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

New Gun Bills for 3/11/2016

S.B. No. 454 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING AUTOMATIC ERASURE OF CRIMINAL RECORDS’, to ensure that criminal records subject to erasure are automatically erased and to provide notifications of such erasure.
REF. JUDICIARY

S.B. No. 455 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING WEAPONS IN VEHICLES’, to address an issue presented in State v. Jason William DeCiccio, 315 Conn. 79 (Conn. 2014).
REF. JUDICIARY

*NOTE: SB455 in its current form makes no changes as far as gun rights are concerned. We’re following it to make sure it stays that way.

ALERT! Public Hearing On Gun Bills

ALERT! Public Hearing On Gun Bills
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 AT 10:30 A.M ____________________________________________________________

The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 10:30 A.M. in room 2C of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), located at 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford.
These are important bills. We need as many members as possible to show up.  You can be certain those who want to take away your rights will be there in force.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND YOU MAY STILL SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY. *

Public speaking order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 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 no later than 10:00 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB. Written testimony submitted by a person which exceeds five (5) single-sided pages per bill 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 to JUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov. Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related bill numbers. Testimony is 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. 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.

* IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND YOU MAY STILL SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY. Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to JUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov by 10:00 A.M. on Monday March, 14 2016.

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

BILLS BEING HEARD

Oppose  H.B. No. 5054 ‘AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE’
To seize Firearms, Ammunition, and Permits on all ex parte restraining orders.

________________________________________________

Neutral  H.B. No. 5597 ‘AN ACT PROTECTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS SEEKING RESTRAINING ORDERS’
To protect domestic violence victims through use of the risk warrant process set forth in section 29-38c of the general statutes.
*CCDL acknowledges this bill is an improvement over HB5054. However, the underlying statute that THIS act would trigger (29-38c) itself does not provide for adequate due process.

________________________________________________

Oppose  H.B. No. 5622 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF ERASED RECORDS IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS A SUITABLE PERSON TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER’
To allow chiefs of police, selectmen, wardens and the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners access to erased records for the purpose of determining a person’s suitability to carry a pistol or revolver.

________________________________________________

Oppose H.B. No. 5623 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING’
To increase protections for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault.

________________________________________________

Oppose  S.B. No. 429 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING SERVICE OF RESTRAINING ORDERS’
To provide an applicant for a restraining order with the option of selecting either a police officer or a proper officer to serve such order.

________________________________________________

Oppose  S.B. No. 442 ‘AN ACT CONCERNING A VICTIM’S RIGHT TO BE REASONABLY PROTECTED FROM A PERSON ACCUSED OF COMMITTING A CRIME’
To afford greater protections to crime victims.

HELPFUL LINKS:
________________

New Raised Bills

H.B. No. 5597 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT PROTECTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS SEEKING RESTRAINING ORDERS’, to protect domestic violence victims through use of the risk warrant process set forth in section 29-38c of the general statutes.
REF. JUDICIARY

H.B. No. 5622 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF ERASED RECORDS IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS A SUITABLE PERSON TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER’, to allow chiefs of police, selectmen, wardens and the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners access to erased records for the purpose of determining a person’s suitability to carry a pistol or revolver.
REF. JUDICIARY

H.B. No. 5623 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING’, to increase protections for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault.
REF. JUDICIARY

S.B. No. 429 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING SERVICE OF RESTRAINING ORDERS’, to provide an applicant for a restraining order with the option of selecting either a police officer or a proper officer to serve such order.
REF. JUDICIARY

S.B. No. 442 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING A VICTIM’S RIGHT TO BE REASONABLY PROTECTED FROM A PERSON ACCUSED OF COMMITTING A CRIME’, to afford greater protections to crime victims.
REF. JUDICIARY