Press Release – 2015 Legislative Session Is Over

06/04/2015
For Immediate Release:

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) is expressing its appreciation for the State Legislature’s decision to cease action on bills that would have seriously affected due process rights of gun owners. Particularly Senate Bill 650.

Comments from CCDL President Scott Wilson:

“Fortunately many legislators came to realize that there are already statutes that protect potential victims against domestic violence. If someone truly is a threat to an individual, or if there is proof of active violence, Connecticut state law already has those potential victims covered”.

“Persons who never threatened or harmed anyone would have automatically lost possession of their personal property for two years or longer if SB650 had become law. We are talking about people potentially being punished who have never committed a crime, or been convicted of any wrongdoing. That is a harsh and unjust outcome to imagine”.

Wilson concluded:

“CCDL would like to thank our members for contacting and communicating with their legislators, and for testifying publicly in Hartford this year. Hopefully this outcome marks a shift back towards common sense legislation that impacts gun rights”.

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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 over 18.000 members across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture at the 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
www.ccdl.us

CALL Your Legislators Today!

CALL your legislators today! The CT General Assembly will be voting on a bill that will seize firearms, ammunition, permits, and certificates from lawful gun owners without evidence, without witnesses, without a police report, and without a chance to be heard. This bill is called S.B. 650 – AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.

Last year in Connecticut 45% of these temporary restraining orders were found to be false after the judge was able to hear from both sides. Temporary restraining orders are based solely on the accuser’s word. No evidence is required.

Tell your legislators to protect the ability for the victims to defend themselves. Tell your legislator not to support a bill that will disarm someone without the constitutional right to be heard first. This bill will give abusers, stalkers, and rapists a way to disarm their victims.

To find your legislators and their contact info, go to: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
Your immediate action is needed! Make sure your voice gets heard, call your legislator today.

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

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!

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.

Reminder – Reminder – Reminder

This is a busy week for us, so here’s three reminders in one post. All three are important, please read the entire post.

Reminder 1 – Tuesday Meeting
CCDL holds its monthly general membership meeting at 7pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Elks Lodge in Middletown, CT. Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
All CCDL members are welcome and encouraged to attend. We have a request from the property owners to please do not park on the grass when attending the meeting.

Meeting Agenda

Merchandise
We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.
We also sell limited edition items that are not available in our online store. Right now we have patches, pins, and magnets (perfect to put on your car, gun safe, or refrigerator). We also sell the car decals in assorted colors besides white.


Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. The holiday season may be over, but people still need to eat. Please bring non perishables to the meeting. If everyone that attends brought at least one canned good we would be helping to feed MANY!

Middletown Elks
44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT 06457
March 10, 2015 7:00pm-9:00pm
Please park in the event lot to the left of the building (looking at it from Maynard St) and enter the upstairs banquet hall at the front of the building. please do not park on the grass!!


View Larger Map

Reminder 2 – Public Hearing on Wednesday
There is a public hearing on 3 gun-related bills happening on Wednesday, March 11th. All the info is in this prior post. The well-funded antigun lobby is rallying their troops for this. Please, even if you can not attend, you can still write testimony and email it. The email address can be found here, and tips for testifying in person or in writing can be found here. We’ll also be discussing this at Tuesday’s meeting.

Reminder 3 – CCDL Anniversary Dinner
CCDL’s 6th anniversary with a dinner event is Sunday, March 15th at the New Life Church in Wallingford. Relax, enjoy a meal, and share a well deserved night out.

Tickets are still available. Price is $40 per person, and you must show your ticket at the door to gain entry. Tickets may be purchased at Tuesday’s monthly meeting or online. Your ticket will be used for a special door prize, to be announced. Bring some extra cash for raffles!

Dinner will be buffet style, salad and cheese tables are on the menu as well. This event is 5:30-9pm. We will have some speakers, but not TOO many! This is a night to sit back and enjoy a well deserved meal.
New Life Church is located at 350 High Hill Rd., Wallingford CT, 06492. Map


Download a pdf version of the flyer here.

If you can not attend the meeting, tickets may be ordered online with a $2 surcharge per ticket to cover the costs. Tickets will be held at the door under the name used to order them. Tickets will NOT be mailed. Click the “BUY NOW” button to purchase your tickets now. See you there!

March 11th Public Hearing

The Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).  Public speaker 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 any day prior to the hearing but no later than 10:00 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 to JUDtestimony@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.

Here are the 3 bills being heard that we are concerned with. CCDL opposes all three.

State Bill # Reason Summary Status
CT HB06848 Changed An Act Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence. 2015-03-06
Public Hearing 03/11
CT HB06962 Changed An Act Concerning Firearm Safety. 2015-03-06
Public Hearing 03/11
CT SB00650 Changed An Act Concerning Temporary Restraining Orders. 2015-03-06
Public Hearing 03/11

You might want to review our earlier posts about how to compose your testimony, and how the process works. Testimony Tip Sheet.
Be sure to read the proposed bills carefully, and put forth accurate arguments in your testimony. If you need help, post a comment here, or if you are on Facebook, join the CCDL Group and we’ll help you tweak your testimony.

Directions to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) may be found here.