SB650 – Looney/Coleman Amendment

Yesterday state senators Martin Looney(D) and Eric Coleman(D) introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 650, which we’ve talked a lot about. The 24 page amendment basically replaces the original SB650 in it’s entirety. It’s going to take some time to analyze everything, but one change jumps out right now. “The department’s determination not to reinstate any such permit that has been revoked may not be based solely upon the issuance of such expired ex parte order.”
That can be read a few ways, but my gut feeling is since it’s coming from staunch antigunners Looney and Coleman, it’s not good. I’ll include the changes in context for comparison:

Original version
(d) If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, the department shall reinstate such permit.

New version
If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, the department shall reinstate such permit. The department’s determination not to reinstate any such permit that has been revoked may not be based solely upon the issuance of such expired ex parte order.

We have video of Senator Coleman describing the amendment.

We also have the full 24 page amendment. SB650 Amendment (pdf)

And, if you’re really interested, you can watch the entire 7.5 hour long senate session here.

Partial Victory – Still Work To Do

The wording just got finalized and posted for SB650 and HB6848. Because of your testimony, emails, phone calls and visits, both bills have been amended.

S.B. 650
Amendment A:
if the court issues an ex parte order against a respondent who is a peace officer as defined in section 53a-3, such hearing shall be held not later than five days from the date of the order.

Amendment B:
(d) If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, the department shall reinstate such permit.
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/s/pdf/2015SB-00650-R02-SB.pdf

The Gov. Bill 6848 has the same wording of amendment B added.
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/h/pdf/2015HB-06848-R01-HB.pdf

At least on paper, this appears to be at least a partial victory, but we must not get complacent.

  • These bills STILL violate “due process“.
  • There is also still no provision for the return of lawfully owned firearms, magazines and ammunition, especially those that are now banned under Governor Malloy’s unconstitutional Public Act 13-3.
  • The bill and the amendment still “revoke” your permit. This may seem like splitting hairs, until you go to renew your CT permit, move to another state, or apply for a non-resident permit in another state. On the CT permit renewal form it asks “Have you had a firearms permit, permit application or eligibility certificate of any kind from ANY jurisdiction in the United States denied, suspended or revoked?”
    Most other states include similar language. This means, despite a court finding a lawful gun owner innocent of the accusations in an ex parte restraining order, he/she’s record will be forever marred by the event; in essence forced to defend themselves anew every few years come renewal time.

We must continue to contact our legislators (see this post for more info). Thank them for the language in Amendment B, but continue to voice your concern for the issues that have not been addressed yet.


Shameless plug: CCDL is leading a federal lawsuit to overturn 13-3. We have assembled a legal team comprised of some of the very best 2nd Amendment lawyers in the country. Such a lawsuit is extremely expensive, and to date we’ve spent in the area of $600,000, and it’s projected to cost us at least another $1 million. CCDL is an all volunteer, not for profit organization. We don’t even charge a membership fee! (If you are not already a member, join here.)
We also don’t have some foundation or billionaire ex-mayor giving us cash. This lawsuit is funded solely by people like you and I who support the right to keep and bear arms. If you would like to donate directly to the litigation fund, you may do so here. http://ccdl.us/blog/donate/

Defeat SB650 and HB6848

The following is another guest post by John Sturmer. John 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.
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At our last CCDL Meeting on April 14, Ray Beavis and I spoke about what it would take politically to defeat SB650 and HB6848. We have been lucky so far in that all Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted against it, but sadly it was given a “Joint Favorable” recommendation, and will now advance. As you know, many Republicans voted FOR Senate Bill 1160 in 2013, and although we have seen all Republicans on the Judiciary committee vote against this bill, I have little faith that ALL Republicans will follow suit.

Remember… We need legislators from BOTH parties to vote against SB650 and its House counterpart in order to defeat it. There are 64 Republicans. 76 votes are needed to kill it in the House. The good news is that 10 Democrats voted against SB1160… 8 of them are still there, one lost his seat to a pro 2A Republican, and one is Steve Mikutel’s former district. Representative Mikutel if you don’t know was a better friend to CCDL than many Republicans are. I have included a list, if you live in any of these districts it is absolutely critical that you reach out and we keep these votes on the right side. There were also 20 Republican house members who voted FOR SB1160. 6 of them are on the Judiciary Committee, and all voted against this bill.

Take the following actions

  • Find your legislator and their contact info at: www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
  • Reach out to the chairman of your town committee, of your party. Attend a meeting if possible.
  • Find the website for your party’s state central committee. Every town has a representative. Reach out to them and let them know how you feel about these bills.
  • When you e-mail your legislator make sure to include the bill number and the fact that you oppose it clearly in the subject. They may not read your individual e-mail, but the primary driver of their vote is the consensus of their constituents. The overwhelming majority of these legislators are everyday people that just want to “do the right thing”. Sometimes they need a little help knowing what the right thing is.

The following Democratic Representatives voted “NO” on SB1160, and are still sitting members… it is critical that you reach out to them if you live in their district:
Buddy Altobello – 82nd altobello@cga.ct.gov
Theresa Conroy – 105th Theresa.conroy@cga.ct.gov
Louis Esposito – 116th Lou.Esposito@cga.ct.gov
Ed Jutilla – 37th Ed.Jutila@cga.ct.gov
Douglas McCrory – 7th Douglas.mccrory@cga.ct.gov
Frank Nicastro – 79th Frank.Nicastro@cga.ct.gov
Danny Rovero – 51st Danny.Rovero@cga.ct.gov
David Zoni – 81st David.Zoni@cga.ct.gov

Additionally – the following Republican representatives, while the voted “Yes” on 1160, voted “No” in the Judiciary Committee. We need to keep every Republican Vote, so if you live in one of these districts, PLEASE e-mail and call:
Bill Aman – 14th – bill.aman@housegop.ct.gov
Christie Carpino – 32nd – Christie.carpino@housegop.ct.gov
Tom O’Dea – 125th – tom.odea@housegop.ct.gov
Arthur O’Neill – 69th – Arthur.oneill@housegop.ct.gov
John Shaban – 135th – john.shaban@housegop.ct.gov
Richard Smith – 108th Richard.smith@housegop.ct.gov

Action Alert: Please Contact Your Legislators – Your Input Is Critical

Immediate Action is Needed on the Following Bills:
Governor’s Bill 6848
Senate Bill 650
Emails, phone calls and/or personal visits can go along way to defeating these pieces of proposed legislation. We need you to tell your elected officials to oppose both of these bills. Both bills have passed out of the Judiciary Committee as Joint Favorable and could be voted on very soon!

These bills violate due process of law, a right which is protected under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution and also Article 1 Sec 7 of the Connecticut State Constitution. If either of these laws are passed, Connecticut citizens who have even a Temporary Restraining Order (ex parte) filed against them will not have an opportunity to be heard by a judge before firearms, ammunition, and their permits are seized.

For more information on these bills and calls for action by CCDL pertaining to these bills, please look here: CCDL Blog – 2015 legislative session

You may find and contact your legislators here: Find Your Legislators

Immediate Action Needed!

I wanted to write something about this myself, but my real job (the one that actually pays me) comes first, so I’m just going to share this alert from the NRA-ILA. I’ll insert a comment or two of my own in [dark blue text].
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Unconstitutional Bill That Denies Due Process Before Committee as Early as Today

Today, the Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on an unconstitutional bill that denies due process to gun owners, sponsored by “F-rated” Senator Martin Looney (D-11).  Since previously reported, Senate Bill 650’s language has become available, and it is even worse than expected. [See our previous posts on this bill here: link ]

SB 650 would allow your gun rights to be stripped without due process of law.  This legislation would require a sworn police officer to serve all ex parte temporary restraining orders when the applicant indicates on the application that the respondent has access to a firearm or ammunition, or holds a valid state-issued firearm or ammunition permit or eligibility certificate.  An ex parte temporary restraining order is one where only one side, the applicant, makes a claim and doesn’t have to appear in front of a judge before the order is issued.  Upon the delivery of the order, the police officer would then immediately confiscate all legally owned firearms, ammunition, carry permits and eligibility certificates BEFORE a person has had a hearing before a court to determine the merits of the complaint made against them.

If firearms are confiscated erroneously or a court ultimately dismisses an order, and since a person does not have an immediate ability to have a hearing or right to be heard before a court before their firearms, ammunition, permits, certificates are taken, the wait is often as long as two years or longer to get your firearms, ammunition certificates and permits returned to you.  There is also, unfortunately, no reprisal for filing a false claim.  This bill takes unnecessary steps to blatantly circumvent your rights. [There is also no provision to return any so-called "assault weapons" or "large capacity magazines". Once these are removed, even erroneously, they can not be returned to you. Even members of the antigun groups CAGV and CADV have testified in favor of return of firearms, and immediate reinstatement of pistol permits if ex parte orders were found invalid and vacated at an ensuing hearing.]

It is clear that the Governor and some misguided legislators have only one interest –gun confiscation and limiting the rights of the law-abiding in Connecticut, as they have shown no interest in providing respondents with an opportunity to be heard before a judge ahead of losing their Second Amendment rights.  In fact, this legislation even removes verbatim “an opportunity to be heard” from the current state statute that protects individuals in these circumstances today.

It’s important for gun owners to have the opportunity to put up their own defense before losing their Second Amendment rights.  This bill’s low evidentiary standards and lack of a mechanism for individuals to present their own defense before being deprived of their constitutional rights is unacceptable.

There is a small group of legislators that recently held a press conference to expose the severe problems in this bill.  They need your help convincing the remaining committee members that this bill is unconstitutional.  It is CRITICAL that you IMMEDIATELY use the links provided below to contact members of the Judiciary Committee and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 650. Please also consider submitting testimony by clicking here.

 

Judiciary Committee:

Senator Eric Coleman (D-2), Co-Chair

Representative William Tong (D-147), Co-Chair

Senator Paul Doyle (D-9), Vice Chair

Representative Daniel Fox (D-148), Vice Chair

Senator John Kissel (R-7), Ranking Member

Representative Rosa Rebimbas (R-70), Ranking Member

Representative Al Adinolfi (R-103)

Representative William Aman (R-14)

Representative Angel Arce (D-4)

Representative David Baram (D-15)

Representative Jeffrey Berger (D-73)

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26)

Representative Cecilia Buck-Taylor (R-67)

Senator Beth Bye (D-5)

Representative Vincent Candelora (R-86)

Representative Christie Carpino (R-32)

Representative Jeff Currey (D-11)

Representative Patricia Dillon (D-92)

Representative Doug Dubitsky (R-47)

Senator Mae Flexer (D-29)

Representative Mary Fritz (D-90)

Senator Terry Gerratana (D-6)

Representative Bob Godfrey (D-110)

Representative Minnie Gonzalez (D-3)

Representative Stephen Harding (R-107)

Representative Ernest Hewett (D-39)

Representative David Labriola (R-131)

Representative Roland Lemar (D-96)

Senator Art Linares (R-33)

Representative Ben McGorty (R-122)

Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24)

Representative Bruce Morris (D-140)

Representative Tom O’Dea (R-125)

Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69)

Representative Robyn Porter (D-94)

Representative Emmett Riley (D-46)

Representative Robert Sampson (R-80)

Representative Joseph Serra (D-33)

Representative John Shaban (R-135)

Representative Caroline Simmons (D-144)

Representative Richard Smith (R-108)

Representative Steven Stafstrom (D-129)

Representative Joe Verrengia (D-20)

Representative Toni Walker (D-93)

Senator Gary Winfield (D-10)

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!

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

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.

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.