CCDL Joins California Fight

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League has joined with the New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn, Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Commonwealth Second Amendment (Massachusetts), Maryland State Rifle & Pistol Assn, and Gun Owners of California to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Peruta v. San Diego.

While the actual case is in California, Petitioner Ed Peruta maintains a residence in Connecticut, and CCDL feels the outcome of this case could have a direct impact on our state’s ability to deny carry permits to law-abiding gun owners.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League remains vigilant and active on cases such as these that could have long-lasting impact at both the state and national level.

You can read the Brief of Amici Curiae we filed with the Supreme Court here: 16-894 Amici Brief-CCDL (pdf)

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR CHALLENGE TO CONNECTICUT’S BAN ON POPULAR SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – The United States Supreme Court declined on Monday to review a lower court’s ruling refusing to strike down on Second Amendment grounds Connecticut’s ban on certain semi-automatic firearms including the most popular rifles in the Nation. The Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League (CCDL) and other plaintiffs challenged Connecticut’s ban in 2013, arguing that the ban openly flouts the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to keep commonly owned firearms in their homes for self-defense.

According to Scott Wilson, President of the CCDL, the banned firearms are very rarely used by criminals, and the only things that distinguish them from non-banned firearms are external features such as thumbhole stocks and pistol grips that promote safe and accurate use. While criminals typically do not use the banned firearms, law-abiding citizens do. Mr. Wilson stated that “the firearms the State has chosen to ban are very frequently used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as home-defense, hunting, and target shooting. In fact, one of the banned firearms, the AR-15, is the best-selling rifle in the United States.”

The federal courts have split over the correct way to analyze Second Amendment challenges after Heller, with most courts applying a fairly weak form of review ordinarily reserved for less-important rights. The Plaintiffs, Mr. Wilson said, had hoped the High Court would step in and reaffirm that the Second Amendment is not a “second-class” right. The lower court’s decision in this case was particularly indefensible, as the unconstitutionality of Connecticut’s ban follows directly from the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Heller. Mr. Wilson suggested that the Court’s decision to decline review may have been influenced by the recent, unfortunate death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the author if the Heller decision.

“We fully intend to renew our challenge to Connecticut’s blatantly unconstitutional ban as soon as there are five Justices sitting on the Supreme Court committed to the proper understanding of the Second Amendment.”

Scott Wilson Sr.
President
CCDL, Inc.
www.ccdl.us

Update On Supreme Court Case

Just a quick update to let our members know what’s happening with Shew v Malloy. As most know, we petitioned the Supreme Court to hear our appeal. The State of Connecticut has asked the court not to hear our case. You can read their argument why here:
Shew-v-Malloy 15-1030 – Respondents’ Opposition to Cert Petition (pdf)

Out legal team has fired back; pointing out how and why the State is incorrect. You can read our response here:
Shew-v-Malloy 15-1030 rb (pdf)

Shew v. Malloy Filed With SCOTUS – Press Release

02/11/2016
for Immediate Release:

(Groton, CT) – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League along with fellow plaintiffs have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States (Shew v. Malloy). The appeal challenges part of Public Act 13-3 (An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety) that was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature back in 2013.

The plaintiffs are challenging the ban on certain firearms that look similar to assault rifles. The plaintiffs claim that these are common semi-automatic firearms that only shoot once when the trigger is pulled; identical to others not banned. Real “assault rifles” are full-automatic and can fire multiple times when the trigger is pulled. Real assault rifles are already highly regulated by both federal and state government, and civilian ownership is quite rare.

The plaintiff’s challenge has been narrowed to focus strictly on the banned firearms and not magazines that contain 10 rounds or more as originally argued. The legal strategy behind this tactic is to offer the Supreme Court consideration to solely address this single issue with the hope that they will hear the case.

A similar case is expected to be filed soon in New York that may broaden the challenge to address magazines.

Comments from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
 
“We are thankful to finally have our petition filed with the Supreme Court. We have waited patiently for nearly three years to get to this stage, and we hope that the court will hear our arguments”.

“The firearms that have been banned under Public Act 13-3 are common firearms that are owned and enjoyed by millions of Americans throughout the country. They are excellent tools for home defense, and great for competition, hunting and target shooting. The law also bans firearms and features that enhance safety and allow physically disabled persons to exercise their rights and enjoy these same activities”.

“The Connecticut Citizens Defense League wishes to thank our fellow plaintiffs (especially June Shew) for being a part of this journey for justice. We also wish to thank our devoted members, numerous gun clubs, retailers, private individuals and of course the NRA-ILA for their help and support in getting us to this stage”.

“Public Act 13-3 infringes upon rights guaranteed by both the federal and state Constitution. Connecticut residents deserve to have these rights restored and protected by the Supreme Court”.

The filed petition (486 pages) may be downloaded here: Shew v. Malloy SCOTUS Petition as filed (pdf)

–End–

About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to nearly 22,000 members from across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state capitol, and well-recognized by committees that see firearms related bills.

As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information on the CCDL please visit http://www.ccdl.us

Press Contact:

Scott Wilson

president@ccdl.us

________________________________________________________

Supreme Court challenges are extremely expensive. The total bill for DC v Heller was $3.5 million.
CCDL is an all-volunteer, free to join non-profit organization (501c4).
As such all the money to fund this fight for your constitutional rights comes solely from donations. If you can afford to, please donate to our Litigation Fund.
Thank you.

Update On Shew v Malloy

The following is a statement from CCDL president Scott Wilson and lead attorney David Thompson.

On Thursday (2/11/2016) CCDL along with the other name plaintiffs will be filing our request for the United States Supreme Court to take up our case on appeal (Shew v Malloy).

This is an important moment in the case. Our appeal is going to focus on the ban on so-called assault weapons, but we want to emphasize that we haven’t given up in any way, shape, or form on the challenge to the magazine ban.

We remain fully committed to ensuring that the magazine ban is thrown out. But we want to give the Supreme Court a menu of options – so our petition will focus on the ban on safety enhancing features, and we expect that a subsequent petition in the New York case will focus on both magazines and the banned features.
Rest assured that if the Supreme Court wants to take up both issues (firearms and magazines), it will have the ability to do so, and that whatever ruling comes from the Court on magazines will redound fully to the benefit of Connecticut.

More information about the petition will be available on Thursday after it is filed with the Court.

________________________________________________________

Supreme Court challenges are extremely expensive. The total bill for DC v Heller was $3.5 million.
CCDL is an all-volunteer, free to join non-profit organization (501c4).
As such all the money to fund this fight for your constitutional rights comes solely from donations. If you can afford to, please donate to our Litigation Fund.
Thank you.

Major Win For Gun Rights

A few hours ago, gun rights received a major boost with a favorable decision in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kolbe v. Hogan (formerly known as Kolbe v. O’Malley) is a case in Maryland very similar to our Shew v. Malloy here in CT. Both cases concern bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “Large Capacity Magazines”. Both cases argue that the ban on “copies” of banned assault weapons is unconstitutionally vague. In both cases the courts failed to apply strict scrutiny, instead applying a lower standard.

Today the Court of Appeals issued its decision. They vacated the lower court’s decision upholding the assault weapon ban and magazine limits, and returned them back to the District Court for failing to apply the required strict scrutiny under the 2nd Amendment. This means the case isn’t over, but the state will now have a far more difficult chance to win.
Strict scrutiny “requires the Government to prove that the restriction furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest” and that [t]o be narrowly tailored, the law must employ the least restrictive means to achieve the compelling government interest.”
The lesser intermediate scrutiny merely “requires the government to ‘demonstrate . . . that there is a reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and a substantial government objective.’”. Strict scrutiny should be a difficult standard for Maryland to satisfy.

This may set up a split decision among the various Federal Circuit Courts, which greatly increases the chances of the Supreme Court taking up ours or a similar case.

Speaking of our case, this will slightly delay our filing with the Supreme Court, as our legal team analyzes this ruling and adjusts our case to these new facts. Also, I must remind everyone that Supreme Court cases are VERY expensive. If you can afford to, please donate to our Litigation Fund. CCDL is an all volunteer organization, which means every donation goes right to the fight for your rights, not to pay our salaries, like some other organizations do. We are also a 100% free to join organization, which means everything we do comes from your generous donations. Please donate here: Litigation Fund

If you would like to read the entire 90 page decision, you can download it here: Kolbe v Hogan opinion (pdf)

Comments On Today’s Decision

Below is the press release on today’s Appellate decision in Shew v. Malloy, the lawsuit against Connecticut’s unconstitutional gun laws.

10/19/2015
For Immediate Release:

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) reacts to the Appellate decision handed down today. CCDL is one of the named Plaintiffs in the Shew v Malloy federal lawsuit. The case argues against a number of the firearms laws that were enacted with the signage of Public Act 13-3

The Federal Lawsuit against Public Act 13-3 has waged on since May 22nd of 2013.

Comment from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
“We along with our fellow plaintiffs were hopeful for a more favorable decision from the 2nd Circuit, but we are not surprised that this decision was handed down from this level. We are working with our team of attorneys and other plaintiffs and preparing for the next round”.

“We knew all along that we would end up appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn this clear injustice of our 2nd Amendment rights. We have 90 days from this ruling, and our attorneys will file a petition for certiorari within that time frame”.

Wilson concluded:
“We know that we are on the right side of this matter, and Connecticut gun owners will not surrender our constitutional rights. We will exhaust every possible avenue to preserve those rights”.
___________________________________________

About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to nearly 20,000 members from across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state capitol, and well-recognized by committees that see firearms related bills.

As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information on the CCDL please visit http://www.CCDL.us

Press Contact:
Scott Wilson
president@ccdl.us
860-235-7490

Decision in Shew v. Malloy

So, we finally got a ruling in Shew v. Malloy, and it isn’t good.
As we’ve said all along, this was not unexpected, given that the Second Circuit Court covers CT and NY. As a matter of fact, they issued an identical ruling for the lawsuit against NY’s (un)SAFE Act.
This is only the beginning, not the end. The Heller case took 6yrs to work its way though the system; we’re only 2yrs in. CCDL President Scott Wilson is in communication with our attorney David Thompson and we’ll have more to say as soon as we and our lawyers can digest and analyze the decision. For now, you can download the decision here: Shew v Malloy 207-1 opinion (pdf)

UPDATE: See comments from CCDL president Scott Wilson here.

No News Yet On Lawsuit

Every day we’re getting people asking about the status of our lawsuit against CT’s unconstitutional gun laws; Shew v. Malloy. Unfortunately things usually happen slowly in the court system, and we are still waiting on a decision on our appeal that was heard in the 2nd Circuit Court Of Appeals back on December 9, 2014. While rulings generally come down around 6 months later, there is no hard and fast time-frame, and all we can do is play the waiting game.

Rest assured, any major updates in the case will be posted here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well. We’ll also send out an update to all CCDL members via email. Make sure you are getting our member update emails (generally once or twice a month) and they aren’t going to your spam folder. If you aren’t yet a member, what are you waiting for? Membership is easy and FREE! Join now at www.CCDL.us/membership

You can also subscribe to get updates of this blog sent to your email. Directions on how to do that can be found here.

Meanwhile, our legal team is still hard at work following other cases and notifying the court of recent favorable decisions they should consider. They’re also prepping for the next step. Even if the court returns a decision favorable to us, you can be certain Governor Malloy and Attorney General Jepsen will appeal it. Of course we will do the same if the decision goes against the state and/or federal Constitution. All this still costs us money. We appreciate all the contributions that have allowed the case to move this far, but the longer this takes the more it costs. Any and all donations to our Litigation Fund will help us take this all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be. Donate here.

Possible SCOTUS Case on Assault Weapons

ARIE S. FRIEDMAN AND THE ILLINOIS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATION
V.
CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK

This is a case in Illinois that is very similar to ours here in Connecticut. So similar in fact, that many of our lawyers are involved in that case as well; including lead attorney Dave Thompson.

This case is a little ahead of ours. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals already issued a divided ruling supporting Highland Park’s gun bans a few months ago. Gun owners in IL are now petitioning the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s ruling. This is certainly a case for us to follow closely.

For those interested, we have the full 228 page petition here for download. Most of it is applicable to CT’s gun bans.
As filed Final Brief – Arie Friedman, et al v. City of Highland Park (pdf)