Appellate Court Update

Many people are asking how we made out in court on December 9th. While we probably won’t get a ruling in the case for several months, CCDL executive board member and fundraising coordinator Bob Ferguson wrote this piece on the day’s events.

On December 9th, oral arguments were heard at the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in our case, Shew v. Malloy. The NYSRP v. Cuomo case (SAFE Act) was also on the docket. Since both cases involved similar, though not identical arguments and both plaintiffs had the same legal team, The panel of judges had our lawyers make a combined argument for both cases and then each side (NY and CT) made their arguments, followed by a rebuttal from our attorneys.

David Thompson from the law firm of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC was the lead presenter for our legal team. He was joined at the plaintiff counsel’s table by Brian Stapleton (the lead attorney at the district level) and Stephen Halbrook (noted firearms attorney from the MacDonald v. Chicago case.) These are among the top firearms attorneys in the country. We were treated to a brilliant display by David Thompson that made it clear that our attorneys are in the major leagues, and the attorneys for NY and CT are in the minors. In the short presentation time allowed, David touched on a huge wealth of information that had been presented in previously submitted briefs.

This was the first opportunity that any of us have had to hear our legal team present oral arguments since the arguments were cancelled at the Federal District court level. Many of the CCDL executive board were in the courtroom along with several CCDL members to see first-hand the stellar legal representation that ongoing contributions to the litigation fund have been paying for. The quality of the representation we have in this case is immeasurable.

We are asking all of our members to keep in mind that both sides had previously filed briefs and responses and the oral arguments are just the phase where the justices can ask questions. It may be that the minds of the justices minds are already made up, and they are just seeking to refine their opinions. However, it was abundantly clear by the end of the arguments that our legal team was best prepared with excellent responses to the justices’ questions.

David Thompson completely destroyed the testimony offered by Christopher Koper, the key expert witness for both NY and CT. By the end of the arguments, it was clear to the judges that Koper admitted that “There is little evidence that the AW ban will work or that bans of any ‘military features’ will have any effect.” Both lawyers for NY and CT scrambled to answer this apparent contradiction from their key expert witness with no effect. In fact, they were forced to resort to quoting the “Mother Jones” website as the only other ‘expert’ testimony that they could offer!

One key mistake that the NY and CT attorneys seemed to make was in arguing that the Heller case was strictly concerning handguns. In fact, the case made it clear that the type of firearms protected are “Those in common use for lawful purposes.” Our attorney made that point very clear and even quoted the dissenting Justice Stevens from the SCOTUS Heller case in agreeing that the Heller ruling was NOT only about handguns. It’s not a very good fact pattern for the defense when the Supreme Court Justice on their side actually agrees with OUR assessment of the case.

In short, our legal team clearly came out on top in this phase of the case. That does not mean that we will get a favorable decision however. Intellectual honesty on the part of the panel of judges is key at this point in order to win at this level.

Our attorneys expect a decision to be rendered in 3-6 months, after which, the losing side will no doubt appeal to the SCOTUS. The justices could remand the case back to the lower court for an incorrect ruling or they could affirm the district court’s decision. Regardless, we know this will likely be a long, drawn out legal process. Many thanks to all of you who have contributed to our litigation fund during this process. This truly has been a monumental effort to this point from all of you. Please keep those donations coming. DONATE HERE. A CD Disc of the arguments is being ordered, and we will make sure it is posted for all to listen to when we have it.

CCDL also wishes to thank the National Rifle Association for their continued tactical support in this effort. They have been a tremendous part of this effort to help restore our 2nd Amendment rights to the fullest.

Please join us at our January members meeting as lead attorney David Thompson comes up from Washington D.C. to address our members, and we provide a Q&A session with him. If you have questions about timelines, or other aspects of this case, this will be the time and place for it.

Memorandum Of Law

Here is a Memorandum of Law filed on January 15th by our attorney Brian Stapleton. This is the last document to be filed by either party in Shew v Malloy before Judge Covello suspended oral arguments. So yeah, you can say we had the last word. 🙂
It’s only 8 pages long, but I think Brian made some great points. Give it a read, but remember things can still go either way. No matter what, CCDL will continue to fight for your rights.

Memorandum of Law (pdf)

IMPORTANT! No Court On January 30th!!!

Oral arguments in Shew v Malloy are canceled!!!! No court on January 30th!!!

From our Lead attorney Brian Stapleton:

“Judge Covello has just canceled arguments currently scheduled. He is going to issue a decision “forthwith.” As soon as I hear I will let you all know.”

No sense speculating at this point. As soon as we hear more I’ll post it. Chances are, either way there will be an appeal, so please donate to our litigation fund if you can.

UPDATE 2:30pm:
Here’s the full docket text for document 123:

ORDER: After thorough review of the well-crafted and well-articulated position of the movants, and the responses thereto, the most recent of which was filed on January 15, 2014, the court concludes that oral argument on the pending motions is not necessary. The issues have been comprehensively briefed and the court is prepared to resolve the pending motions without further argument. The order setting the date for argument in this case is hereby vacated. The court will issue a decision on the merits forthwith.

Signed by Judge Alfred V. Covello on 01/21/14.(Covello, Alfred)

Meeting Recap

NOTE: This is a guest post by CCDL’s Fundraising Coordinator, Bob Ferguson.
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We had a great CCDL meeting last night with 600+ in attendance. Tom Foley was there to speak to the membership and give his views on PA 13-3 and how the result would have been far different had he been governor. Brian Stapleton, our lead attorney was also there and he gave an excellent presentation on where our case stands, particularly in relation to recent the Federal decision on the NY S.A.F.E. Act. We also introduced ALL of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Here are the highlights.

Foley gave a good speech that addressed the new gun laws and his views on the 2nd Amendment. He also focused on the many other reasons that he wants to become Governor, including the poor economic mess that our state is in. His remarks made it clear that he IS a gun owner and a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment but he is also not a one-issue candidate. There was a brief Q&A session and Foley was asked if he would “repeal SB-1160.” his answer was: “If the legislature was so inclined — the chances of that happening this year is probably the definition of zero — if I were governor and the legislature put in front of me legislation that would reduce the burden on law-abiding gun owners, I would sign it,” I have read comments on other forums that this was a “weak” answer, which in my opinion is not the case. He simply stated that a Governor can’t repeal a law on his own. That has to come from the legislature. However, he said he would sign a repeal if we are able to change the legislature and they put one on his desk.

Brian Stapleton, the lead attorney in the case brought out several positive points about the SAFE act decision that were not widely reported by the media. Brian is also on the legal team for the NY case. Although the decision in the NY case isn’t binding to our case, he was very optimistic going in to the oral arguments on Jan 30th. They key positive in the NY decision was that the Magazine limitation was ruled unconstitutional and found to be “arbitrary” and in fact placed a burden on citizens’ rights to self-defense. That is almost verbatim to our argument in CT. The NY judge also invalidated the prohibition on semi-auto “copies” of fully automatic firearms. One of the most important decisions in the NY case was that the judge found that ALL the firearms in question were “in common use for lawful purposes” which IS the litmus test that the US Supreme Court applied in Heller. NY state and the State of CT have both argued that NONE of the semi-auto rifles or magazines they banned were prevalent in common use or represented a significant market share. This ruling gives us a FAR better case when this moves toward the 2nd Circuit court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. The judge in our case is Alfred Covello who was appointed by George H.W. Bush in 1992. Regardless, whichever side looses in this round will clearly appeal the decision so it’s still a long fight.

In addition to the key speakers, Jonathan Hardy and Beth Drysdale gave an excellent presentation on how to testify at the legislature. There is little doubt that the gun-grabbers will be back for more this session and we can’t give in…not an inch. Last time they listened to NAA, MDA and CAGV. Now, they know that gun owners are a force to be reckoned with.

We also got to meet ALL the plaintiffs in the lawsuit face to face. These are some very courageous people to come forward and put their name on a lawsuit that will follow them for the rest of their lives. They deserve out gratitude. All-in-all, it was one of the best and largest CCDL meetings that I have attended.

Member Meeting – 1/14/2014

Join us for the first meeting of the new year!
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, January 14, 2014.
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
• Potential Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Foley will be on hand to bring us his 2nd Amendment views.

• Legislative Public Testimony Workshop – Learn how to make a difference “before” and when Gun Bills get introduced. From preparing written testimony, to Public Hearings, CCDL will cover it all in this workshop. It is critical that we prepare and participate in the next legislative session.

• Meet the Plaintiffs – We are excited to bring our Lead attorney Brian Stapleton and all of the plaintiffs in Shew v Malloy together on this one night before oral arguments are heard on January 30th in Federal Court. Please join us as we all stand together!

Merchandise
We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.

BLOWOUT SALE! The last of the special shirts made for the Poker Run Fundraiser will be on sale at the meeting only for $10 each! If you don’t have one yet, this might be your last chance to buy one. Supply is limited to whatever is on hand at the meeting. When they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

Hoodies! If you preordered a hoodie a few months ago, you can pick it up at this meeting. Please make sure you have your receipt with you.

Dinner Tickets
Tickets will be on sale for our 5th Annual Dinner, held this year on March 1st at the Aquaturf in Plantsville, CT. Tickets cost $55 each when purchased at the meeting.

Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. The holiday season is over, but people still need help year round. Please give what you can for those that need our help.

Middletown Elks
44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT 06457
January 14, 2014 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!!


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Meeting Reminder – 9/10/2013

Reminder: 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, September 10, 2013. All CCDL members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Meeting Agenda
Since our litigation lawyer could not make the last CCDL meeting due to his efforts meeting case deadlines, lead attorney Brian T Stapleton will be here this month to update our members on the progress of the litigation against the State of Connecticut. He will also be taking limited questions from the audience. A lot has happened since his last visit in May, so be sure to come join us! 
Attorney Brian T Stapleton is a partner with the New York based law firm of Goldberg Segalla.

We will also again be selling raffle tickets at the meeting. Tickets are $20 each and we can not take credit cards at the meeting. The raffle is to raise money for our litigation fund. The grand prize is a custom motorcycle, and there are plenty of firearms and other prizes too. If you took tickets to sell to others at the last meeting, they MUST be returned sold or unsold at this meeting. The drawing will be held September 21, 2013 after our Poker Run.

We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.
Back by very popular demand, we have another run of special limited edition CCDL shot(gun shell) glass for sale at this meeting. These are $5 each, and this time we have green as well as more of the original red. These will be sold at the meeting only, we are not putting them on the website or shipping them.

And don’t forget, we collect canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities.

Middletown Elks
44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT 06457
September 10, 2013 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.


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Membership Meeting – 8/13/2013

Reminder: 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, August 13, 2013. All CCDL members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Meeting Agenda
Lead Attorney Brian T Stapleton will update our members on the progress of the litigation against the State of Connecticut. He will also be taking questions from the audience. A lot has happened since his last visit in May, so be sure to come join us! 
Attorney Brian T Stapleton is a partner with the New York based law firm of Goldberg Segalla.

We will also be selling raffle tickets at the meeting. Tickets are $20 each and we can not take credit cards at the meeting. The raffle is to raise money for our litigation fund. The grand prize is a custom motorcycle, and there are plenty of firearms and other prizes too.

We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.
Speaking of merchandise, we will have a special limited edition CCDL shot(gun shell) glass for sale at this meeting. These are $5 each, and there were only 100 made. These will be sold at the meeting only, we are not putting them on the website or shipping them.

And don’t forget, we collect canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities.

Middletown Elks
44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT 06457
August 13, 2013 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.


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Preliminary Injunction Filed in Federal Court

A preliminary injunction was filed in federal court by Attorney Brian T. Stapleton for the plaintiffs (CCDL, CCS, Hiller Sports, M&D Sports and several individual plaintiffs). This injunctive relief essentially seeks a ruling that would direct the state to not enforce or prosecute the law (PA13-3) until the constitutionality of the law can be decided by the judge.

Here are the two documents that were filed on June 26, 2013 on behalf of CCDL and the other the plaintiffs:
PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (pdf)MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (pdf)

CCDL On “The Real Story” 6/2/2013

CCDL’s President and the lead attorney handling the lawsuit will appear on “The Real Story” on Fox 61 this coming Sunday, June 2nd at 10:00am.

Scott Wilson and Attorney Brian Stapleton were interviewed by the show’s hosts Al Terzi and Laurie Perez. Questions were answered about the basis of the lawsuit, and the constitutionality of the law. They are scheduled to appear in the show’s second segment, right after a segment on hurricane season and Obamacare with Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi.

Be sure to tune in or set your DVR’s!

Note, if you are one of the unfortunate people like me who live in Fairfield County and have Cablevision, you will not be able to watch this live as last year they decided we’re part of New York City and have no interest in what’s happening in Connecticut.

UPDATE: The video archive of the show can now be watched here: http://foxct.com/2013/06/02/real-story-gun-law-under-fire/

Face The State

This Sunday (May 26th) at 11am, attorney Brian T. Stapleton will be on WFSB-TV’s “Face The State” with Dennis House. Brian will be discussing the lawsuit recently filed against Connecticut’s new unconstitutional gun laws.

I’m not sure right now who the other guests will be, but be sure to watch and see YOUR attorney at work.