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.

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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.

Next Meeting – November 10th

CCDL holds its monthly general membership meeting at 7:00pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Elks Lodge in Middletown, CT. Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 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

  • We are not done with litigation against the State of Connecticut!
    Special Message from Lead Attorney David Thompson.
    We will be broadcasting a recorded message from our lead attorney David Thompson (Cooper &Kirk). In this message David will give a run down of what can be expected with our lawsuit (Shew v. Malloy) against the State of Connecticut. This will include a rundown of current active similar cases in other circuits. We are not done!

  • Project: #IamCCDL underway. What it is, how you can help; etc

  • Discussion on 2016 Elections and how we all can make a difference.

  • Presentation by CCDL member Robert Starr. Bob will be passing educational information along to members pertaining to editorial and letter writing. Anti-gun supporters work hard to sway public opinion via letters to newspaper editorial departments in CT. CCDL is looking to start activating members to start doing the same. We hope that CCDL can kick-start a successful effort to gain equal print space in Newspapers. This will be an informative and motivating discussion.

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 CCDL 2015 Christmas ornaments for $5 each. Only 100 were made, so get them early! For hunting season we have camo/blaze hats, $25 each.
We still have patches, pins, and magnets (perfect to put on your car, gun safe, or refrigerator). We also sell the car decals in assorted colors and sizes that you can’t get online.

Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. The holiday season is here, and the local food banks get stretched thin. 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
November 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!!


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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.

Firearms Law & The Second Amendment Symposium

The 2015 NRA-ILA “Firearms Law & The Second Amendment Symposium” will be held on Saturday, October 24, at The Hartford Club in Hartford, Connecticut.

Focusing on recent Second Amendment developments in our nation’s courts and legislatures, speakers will discuss and debate a variety of topics among multiple panels.  The symposium will feature leading Second Amendment scholars and attorneys (including CCDL’s general counsel Craig Fishbein, lead attorney in our federal lawsuit David Thompson, and CCDL supporter and 2A attorney Rachel Baird) discussing topics ranging from the history of the Second Amendment, current litigation in Connecticut, and emerging trends from across the nation.  Throughout, attendees will be exposed to insights regarding the nuts and bolts of legal practice in both defending and advancing gun owners’ civil rights. 

This event promises to present a thought-provoking discussion of one of the most relevant and important freedoms in the Bill of Rights.  Each registrant will receive written materials from the proceedings, including all panelist presentations and supporting documentation. For guests who are attorneys, this year’s event may once again meet state requirements for continuing legal education. The event, including all materials, food and beverage, is complimentary for all attendees.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015
The Hartford Club
46 Prospect St.
Hartford, CT  06103
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Registration and continental breakfast from 9 – 9:30 AM
*Parking will be free at the adjacent lot to The Hartford Club

For additional information, please contact Suzanne Anglewicz at sanglewicz@nrahq.org

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)

January 13 Monthly 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, January 13, 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
Attorney Dave Thompson
Dave Thompson will be coming up from Washington, DC to attend our meeting, where he will share his thoughts on the case and answer questions from members. If you haven’t made it to a meeting in a while, you’ll want to attend this one.
Also, remember this legal challenge is far from over. Even if we prevail here, the state is sure to appeal. If you can, please donate to our legal fund. 100% of the donations go to this lawsuit. DONATE HERE

Legislative Session Began January 9th
CCDL will conduct an overview of any gun bills that have been introduced for 2015 at the January 13th meeting. We will have legislative ‘tip sheets’ available for members. For more information about your State Government: Connecticut General Assembly Website

First Gun Bill Out for 2015
Proposed H.B. No. 5069 REP. FRITZ, 90th DIST. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE REMOVAL OF WEAPONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER’, to reduce domestic violence.
REF. JUDICIARY
This is a bill that will allow for the confiscation of firearms even before you have a hearing conducted by a judge. Typically in cases where there is no record of violence or criminality, if an ‘ex parte‘ restraining order is served to an individual, you are afforded a hearing to determine if a full restraining order should be issued.
If HB 5069 were to become law, then firearms owned by persons with even a temporary restraining order will be confiscated immediately. It is important to note this:
2014 CT stats: 4,409 temporary restraining orders were issued without a hearing. In 45% (2,445) of those cases a judge ruled the circumstances did not merit a restraining order after the hearing.

Merchandise
We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.
We also sell the limited edition items below that are not available in our online store.

Patches and Pins
We still have some of our limited run CCDL patches and pins. These $5 each and are meetings-only items, not for sale on the website.

Logo Magnets!
The return of the CCDL logo magnets. These are about the same size as our regular decals, but printed on a flexible magnetic material and are perfect for people who don’t want to permanently attach a vinyl decal to their vehicle. Priced at $5 each and sold at the meeting only.

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
January 13, 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

Oral Arguments Audio

OK, we finally have audio from the December 9th oral arguments in the 2nd Circuit Court Of Appeals.

After listening, I’m sure you’ll agree that our attorney Dave Thompson made some strong arguments for our side. Also included is the case against our NY neighbor’s (un)SAFE Act, which is similar to our Public Act 13-3 and was argued at the same time.

Don’t forget, Dave Thompson will be coming up from Washington, DC to attend our January 13 meeting, where he share his thoughts on the case and answer questions. If you haven’t made it to a meeting in a while, you’ll want to attend this one.

Also, remember this legal challenge is far from over. Even if we prevail here, the state is sure to appeal. If you can, please donate to our legal fund. 100% of the donations go to this lawsuit. DONATE HERE

If you would like to just download the audio, you can do that here: Second Circuit Oral Arguments.mp3

UPDATE: For those who have not been following this case closely the whole time, I’d just like to point out that this not like a trial you see on TV or in the movies. The bulk of the case is submitted in written form well in advance. Think of the posted audio as just the closing argument, where our lawyer was only allowed 20 minutes to sum up our case. If you’ve been following along, we’ve posted many of these written documents as they became available to us, but if you want a quick overview, click here.

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.