come soon if it hasn’t already. Time will tell us this soon enough.

Scott Wilson
CCDL President

Call and Email Your Legislators
Ask them to oppose the following bills:

SB650 and HB6848 Both would violate Due Process of our rights.
SB650- AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS

HB-6848 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

HB6962 would disallow for non-prohibited individuals in your home from ever being allowed access to your firearms.
AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARM SAFETY

If you don’t know who your legislators are, you can find them here.

Show Me Your Papers, Mach Schnell!

New gun bill today. I call this the “show me your papers, mach schnell!” bill.

H.B. No. 7028 (RAISED) JUDICIARY . ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ACCESS TO THE FIREARMS DATABASE BY PAROLE OFFICERS, AND PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT’, to make technical changes to the Department of Correction statutes, to permit parole officers access to the firearms database and to require the holder of a pistol carry permit to present such permit upon request of a law enforcement officer.
REF. JUDICIARY

Here’s the troubling part.

Sec. 24. Subsection (b) of section 29-35 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) The holder of a permit issued pursuant to section 29-28 shall carry such permit upon one’s person while carrying such pistol or revolver. Such holder shall present his or her permit upon the request of a law enforcement officer for purposes of verification of the validity of the permit or identification of the holder.

Connecticut does not have any “stop and identify” law. (Motor vehicle laws are different. You consent to being stopped while driving when you get your driver’s license). The US Supreme Court has generally upheld that police may not stop a person and ask for identification without a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is about to be committed.
This proposed bill changes that, and treats certain people like second-class citizens simply because they have a legally owned object on their person.

Now, lots of people are going to say “If you aren’t breaking the law, what’s the big deal?” The big deal is law-abiding gun owners would be stripped of a Fourth Amendment protection every other person in Connecticut enjoys; the right to simply go about your business without being stopped to have your identification checked and verified. To me, that’s a big deal. Of course, if you actually ARE a criminal, you would be exempt from this bill. That’s because the Supreme Court has also ruled that criminals have a 5th Amendment right protecting them from self-incrimination. See Haynes v. United States for one example.

It’s important to remember that right now this is just a raised bill. That means it’s just an idea that the legislators on the Judiciary Committee are discussing to see if it has merit. The vast majority of raised bills never go beyond this point. The next step would be a public hearing, and if it gets that far you can be sure we’ll let you know.

Public hearing is scheduled for March 20, 2015. More info can be found here.

To see ALL the gun bills for this legislative session, click here.

Today’s Hearing

Reminder, today is a public hearing on three anti-gun bills. 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 10am 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

Press Release – March 11 Public Hearing

03/10/2015
For Immediate Release:
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) is in the process of preparing their members for the gun related bills being heard by the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday March 11th.
The organization opposes three pieces of proposed legislation based on the effect it may have on law-abiding gun owners in Connecticut.

 

The following bills are strongly opposed by the organization:
SB650- AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS
HB6962- AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARM SAFETY
HB6848- AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 
Comments from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
“Our members are well aware of what is at stake in the legislature on Wednesday as well as beyond. Governor Malloy and certain anti-gun legislators are simply trying to make gun ownership as cumbersome as possible. These bills contain Increased storage requirements and criminal penalties that only punishes law-abiding gun owners”.

 

“Some of these bills being heard also remove ‘due process rights’ from individuals as well. Firearms (which translates to private property) will essentially be confiscated from people who have not either had a hearing in front of a judge nor have been charged with a crime”.

 

Wilson also stated:
“Our hope is that legislators that are on the fence with this issue will clearly weigh the message we are trying to convey to them and others. These proposals will leave thousands of people vulnerable with a completely unfair legal process if they are enacted.
Press Contact:
Scott Wilson
860-235-7490
Scott Wilson Sr.
President
CCDL, Inc.