Legislative Action Alert

Action Alert!

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is actively considering two gun bills right now. One bill is pro 2nd Amendment and the other bill is anti-2nd Amendment.

Hundreds of our members have already sent letters to the committee members voicing their opposition to H.B. 6200 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT.

If you have not already sent an email to the committee members, please do so.

Even more important: If your legislator is a member of the Judiciary Committee, be sure to indicate that you are their constituent in your email.

Antigun extremists are already contacting state legislators. Committee members must hear from rational lawful gun owners.

Please take a moment to contact these key committee members. Copy and paste the email below, or for a greater impact draft your own.

There will be a public hearing scheduled soon (date & time TBD). When this happens, we will need members to attend the hearing and to submit testimony.

If you have any questions, email CCDL’s Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis at legislative@ccdl.us


Dear Judiciary Committee Member,

As a fellow resident of Connecticut, I ask that you not support a bill that will allow police to profile and stop residents that are not under suspicion of a crime.

I urge you to support the firearm reciprocity bill. Forty-two other states already have some form of reciprocity. Legal firearm owners are not the ones committing crimes and are the true firearm safety advocates.

I urge that you:

OPPOSE H.B. 6200 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT.

SUPPORT AN ACT CONCERNING PERMIT AND CERTIFICATE TO CARRY A FIREARM RECIPROCITY

Thank you for your consideration

[Insert your name]


Send your email to each of the committee members below, or you may click here to open your email client prefilled out (may not work for everyone): EMAIL COMMITTEE

William.Tong@cga.ct.gov

Steven.Stafstrom@cga.ct.gov

David.Baram@cga.ct.gov

Jeffrey.Berger@cga.ct.gov

Christine.Conley@cga.ct.gov

Jeff.Currey@cga.ct.gov

Stephanie.Cummings@housegop.ct.gov

Patricia.Dillon@cga.ct.gov

Dan.Fox@cga.ct.gov

Bob.Godfrey@cga.ct.gov

Minnie.Gonzalez@cga.ct.gov

Stephen.Harding@housegop.ct.gov

Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov

Bruce.Morris@cga.ct.gov

Tom.ODea@housegop.ct.gov

Robyn.Porter@cga.ct.gov

Emmett.Riley@cga.ct.gov

Joseph.Serra@cga.ct.gov

Richard.Smith@housegop.ct.gov

 

Public Hearing Alert

This Tuesday, February 14th, the Appropriations Committee will hold a state agency budget presentation with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). The meeting is scheduled for 1:00pm in room 2C of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford. Most likely questions about the proposed permit fee hikes will be asked of DESPP Commissioner Dora Schriro at this time.

The meeting is open to the public, and CCDL is asking members to attend. We need to show legislators that gun owners are outraged at Governor Malloy’s budget proposal to raise pistol permit application and permit fees so only the rich will be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. We’re asking members to wear their CCDL shirts and hats to the meeting to show the legislators we’re paying attention.

Oral testimony is not required at this particular hearing, but members are still encouraged to submit written testimony. This hearing is related to the appropriations of the general funds, but it’s key to show the state that CCDL members are staying vigilant.

The afternoon part of this meeting will start at 1:00 P.M., and DESPP is scheduled to be the second speaker. This will be followed by a Public Budget Hearing at 4:30 P.M.

Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to APPtestimony@cga.ct.gov
The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the agenda. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement.

We’ve included some sample testimony you can use. Sample Letter

The Legislative Office Building is located at 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.

Links:

Driving Directions

Entry to the LOB for Members of the Public (PDF)

A Guide for Testifying at Hearings

Frequently Asked Questions

CCDL ACTION ALERT! Antigun Bill

Immediate Help Needed:

Our 2nd Amendment and 4th Amendment rights are once again being threatened here in Connecticut. The Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is considering raising a bill again to declare ‘open season’ on those who lawfully carry firearms. They want to allow police to stop, detain and demand permit holders to identify themselves even if all they are doing is legally carrying a firearm.

This bill (should it become actual law) will force carry permit holders to produce their permits on demand if a police officer simply sees you carrying a firearm. They want to eliminate the current law which requires a police officer to have reasonable suspicion of a crime before they can stop a permit holder and investigate.

We are asking CCDL members to contact these key members of the Judiciary Committee and request that they do not to raise this bill. This proposed law eliminates current protections against undo potential harassment.

Most police officers simply wish to investigate legitimately suspicious activity, and not harass someone who is merely carrying a firearm and minding their own business. Law enforcement officers should not be allowed to stop and frisk law-abiding citizens who are not suspected of criminal activity.

Important Note:
Police right now currently do have every right to ask individuals to produce and show a carry permit. They simply do not have the authority to demand it without someone acting in a suspicious manner. This is a very important distinction that protects your 4th amendment rights.

Please send an email tonight, and ask these legislators to OPPOSE H.B.6200
Ask them to not allow police to stop and detain lawful residents without probable cause.

Sen. Doyle, Co-Chair (prefers mail form emails)

Rep. Tong, Co-Chair

Sen. Kissel, Co-Chair

Sen. Winfield, Vice Chair (prefers mail form emails)

Sen. McLachlan, Vice Chair

Rep. Stafstrom, Vice Chair

Rep. Rebimbas, Ranking Member

Rep. Simmons

Rep. Fox

If you need suggestions on what to write, we’ve got some sample letters you can use for ideas. Click here: Sample Letters

If you have any questions, contact CCDL’s Legislative Coordinator:
Ray Bevis
Phone 860-800-2235
Email legislative@ccdl.us

Help Needed – Olympic Competition Pistols in Jeopardy

Action Needed (Deadline January 13th):
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) has proposed regulatory language regarding pistols commonly used for Olympic competition. The purpose of the regulation is to identify and designate certain pistols as being designed of use in Olympic competition. Without such a designation, these pistols are considered to be “assault weapons” by the State, and regulated and restricted as such under Public Acts 13-3 and 13-220.

CCDL is asking our members to submit a brief comment for the purpose of helping potential Olympians legally obtain certain firearms that are required for training and competition.

Currently there are two issues with proposed regulatory language that would likely affect would-be Olympians. The language in question is here:

53-202b-5(a)

6. The name of the organization for which the purchaser competes in target shooting events at the Olympic Games;

9. A requirement that the applicant attach evidence of participation, or an intent to participate, in target shooting practice and events sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and USA Shooting, or any subsequent corresponding governing board for internal shooting competition in the United States.

How You Can Help:
The DESPP currently has an open period for the public to comment on these proposed regulations.
Please click on this link to the comment page: https://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Search/Comment?TrackingNumber=PR2016-020

  • Fill out your Name, Email Address and Town.
  • In the Comments section, copy and paste all of following text in full and press Submit:

As referenced in proposed language Sec. 53-202b-5(a) 6
This section would simply create one more obstacle for target shooters who wish to train and possibly participate in national and international sanctioned competitions to have access to the required type of firearm. Please delete this section from proposed regulatory addition.

As referenced in proposed language: Sec. 53-202b-5(a) 9
Please modify the State Agencies Regulations to allow that persons who wish to train with Olympic Match Pistols not be required to produce evidence of participation by either the International Olympic Committee, USA Shooting or other entities. A personal affidavit signed by an interested party should be sufficient. This should be deemed logical, on the premise that without access to these types of pistols in the first place, a person cannot suitably train and obtain the skills needed to qualify for such national or international competitions.

Last Chance To Stop Gun Confiscation Bill!

There are only days left in this year’s legislative session.
Amended H.B. 5054 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE already passed the House late Wednesday night by a 104 to 42 vote (special thanks to Representatives Rob Sampson and Doug Dubitsky for their valiant effort fighting this bill in the House) and will be called in the Senate any day. This bill seizes firearms, ammunition and permits from legal gun owners that have an Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order (an order WITHOUT a hearing) filed against them. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders. WE NEED EVERY MEMBER to call these key Senate leaders, as well as your own Senator today, and tell them to vote NO on H.B. 5054. Call the offices listed below and ask to speak with one of the Senators listed and leave a message. Feel free to use the scripted message below if needed.
You can find your local Senator and their contact information HERE.

Senate Republican Office: (860) 240-8800
Senator Len Fasano
Towns represented: Durham, East Haven, North Haven, Wallingford
Senator Toni Boucher
Towns represented: Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, Wilton
Senator Tony Hwang
Towns represented: Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, Westport
Senator Scott Frantz
Towns represented: Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford
Senator Kevin Kelly
Towns represented: Monroe, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford

Senate Democrats Office: (860) 240-8600
Senator Cathy Osten
Towns represented: Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich, Sprague
Senator Gayle Slossberg
Towns represented: Milford, Orange, West Haven, Woodbridge
Senator Paul Doyle
Towns represented: Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield
Senator Joan Hartley
Towns represented: Waterbury, Middlebury,  Naugatuck
Senator Andrew Maynard
Towns represented: Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown

Scripted Phone Message Opposing H.B. 5054:
Hi Senator,
My name is _______________________,
I’m calling to voice my opposition to House Bill 5054. I urge you to vote NO on this bill. I oppose H.B. 5054 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE because…..
— [Just pick ONE of the following reasons OR use your own] —
…we already have two laws (Sec. 29-38c & 46b-38b) that remove firearms from an abuser, these are immediate and available 24 hours a day, not just during normal court hours.
…if this bill passes an ABUSER can easily file for a temporary restraining order to disarm the victim. Many women own legal firearms for protection.
…this bill will cause many wrongfully accused people to have their personal property seized prior to having a chance to be heard by a judge.
…if this law was truly about protecting victims, it would address the other weapons that a more commonly used. Guns are the least commonly used weapon in domestic violence incidents.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at ________________.
Thank you for your time and have a good day.

CT Legislators Are About To Vote On YOUR Rights! Action Needed ASAP!

Legislative Alert!
There is slightly more than a week left in this year’s legislative session. The following gun bills may come up for a vote as early as tomorrow!  Please call the House and Senate leaders, as well as your own Representative and Senator today, and tell them to take the specified actions on the pending bills below.

  • House Majority Leader: Joe Aresimowicz – (860) 240-8500
  • House Minority Leader: Themis Klarides – (860) 240-8700
  • Senate Majority Leader: Bob Duff – (860) 240-8600
  • Senate Minority Leader: Len Fasano – (860) 240-8800

Also be sure to your call your local Representative and Senator as well, and tell them how you, as one of their constituents, want them to vote on the following bills.
You can look up your local Representative and Senator and their contact information here: www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5054

AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5623

AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, ACCESS TO MARSHALS, AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders.
The same identical language from HB 5054 is included in this bill. This bill is a very unsettling attempt to divide gun owners to make them look like we somehow support human trafficking.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Oppose HB 5408

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT

This bill would undermine the “reasonable suspicion” clause in the current law and would deprive gun owners of Constitutional rights protected under the 4th Amendment.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Support HB 5409

AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR A REVOLVER.

 This bill is a worthy of support. This will help establish uniform criteria for local issuing authorities across the state.

________________________________________________________________________________

It is critical to contact your legislators to let them know your positions on these bills. Your communication with your elected officials is the only thing that will stop anti-gun bills from passing, and help pro-gun bills to pass. Remember, their job is to represent YOU!
If you need more information before contacting your legislators about these bills, please visit our blog for useful information, or email Ray Bevis at legislative@ccdl.us
CCDL’s strength lies in the actions of its members.  Please take action as soon as possible. Our rights are at stake!

Immediate Action Required! Contact Your Legislator Today

To all CCDL members,
The following bills have passed out of committee, and will be going to the House and Senate for a vote.
Please call or email your state Rep and your state Senator and ask them to take the following actions:
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5054

AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5623

AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This bill would violate due process rights for gun owners. Nearly half of these Temporary Restraining Orders do not become full restraining orders.
The same identical language from HB 5054 is included in this bill. This bill is a very unsettling attempt to divide gun owners to make them look like we somehow support human trafficking.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Oppose HB 5408
AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT This bill would undermine the “reasonable suspicion” clause in the current law and would deprive gun owners of Constitutional rights protected under the 4th Amendment.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Support HB 5409

AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR A REVOLVER.

 This bill is a worthy of support. This will help establish uniform criteria for local issuing authorities across the state.
________________________________________________________________________________

It is critical you contact your legislators to let them know your positions on these bills. Your communication with your elected officials is the only thing that will stop anti-gun bills from passing, and help pro-gun bills to pass.
If you need more information before contacting your legislators about these bills, please visit our blog for useful information, or email Ray Bevis at legislative@ccdl.us
Our strength lies in the actions of our members.  Please take action as soon as possible. Our rights are at stake!

Gun-Seizure Law Makes Us Less Safe

The following is a guest post by Brooke Cheney.
Brooke is a competitive shooter (IDPA), certified Range Safety Officer, certified firearms instructor, and an active CCDL member. She owns A Great Start Shooting School in Harwinton, CT.
This article was originally published in the Republican-American newspaper.

_________________________________________________________________


Even if they’ve never set foot in a courtroom, Americans know they have the right to “tell it to the judge.” This fundamental right, known as the right to due process, is the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. It’s a right our Colonial ancestors didn’t enjoy. As subjects of the British crown, they routinely were abused by government agents who brought false, baseless charges against innocent people. Our ancestors had no right to tell their side of the stories, face their accusers or demand evidence of crimes.

Today, Connecticut lawmakers are debating a bill that would take us back to the days when the government trampled our rights and freedoms. Under House Bill 5054 and others, the government could seize a person’s firearms without giving him a chance to tell his side of the story or face his accuser in court. He wouldn’t even have to be accused of a crime. Under this bill, a law-abiding citizen could be forced to hand over his firearms based solely on a brief statement by an accuser. Innocent people would have no right to defend themselves before being deprived of property and due process.

Our Constitution is under assault. Gun-control groups are trying to undermine our freedoms and chip away at our constitutional protections. Supporters of H.B. 5054 claim they want to protect victims of domestic violence by taking firearms from the accused. However, under this proposal, there is no way to know if they are taking the guns away from the abuser or the abused.

As a firearms instructor, I have heard many stories of women choosing to become educated with firearms to defend themselves against their abusers. This bill could leave victims of domestic violence defenseless. A better approach would be to change the attitudes and behaviors of the abusers, and promote measures enabling victims to defend themselves.

A tragic case in New Jersey illustrates the folly of gun-control laws. Carol Bowne, 39, of Berlin, N.J., was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend. Bowne had applied for a firearms permit in an attempt to defend herself — months before she was attacked. Bowne was granted a restraining order, but she knew it was only a piece of paper and would not protect her if her ex-boyfriend chose not to abide by it. But New Jersey’s gun-control laws prevented her from being able to defend herself.

This tragedy also shows that if you take away guns from domestic abusers, they will find other weapons, or acquire firearms illegally.

H.B. 5054 is part of the fear-based agenda Connecticut lawmakers have adopted in recent years. In 2013, they imposed a ban on magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds, banned all new general-purpose sporting rifles (a measure that was found ineffective because of the rarity of crimes committed with these rifles based on the federal assault-weapons ban of 1994), and imposed registration on all of the state’s existing rifles — while ignoring the suggestions from the FBI’s multi-year study on how to prevent school shootings.

H.B. 5054 is ripe for abuse by angry, bitter domestic partners, unhappy neighbors or coworkers, anyone who just doesn’t like you. Our lives can be messy, and motives are not always clear. But what is clear is our right under the Constitution to defend ourselves against an accuser and tell our side of the story.

I urge Connecticut’s lawmakers to reject H.B. 5054, no matter how well-intentioned the proponents are.

_________________________________________________________________

NOTE: The Judiciary Committee will be debating this and other related bills this coming Monday, March 28th. We urge members to call or email members of the committee and tell them not to strip domestic violence victims of their ability to defend themselves from violent abusers without the opportunity to tell their side of the story to a judge.

ALERT! Email NOW!

Did you submit your testimony for today’s public hearing?
Why not? You still have time. Testimony may be emailed up until 10am today.
Don’t know what to write?
Don’t know where to email it?
Just don’t have the time? Maybe this will help you. COPY & PASTE this letter below, fill in your information & email it to JUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov by 10:00am today.
MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD!
________________________________________________________________
14 March 2016

Dear Judiciary Committee members;

I’m a resident of Connecticut and wish to voice my opposition to the following raised bills;

H.B. 5054 ‘AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE’

H.B. 5623 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING’

H.B. 5622 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF ERASED RECORDS IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS A SUITABLE PERSON TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER’

S.B. 429 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING SERVICE OF RESTRAINING ORDERS’

I ask that all members of the committee not support these bills.
Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
[INSERT: your name]
[INSERT: address (optional)]
[INSERT: town, CT zip]
[INSERT: phone # (optional)]

Resources For Monday’s Public Hearing

We hope ALL of you will be attending or at least submitting written testimony for Monday’s public hearing. The antigun groups are mobilizing their members, it is vitally important we make our voices heard!
CCDL Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis has put together the following resources to help you out. If you have any questions, you may email Ray at legislative@ccdl.us

Resource Sheet for:

2016 – H.B. No. 5054 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

2016 – H.B. No. 5597 AN ACT PROTECTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS SEEKING RESTRAINING ORDERS

2016 – H.B. No. 5623 AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 Some Points to Raise:

  • Try not using the word victim, instead try using applicant or applicant of the ex parte restraining order.
  • Try referring to the alleged attacker as the respondent or subject.
  • Taking away a person’s natural right of protection without a hearing, without a criminal charges, without a police report, without due process.
  • This is just a gun grabbing law.
  • For an ex parte application, a judge cannot determine a fair preponderance of the evidence on the basis of one biased affidavit.
  • Connecticut already has a seizure of firearm provision for persons posing a risk of injury to self or others under 29-38c – “Seizure of firearms of person posing risk of imminent personal injury to self or others”.
  • Connecticut already has a seizure of firearm provision for when a peace officer determines that a family violence crime has been committed under 46b-38b.
  • Many states, including Connecticut, already prohibit people with violent misdemeanor convictions from acquiring or possessing firearms or ammunition, regardless of the offender’s relationship to the victim.
  • Applicants of temporary restraining orders commonly apply for them days and sometimes weeks after the alleged incident happened and often without a police report filed.
  • Alleged domestic violence victims are not required to report to the police in order to obtain a restraining order.
  • Rights are striped without a chance to be heard and without a police report.
  • If a crime is serious enough to cause an individual to lose a fundamental constitutional right, then that crime should be serious enough for a police investigation.
  • Police are trained to administer the Lethality Risk Assessment, which is the evidence-based instrument that’s used to identify domestic violence victims who are at heightened risk of injury or worse.
  • In 2014, 45% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing.
  • In 2015, 37% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing.

Background Information


Ex parte: /ˌɛks ˈpɑrtiː/ is a Latin legal term meaning “from (by or for) [the/a] party”. An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.

Protective / Restraining Order Glossary

Other References & Resources

Firearm possession & domestic violence restraining orders report from OLR:

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT:

THE FAMILY VIOLENCE ARRESTS ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2014 with great visual charts.

Hands, fists, feet were the most commonly used weapon to commit the murder used in 38 percent of the incidents

In only two incidents was there either an active or expired Court Order of Protection

In the 24 family violence homicides, hands, fists, feet were the most common weapon, nine (38%). Other weapons included knives, eight (33%) and firearms, seven (29%).

2014 Findings & Recommendations Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee

Letter to Gov. Malloy from Rachel M. Baird, Attorney

Regarding Connecticut Ex Parte Restraining Orders, Due Process, and Amending the Laws to Discourage Abuse of Process and Protect Victims of Domestic Violence.

Connecticut judicial branch statistics

Connecticut judicial branch statistics for restraining orders

CT Uniform Crime Reports: Publications & Statistics

U.S. Government’s open data

Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.

Restraining Orders Out of Control by Gregory A. Hession, J.D. 2008

Connecticut Law About Domestic Violence