Bob Crook Update

As many of you know, Bob Crook (head of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which is also a plaintiff along with CCDL in in the lawsuit to overturn CT’s unconstitutional gun laws) suffered a minor stroke shortly after Christmas. He was rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital via ambulance. Bob has been rehabbing at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford since the 30th. He is expected to leave and be home with family on January 20th. The stroke left him with limited control of his left extremities, however his family believes he will make a full recovery. He is in wonderful spirits and looks forward to going back up to Hartford.
Meanwhile his son James Crook has taken over the reins of CCS. We wish James well, he’s got some mighty big shoes to fill; and we look forward seeing both he and his father in Hartford as they fight side by side with CCDL for YOUR rights.

Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob Crook, head of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, and his family. We’re told Bob suffered a stroke this weekend. Bob has worked tirelessly for decades defending our rights in Hartford, and the CCS is also a plaintiff along with CCDL in the lawsuit against our state’s unconstitutional gun laws.
We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Fundraising Nets Tremendous Gains

The following is a member update from CCDL President Scott Wilson

When CCDL first vowed to help lead an effort to challenge any new anti-gun laws, we started earmarking funds immediately. Using funds from our operations account, we quietly set off on the path to mount a proper challenge to what would become Public Act 13-3. We started this well in advance of that law even being written. Understanding the costs that are associated with a major federal 2nd Amendment lawsuit (both DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago cost well over $1,000,000 each),  we felt it was important to start early and keep at it as long as it takes.

Shortly after, an alliance was formed between the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, who along with other plaintiffs would file suit against the State of Connecticut. The National Rifle Association has also been helping from behind the scenes in numerous ways.

To date, the mindset of our attorneys in this legal action has been to not disclose the amount that has been collected for the lawsuit. Since the State is now well aware that we are committed to see this matter through to the end, that time has passed.

For all of the efforts of this organization, numerous gun clubs, certain firearms retailers and individuals the funds collected so far are approaching the half a million dollars mark. While we have a very long way to go, we realize how important it is to let everyone know that all of the fundraising, contributions and other efforts are keeping this case moving forward. Our case against the State (Shew v. Malloy) is now headed into the appellate level (2nd circuit court of appeals). A brief will be filed with the Appellate Court this Friday, May 16th.

The path to victory is unfortunately long and expensive, but the cost of defeat is far worse.
On behalf of the Executive Board of CCDL I would like to thank our members and all 2nd Amendment supporters for your efforts in bringing us to where we are today. Carry On!

Scott Wilson
President

Other Bills

Speaking of gun bills, there have been other bills introduced this session that we’re following, but for various reasons are somewhat outside our scope for now. We track them because bills often change as they move along but right now they are either not directly gun-rights related, not defined enough for us to determine if we should be for or against them, or are most likely not going to get to the point of a public hearing even without our help. Here are some examples of “other” bills we’re following this session:

Bill Number Title
HB-5072 AN ACT PROVIDING FUNDING FOR THE STATE-WIDE FIREARMS TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE.
HB-5214 AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL FIREARM PERMITTING.
HB-5217 AN ACT CONCERNING USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.
SB-71 AN ACT CONCERNING ON-LINE EDUCATION OPTIONS FOR BOATING AND HUNTING SAFETY.
SB-241 AN ACT CONCERNING YOUTH HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES, REVISING CERTAIN HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE FEES AND REQUIRING REGISTRATION BY HUNTING AND FISHING GUIDE SERVICES.

HB5217 – The unmanned aircraft one is kinda interesting. Basically right now it makes it a crime to commit a crime with an armed drone. Yea, it makes something already illegal more illegal.

HB5214 – We’re following this one closely. This is one that could be good or bad, depending on how it develops, but is supposedly dead on arrival. Of course we won’t believe that until after the legislative session has ended, so we’ll continue to follow it for you.

You’ll see several are hunting and sportsman related bills. While many CCDL members are also involved in hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, they are not really gun rights issues. We follow these because there is always the chance they could become firearm related down the road.

By the way, if sportsman’s issues other then gun rights also concern you, I would urge you to join the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen.
(Full disclosure, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen is also a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against CT’s unconstitutional gun laws, and they are helping to raise money to fund it.)
I admit their website is very out of date, but they do have an up to date email list, which you can join here.
While the email list is free, I would encourage you to become a paid member if you can. The Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen has the only full time paid lobbyist dedicated to fighting for sportsman’s rights (that often includes gun rights) in Hartford. That means they have someone (2 people) who’s paid job it is to represent your interests in Hartford every single day. Back before CCDL existed, They were often the only ones, along with a few dedicated activists, defending your right to bear arms in CT. If general sportsman’s rights concern you like firearm rights do, check them out.

Litigation Update 08/05/2013

This is a Joint Litigation Update from both CCDL and CCS
UPDATE: 2ND AMENDMENT CHALLENGE TO CT’S NEW FIREARMS LAW

Greetings, Second Amendment Supporters: A lot has happened over the past few months in our lawsuit challenging Connecticut’s new firearms law. We would like to provide you with a status update. First, many thanks to those of you who have stepped up to the plate and provided generous financial support for the litigation. Your donations and additional efforts are greatly appreciated. We still have a long way to go to raise the funds needed, but we are off to a good start. We also want to thank our many friends and members who have participated in the litigation fundraising events. We also appreciate your input in online discussions of the new firearms law and working to educate the public about the harm caused by candidates for public office who are clearly anti-2nd Amendment. All of this work is invaluable to the restoration of our fundamental rights.

Plaintiffs and Request for Injunctive Relief: As you know, our legal team filed the lawsuit, Shew, et al. v. Malloy, et al., on May 22, 2013 in federal court in Connecticut. The plaintiffs are: June Shew, Stephanie Cypher, Brian McClain, Andrew Mueller, Mitchell Rocklin, Peter Owens, Hiller Sports, LLC, MD Shooting Sports, LLC., the Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League (“CCDL”), and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen (“CCS”). Shortly after filing suit, we filed a request for immediate temporary injunctive relief, asking the court to stop the implementation and enforcement of the new law. In support of our request for injunctive relief, our legal team filed expert reports demonstrating that the law not only fails to make Connecticut citizens more safe – perversely, it actually makes Connecticut citizens less safe. (Read the reports here: http://ccdl.us/blog/2013/08/04/expert-testimony/ )

Amicus Briefs: In the past few weeks, we have been honored to receive support from three separate amicus briefs (friend of the court briefs) that were filed by various organizations and law enforcement officers in support of our lawsuit. These excellent and substantive briefs were filed by: 1) the National Rifle Association, 2) the Pink Pistols, and 3) the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, the Law Enforcement Action Network, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, and by a host of brave individual active duty and retired law enforcement officers who are willing to stand up for the rights of all Connecticut citizens. (Read the amicus briefs here: http://ccdl.us/blog/2013/07/19/amicus-briefs-filed-in-support-of-litigation/ )

The Legal Landscape: The Court has set a fast-paced briefing schedule. It is likely there will be one or more rulings in this case as early as Fall 2013. In mid-August, you can expect to see one or more significant briefs filed by the plaintiffs, and in September, by the State. We encourage you to check in at this link from time to time for updates: http://www.ccdl.us/aboutus/newsletters/49-archived-newsletters/91-archived-newsletters
As requested repeatedly over the past months, please do not discuss the litigation in online discussion pages, such as Facebook, or otherwise in any public forum. CCDL and CCS are plaintiffs, and it is the job of each and every one of us, as members of these fine organizations, to conduct ourselves in a way that is beyond reproach, without creating distractions or interference, and to allow our lawyers to get the job done.

Fundraising: CCDL and CCS are now asking all firearms owners and 2nd Amendment supporters in Connecticut who have not yet donated to please donate immediately to the litigation fund. For those who have already contributed, we ask that you please consider making an additional contribution and, better still, consider making ongoing monthly contributions online as your finances allow. Second Amendment lawsuits break new legal ground, as most of the issues raised have not been addressed by the courts in detail before. The average successful Second Amendment case to date has cost in excess of half a million dollars.

Make A Donation: While we are off to a good start raising the needed funds, it is critical that we keep going if we intend to achieve our objective: full restoration of 2nd Amendment rights in Connecticut. To donate online to the litigation fund, click here to access the secure site:


If you prefer to write a check, please make it payable to: “CCDL” and note on the face of the check that it is for the “2A Litigation Fund.” Checks should be mailed to: CCDL, P.O. Box 642, Groton, CT 06340. (NOTE: Please do not write checks to CCS. By agreement, CCDL is serving as the organization in charge of receiving all donations to the plaintiffs’ litigation fund and it has established strict procedures and a separate account for handling and managing donations for this purpose. Checks that go to the wrong destination only end up getting lost or creating unnecessary work for our volunteers.)

Again, many thanks to all of you for your tireless efforts to secure our most basic rights!

Warm Regards,

Scott Wilson
President
CCDL, Inc.

Bob Crook
Executive Director
CCS

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Lead Attorney Introduced to Members

Tuesday evening at our monthly membership meeting, Martha Dean proudly introduced the lead attorney for litigation, Brian T Stapleton. Attorney Stapleton is a partner with the New York based law firm of Goldberg Segalla.

After Brian’s introduction by Martha Dean, a thorough presentation was conducted, and an excellent Q&A session followed. CCDL is pleased to be a part of the group that are involved in bringing this case for our 2nd Amendment rights to the forefront.

CCDL has been joined by Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, Hoffman’s Gun Center and Stag Arms. We would also like to mention the NRA, for their invaluable support. Our efforts to overturn this enacted legislation will be ongoing for some time.

Litigation Update

Attorney Martha Dean will present an update to our members on pending legal action this coming Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 at our monthly meeting in Middletown. We have received many requests for details from our members, and to protect certain aspects of the lawsuit, details cannot be discussed just yet. We ask our members for patience as things are being crafted. This will be a very long process.

CCDL has been joined by the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, Hoffman’s Gun Center and now Stag Arms as well. We are also receiving invaluable assistance from the NRA.

We would also like to thank the numerous gun clubs and individuals that have contributed, and continue to contribute crucial funding to the CCDL Litigation Fund. We have collected a surprising amount, but we will need more to mount a successful challenge to the newly minted law.

How to Donate to Litigation Fund:

If members wish to to donate, please utilize our PayPal link (can also be found on our website) or mail your contributions to:

CCDL Inc.
PO Box 642
Groton, CT 06340


CCDL Litigation Update

Dear Connecticut Citizens Defense League Members:

Since last night’s meeting, CCDL has joined forces with the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, the NRA and other gun owner and sportsmen groups that are working together in Connecticut to fund a significant Second Amendment legal challenge to Connecticut’s new firearms law.

Our legal team is assembled, and it includes preeminent Second Amendment and Constitutional lawyers with national reputations, significant trial as well as U.S. Supreme Court experience, and many U.S. Supreme Court victories under their belts.

We want you to know that our legal team is moving swiftly and that it understands the urgency of seeking legal vindication of our rights. That said, it would be unwise to rush to court without fully understanding the law and crafting the strongest legal challenge possible. This takes time, which is the reason why we are not rushing to court to file the lawsuit this week.

Please be aware that other lawsuits may be filed before ours in the coming days by individuals and groups who have gone in a different direction. These lawsuits are not part of our legal effort and, in some cases despite best intentions, may actually be harmful to members’ interests by creating unfavorable legal precedents.

We are calling on all members to contribute financially to the legal challenge that we are mounting.
Checks should be directed to CCDL at P.O. Box 642, Groton, Connecticut 06340.
You can also visit our webpage http://www.ccdl.us and donate through our Paypal link.
We will be back in touch with you soon to let you know of other ways in which you can be helpful.

Thank you for your contributions!

CCDL, Inc.
Carry On!

PRIORITY: Public Hearing On E-CERT

I was going to put up a blog post yesterday about this, but got tied up with other things. Since Bob and James Crook at the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen sent out an alert that says pretty much what I wanted to say, I’m going to just copy their email here.

With a probable composite (Mental Health, School Security, and FIREARMS) bill to be debated soon, you are asked to immediately contact YOUR State Representative and State Senator. Our and your interest in the bill is:
1. What does it contain,
2. Why don’t we have full disclosure, and MOST Important
3. Can we expect to provide our views through a PUBLIC HEARING Hearing on the contents?.

Be polite and courteous with Legislators. Tell them you are a voting constituent in their district, and if you voted for him/her make that statement.

How to Find Your Legislators: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

Ask them the following questions;
Gun owners, hunters, target shooters, collectors have no idea what may be contained in this bill affecting their legal activities and firearm ownership. Can you explain to me what is contained in the bill and how it will affect me personally?

Rumors abound, and many issues go well beyond anyone’s perception this is only about so-called “Assault Weapons.” We hear about severe ammunition purchase restrictions placed upon ALL gun owner’s rifles, shotguns, and handguns. If passed, what would I have to do to purchase ammunition and WHY?

We hear ALL firearms must be registered at a cost including my Grandfather’s rifles and shotguns. Why?

Magazines are an integral part of a firearm. What will be the standard number of rounds if any? Will they be banned entirely? Will the State reimburse me for my loss of value and protection? Will common rifles and shotguns be included?

Should this bill be about prosecuting criminals and at-risk persons being identified, not the gun issue which has little real relevance to the Newtown event?

Why is there no transparency as to what legislators convening in secret are considering?

Will YOU as a legislator and your constituents have sufficient time to evaluate the bill prior to debate?

WE NEED A PUBLIC HEARING! Why can’t we allow those affected by this legislation to promote their views?

Tell me how you could vote on this “quick fix” legislation developed by some emotionally biased legislators without allowing a hearing from constituents to share their expertise and support/objections?

Help me understand why this bill will have no public hearing and is different from all other bills! Why Emergency Certification?

WE NEED A PUBLIC HEARING!

Lobby Day at the Capital – Monday 3/11/2013

IMPORTANT UPDATE!:  This is not a rally like back in January. We will be inside the Legislative Office Building(LOB). This is your chance to meet one on one with your local legislators and tell them you oppose further restrictions on our rights. Even if your legislator is already on our side, please come and support us. There is strength in numbers!
Please, business attire or at least business casual, and leave your signs and camo home. Follow the same Dos and Don’ts you would if you were testifying. Also remember that under CT state law, weapons are not permitted in the LOB.
________________________________________________________
Several participants (CCDL, CCS and NSSF) will be coordinating with the NRA to participate and support a Lobby Day scheduled at the Legislative Office building on March 11th starting at 10:00 am till 4:00 pm.  
 
The intent of this Lobby Day is to have our elected officials witness an overwhelming show of unity for the support of 2nd Amendment rights by citizens of Connecticut. 
    
This event is timed to have a large turnout during the most visible day of the week at the Legislative Office Building and will show our legislators that we will not let our rights be stripped away.  
 

The CCDL executive committee met with two NRA State Liaisons this last Monday at our executive meeting to discuss several strategies for countering anti-gun legislation. We are extremely pleased that they have taken the time to coordinate this event, and we are glad that they are on the ground fighting with us in Hartford.

CCDL is encouraging our members to attend this special event, and to seek out your legislators to discuss the issues of gun rights and the importance of protecting them. We are running out of time, so we must let our voices be heard. 
 
We Need a Massive Turnout on This Day 

So Please Come Join Us!

Date:  Monday, March 11
Time:  10:00 a.m.
Where:  300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford
Parking: Free parking will be available at Cabela’s in Hartford located at 475 East Hartford Boulevard North, East Hartford, CT 06118
Transportation:   A complimentary shuttle service will run between Cabela’s and the state Capitol between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
For more information, here is the release from the NRA.