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)

Loss in Maryland Gun Case

Maryland recently passed some unconstitutional gun laws similar to Connecticut’s. Also like here, MD gun owners are fighting it. And like here, a judge has ruled against them in the first round.
Between work, voting, and getting ready for tonight’s CCDL meeting, I haven’t had time to read the whole thing closely, but glancing through it the judge made some pretty outrageous assumptions, and this case is sure to be appealed.

The worst is that the judge expressed “doubt” that so-called assault weapons and standard capacity magazines are entitled to Second Amendment protection, as they are not commonly kept for lawful purposes. Specifically, they are either not used or are not useful for self defense. Unbelievable!

The point to remember is this:
“Elections matter, and your vote is important. The courts are nothing more than a reflection of the people we elect so your rights will be determined by your vote.”

The polls in CT are open today until 8pm. Senator John McKinney was one of the authors of the anti-gun law we’re fighting here in CT, and now he wants to be your next governor. You have until 8pm tonight to tell him “You’re fired!”. Go vote!

Here is the court’s decision in the MD case, Kolbe v. O’Malley. Kolbe v. O’Malley (pdf)

Firearm Companies Boycott Government Agencies

Since the recent passage of the draconian NY State gun control laws, some companies have decided to take a stand. These companies have come out and said that they will no longer sell items to law enforcement and government agencies that law abiding citizens can’t possess. First, I have to give credit to Ronnie Barrett, of Barrett Firearms. He really started this list a decade ago, when first Los Angeles and then California banned .50 caliber rifles and ammo. Barrett responded by refusing to sell or service items for California law enforcement or government.

Fast forward to the present. Some states, including Connecticut, are pursuing anti-gun legislation. Other companies are following in Ronnie Barrett’s footsteps. Here’s the ones I know of, with links to their new policy.

If you know of any I’ve missed, leave a comment with the company and a link to the policy and I’ll add them. And if there is a company you do business with that isn’t listed, email or call them and urge them to join the companies above. Remember, there are approximately 800,000 police officers in the entire country. According to the FBI there were 2.5 million NICS checks in January alone. Think about that. In one month, law-abiding civilians purchased enough firearms to outfit every police officer in the country three times over. WE ARE THEIR CUSTOMER BASE.

RIP New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new gun control bill into law today. The NY government completely bypassed the Constitution, trampling not only on the Second Amendment, but on one of the most basic and sacred parts of the lawmaking process here in America; the public comment.  In a free country, the people are supposed to have a say in the laws that they agree to be governed by. Not in this case. This bill was rammed through in less then 2 days, start to finish with ZERO input from the very people that elected them to office.
Countdown to lawsuits in 3…. 2…. 1….

Provisions in the sweeping gun control bill include:

•Further restrict assault weapons to define them by a single evil feature, such as a pistol grip. Current law allows two features.

•Make the unsafe storage of assault weapons a misdemeanor.

•Mandate a police registry of assault weapons.

•Establish a state registry for all private sales, with a background check done through a licensed dealer for a fee, excluding sales to immediate relatives.

•Require a therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally to report the threat to a mental health director who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her.

•Ban the Internet sale of assault weapons.

•Require stores that sell ammunition to register with the state, run background checks on buyers of bullets and keep an electronic database of bullet sales.

•Restrict ammunition magazines to seven bullets, from the current state law of 10. Current owners of higher-capacity magazines would have a year to sell them out of state. Someone caught with eight or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge.

•Require that stolen guns be reported within 24 hours. Otherwise, the owner would face a possible misdemeanor.

•Increase sentences for gun crimes including for taking a gun on school property.

•Increase penalties for shooting first responders, called the “Webster provision.” Two firefighters were killed when shot by a person who set a fire in the western New York town of Webster last month. The crime would be punishable by life in prison without parole.

•Limit the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly. The provision would allow a handgun permit holder a means to maintain privacy under the Freedom of Information law.

•Require pistol permit holders or those who will be registered as owners of assault rifles to be recertified at least every five years to make sure they are still legally able to own the guns.

You can read the full bill here. http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S2230-2013

CCDL Releases Statement on Colorado Movie Theater Incident

Groton, CT – July 23, 2012 – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL), Connecticut’s largest and most active grassroots gun rights organization, today released a statement regarding the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO. Says CCDL President Scott Wilson: “The Connecticut Citizens Defense League expresses its heartfelt sympathies towards the victims and the families of the recent tragedy in Aurora, CO. Any instance where violence of this nature occurs, it leaves a mark on our society that is very simply impossible to erase. May there be peaceful days ahead for those affected by this terrible event.”

In the past few days, we have heard many calls from elected officials all over the country for increased gun control. The CCDL is prepared to continue working against any further restrictions of our gun rights, which would punish law abiding citizens for the actions of a madman.

From Scott Wilson, President of CCDL

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League expresses it’s heartfelt sympathies towards the victims and the families of the recent tragedy in Aurora, Co.
Any instance where violence of this nature occurs, it leaves a mark on our society that is very simply impossible to erase. May there be peaceful days ahead for those bound by this terrible event.

Gun rally at Birmingham (MI) park targets attack on civil rights

Chris Combs (left) and Stephanie Locke cross the street in downtown Birmingham, Mich. while participating in a protest by gun enthusiasts on June 11, 2012. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick)

Gun toting advocates are standing in support of a southeast Michigan teen who was arrested after strolling the downtown area of a posh suburban Detroit community with an M-1 rifle strapped to his back.

Supporters filled the Birmingham commission chambers Monday night, displaying firearms in holsters and strapped to their backs. They voiced support for 18-year-old Sean Combs, who was arrested April 13 while walking along Old Woodward Avenue.

The Troy High School student faces three misdemeanor charges for brandishing a weapon, resisting and obstructing police, and disturbing the peace. Each is punishable by up to 93 days in jail.”

Read more: Gun rally at Birmingham park targets attack on civil rights | Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies | hometownlife.com.

This is much like the open carry debate here in CT. What this teen did was perfectly 100% legal where he was. Some will argue that even if it’s legal it’s not “right”. Well, somebody has to do it, if only to protect our RIGHT to do it.