Free Legislative Workshops

The 2017 legislative session is well under way. As in years past, gun owners will be needed to support or oppose various proposed laws related to your rights.

CCDL invites all that are interested in preserving our 2nd Amendment rights in Connecticut to attend one of our FREE workshops. These workshops are designed to educate gun owners about legislative action.

At these FREE workshops you will learn:

  • Learn about the legislative process and any pending gun bills
  • Tips for communicating with your legislators
  • How to prepare written testimony
  • How to submit your testimony
  • How to testify at a public hearing effectively
  • How to track gun bills
  • How to become proactive and vigilant
  • Much more!

These events are free and open to CCDL members and anyone who supports our right to bear arms. Bring you friends!

Host: New Haven Sportsman’s Club
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Time: 10:00am -12:00pm
Location: New Haven Sportsman’s Club
4158 Durham Rd, Guilford, CT

Host: Windsor Marksmen’s Association
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Suffield VFW Post 9544
972 Sheldon ST, Suffield, CT
(downstairs meeting hall)

For more information, email Ray Bevis: legislative@ccdl.us

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

New Open Carry Memorandum

The state just issued an new memorandum concerning open carry.
Hopefully this clarifies the issue if open carry is legal (with a permit), and if you need to show your permit to the police if asked.
Here is the first page and a half, out of six pages:

open carry memo 2-2016

Now please go and read the whole thing. It covers how they may “request” your permit, and how they might then use things against you.

You may read the full memorandum and download a copy here:
open-carry-memo-feb-2016 (pdf)

Blog Updates Via Email

CCDL is the best resource there is to stay up-to-date on pending gun legislation and issues here in Connecticut. For the newer members, we’ll repeat a few older posts to help you get the most from this resource.

CCDL usually sends out 1-2 emails a month to keep our members updated on what’s going on with the organization and our gun rights. With the political climate the way it is, things sometimes happen far too fast to wait for a monthly email. A good way to stay up to date with everything happening is to subscribe to this blog. Just look down the right side of the blog home page (http://ccdl.us/blog/) and you will see a place to enter your email address. It looks like this:

Simply enter your email address and press the subscribe button.
You will then get a confirmation email from “CCDL Blog”. Open that email and press the Confirm Follow button. Now you will get an email when there is a new post here. Don’t worry, if you ever change your mind, every email has a link to unsubscribe.

One last thing, if you are active on Facebook, besides the Official CCDL page, there is also a CCDL discussion group. It’s a good place to interact with fellow CCDL members.

Project ChildSafe

Recently we posted about how some antigun groups were opposed to Project ChildSafe and their mission to distribute free gun safety kits and trigger locks. How you can claim to not be antigun and for gun safety while opposing actual working gun safety programs such as Project ChildSafe or the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program makes no sense to me. But then, gun control is not really about facts or common sense, is it?

CCDL firmly believes in responsible gun ownership over arbitrary and unconstitutional laws and regulations. This includes using good judgement (not mandatory storage laws) to keep guns out of the hands of unauthorized people.

We are proud to announce that CCDL is now a supporter organization for Project ChildSafe’s campaign to promote voluntary safe handling and storage of firearms. You can join us in committing to firearm safety & responsibility and sign their “Own it? Respect it. Secure it.” pledge today: ProjectChildSafe.org/take-the-pledge

Visit the Project ChildSafe website for other ways you can get involved. ProjectChildSafe.org
ORS_Logo_CC_small

Gun Owners MUST Stand together

As many members might know, there is a large Fishing and Hunting Show held every year at the Convention Center in Hartford. Every year CCDL has a table there. Not to sell merchandise, not to solicit donations (though we’ll gladly accept donations toward the Litigation Fund there), but just to educate and raise awareness.

Now, this is a hunting a fishing show, not a “gun” show, so even though guns are often used for hunting, we sometimes encounter what some might call “anti-gun gun owners”. The members staffing the table had one at our booth today, and I think it illustrates perfectly how much work is still needed to educate our fellow gun owners. Because it’s not just the AR-15 and Glock owners that are having their rights trampled on, it’s ALL gun owners, even the hunters and sport shooters. There is no need to go into all the details, suffice to say this gentleman’s argument was along the lines of we don’t need AR-15s or standard capacity magazines. His Remington VersaMax 12g shotgun was all anyone should need.

Now, everyone has different opinions, and he’s certainly entitled to his. However, he’s not entitled to his own facts. One of those facts is that as we’ve warned about many times, a key point of the recommendations coming from Governor Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is an outright ban (no grandfathering in of current owners) on the possession of any gun CAPABLE of being made to fire more than 10 rounds without reloading. While our friend’s Remington most likely only holds 3 shells plus one in the chamber, it’s CAPABLE, with a simple swap of the magazine tube, of holding 10 or more shells.

His “only gun I need” is about to go on the chopping block and he doesn’t even know it because he’s still got his head in the sand like an ostrich. I have to wonder when’s the last time he tried to buy a box of shells? Maybe he’s still working off that box of 25 from a few years ago, and doesn’t even realize yet he can’t buy more without a permit now. I’d like to think that if he knows and understands that Connecticut wants to make it harder for him to buy ammo, and even wants to take away his duck hunting gun that he will be signing up as a FREE CCDL member as soon as he gets home. I’d like to think he will stand side-by-side with the black rifle owners and the pistol shooters in Hartford when it comes time to testify against these unconstitutional attacks on our rights. I’d like to think that we got through to him.

Even if we didn’t, there are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of gun owners just like him here in Connecticut. CCDL currently has over 17,000 members. Just think if every single member reached out to someone like our friend at the show and recruited them as a new member? We’d be over 30,000 strong for the next public hearing!

Repost – Blog Updates By Email

Since this was mentioned at the meeting last night, I’m going to repeat a few old blog posts for the new members and also as a refresher for the older members. First up is how to subscribe to these blog updates by email.

CCDL usually sends out 1-2 emails a month to keep our members updated on what’s going on with the organization and our gun rights. With the political climate the way it is, things sometimes happen far too fast to wait for a monthly email. A good way to stay up to date with everything happening is to subscribe to this blog. Just look down the right side of the blog home page (http://ccdl.us/blog/) and you will see a place to enter your email address. It looks like this:

Simply enter your email address and press the subscribe button.
You will then get a confirmation email from “CCDL Blog”. Open that email and press the Confirm Follow button. Now you will get an email when there is a new post here. Don’t worry, if you ever change your mind, every email has a link to unsubscribe.

One last thing, if you are active on Facebook, besides the Official CCDL page, there is also a CCDL discussion group. It’s a good place to interact with fellow CCDL members.

REPOST – Legislative Testimony “Tip Sheet”

This is another in a series of repeats of older blog posts for new members and also as a refresher course for older members. Remember, the 2014 Legislative Session starts today, February 5th. We’ll post any new bills here on the blog, as well as keep you updated about any bills we need to testify against (or for) in Hartford. Subscribe to the blog for updates by email.

Legislative Testimony “Tip Sheet” originally published on 1/25/2013

Overview:

Testifying (in person or written testimony) may seem like a daunting task at first. Use this “tip sheet” to help you as you prepare for your testimony. Regardless of how you testify (in person or written) many items are still the same. However, if you plan to submit written testimony AND testify in person, you do not need to stick to your written testimony. This is particularly helpful if you have knowledge of a particular subject that was not answered in previous testimony.

Keep all your testimony brief and “stick to the facts”. It is also helpful if you personalize your written testimony and explain how a bill will affect you. This also makes it easier for you to not repeat the same facts and testimony of previous speakers. If your written testimony is essentially the same as previous speakers, tell the committee you agree with previous speakers and you are available to answer any questions.

Regardless of how you testify, the following should always be included:

  • Your name
  • Where you’re from (city/state)
  • State whether you support or oppose the bill
  • Use the bill number and title of the bill (EX: HB 1234 An Act Concerning Firearms)
  • Summarize your recommendation first and then add any needed explanation
  • Restate your position on the bill
  • Thank the legislators for their time and consideration of your position. Provide contact information and offer to answer any questions.
  • BE RESPECTFUL—never use derogatory names or threaten/antagonize

If you are testifying in person, here are a few more tips:

  • Each committee has a different operating procedure, however most only allow 3 minutes of testimony. You will be timed, and a buzzer or bell will sound once your time is up. If you hear that sound, please wrap it up as soon as you can. CAVEAT: If at the end of the 3 minutes, a legislator asks you a question, you may continue to speak to answer that question. However, please be respectful of time and try not to be excessive.
  • If you cannot cover all the information in the required 3 minutes, add it to the written testimony you submitted and note to the legislators that there is more you provided in writing
  • Rehearse your testimony. Anticipate questions and answers to those questions
  • If you DO NOT know the answer to a question, say so! Offer to get the correct information to the legislator or their aid as soon as possible.
  • Arrive and sign up early to testify.
  • Bring enough copies of your testimony. This is often stated when a hearing will take place. Bring a few extra copies so you have a copy to go over and practice before you speak. Not all committees allow testimony to be submitted electronically.
  • Dress appropriately for testimony. Business dress or business casual is preferred. No cammo, Printed T-shirts, etc. No hats. Your testimony may be televised.
  • Make sure cell phones are “muted” or turned off
  • Adjust and speak directly into the microphone. You should be no more than six inches from the microphone.
  • Avoid technical jargon. Many legislators are not familiar with terms and acronyms.
  • Plan to spend the entire day at the legislature. You may not have to, but depending on how testimony is organized (it could be by lottery) you may be there all day. Make sure plans are made with babysitters and employers ahead of time. It’s not uncommon for hearings to go through the evening hours.
  • Bring food or snacks (there is a cafeteria and auxiliary store).
  • DO NOT threaten or antagonize or argue with the legislators
  • DO NOT bring weapons into the legislature.
  • DO NOT clap, cheer or jeer during testimony. It only slows down the process and just doesn’t make us look good. Respect is key here.

If you have the time, make a visit to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) ahead of time and sit in on a hearing. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. Many of the hearings are also online at www.ct-n.com (The CT Network)

Statistics
Avoid using outdated statistics. Also, make sure your sources are valid. I.e. if a legislator sees you reference for a statistic is a known biased “news” (Fox, MSNBC, Breitbart, etc.) outlet, it may be called into question (perceived bias). There are some GREAT resources for firearms statistics that help you avoid a perceived bias.

  • Gunfacts.info – www.gunfacts.info This site has a downloadable book (available for purchase as well). GREAT information. All statistics are referenced in footnotes of every page.
  • FBI Crime Statistics – http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats Data here is hard for “the other side” to refute as it comes straight from the FBI.
  • Gun Cite – http://www.guncite.com/ – Not always up to date, but good source of ideas.
  • CT Pistol Permit Issues – www.ctpistolpermitissues.com – More information specific to Connecticut. Defensive firearms use, Office of Legislative Research Reports, pivotal state, federal and supreme court cases and permit procedure information.

Other useful resources

  • Connecticut Citizens Defense League – www.ccdl.us – keep current on issues affecting Connecticut.
    CCDL also maintains an active presence regarding legislative efforts and informs members as soon as information is made available. CCDL is free to join and email lists are not shared with any other source.
  • NRA-ILA – National Rifle Association, Institute for Legislative Action – www.nraila.org – NRA-ILA maintains a large web site with information on legislative issues around the nation.
  • Connecticut General Assembly – www.cga.ct.gov – Lookup feature to find who your legislators are and how to contact them. Bill tracking – this allows you to read the language and any updates that may have been made. Hearing dates and times and any specific information for that hearing day (How many copies of testimony, etc.).

Books:

  • More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition, John R. Lott Jr. (Author) [Paperback] [Kindle] John R. Lott Jr. (Author)

Document created by E. Jonathan Hardy, Legislative Affairs Coordinator, CCDL permitissues@ccdl.us Rev Date: 1-24-13

You may also download and print out a copy of this tip sheet.
legislative testimony handout (pdf format)

Repost- Hint For Tracking Bills

This is another in a series of repeats of older blog posts for new members and also as a refresher course for older members. Remember, the 2014 Legislative Session starts on February 5th. We’ll post any new bills here on the blog, as well as keep you updated about any bills we need to testify against (or for) in Hartford. Subscribe to the blog for updates by email.

Hint For Tracking CT Bills originally posted 1/9/2013

For those who have missed CCDL’s prior Legislative Training Classes, here’s a quick tip for keeping track of all the various House and Senate bills as they come out. The CT General Assembly website has a Bill Tracking feature located in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Click that and follow the directions to create an account there. Keep in mind the email address you give will be used to send you any updates to the bills you track.

After that you will see a fairly self-explanatory page where you can enter a bill in the “Add Bill Number” box (for example SB42) then click the “track” button. Add all the bills as we post them, and when they get updated you should get an email. Sometimes the email doesn’t work, so I like to go back and check for myself every few days. Just go back to the CGA website and click the “Bill Tracking” button and log in. Then use the “Bill Listing Report” button at the bottom of the page and it will give you links to all the bills you are tracking.

Repost – Blog Updates By Email

Since the next CT legislative session starts later this week, I’m going to repeat a few old blog posts for the new members and also as a refresher for the older members. First up is how to subscribe to these blog updates by email.

CCDL usually sends out 1-2 emails a month to keep our members updated on what’s going on with the organization and our gun rights. With the political climate the way it is, things sometimes happen far too fast to wait for a monthly email. A good way to stay up to date with everything happening is to subscribe to this blog. Just look down the right side of the blog home page (http://ccdl.us/blog/) and you will see a place to enter your email address. It looks like this:

Simply enter your email address and press the subscribe button.
You will then get a confirmation email from “CCDL Blog”. Open that email and press the Confirm Follow button. Now you will get an email when there is a new post here. Don’t worry, if you ever change your mind, every email has a link to unsubscribe.

One last thing, if you are active on Facebook, besides the Official CCDL page, there is also a CCDL discussion group. It’s a good place to interact with fellow CCDL members.