An Open Letter To Senator Murphy

Greetings Senator Murphy,

Your recent call for increased infringements on the rights of Americans (more gun control) coupled with decreased vetting of foreign entities has now reached ‘the Lunatic Fringe’.

Our organization (Connecticut Citizens Defense League) has no opinion on immigration as a sole subject, but when you conjoin calls for gun control along with mass immigration of foreigners, it is obvious what you are attempting to do.

You are now prioritizing non-citizens over legitimate citizens of the United States by calling for gun control to accommodate those non-citizens. The purpose of your idea is simply to push fanatical gun restrictions any way that you can. This reasoning is simply unacceptable to most Americans.

Let’s face it Senator Murphy, the bottom line is that you very simply do not trust your fellow Americans with firearms. The fact that you cling to this position is clearly evidenced by your ceaseless calls for gun control. What is particularly troubling is the fact that you are doing so while admitting that some immigrants from certain regions of the world may be so dangerous that we need to ban legal firearms to reduce the ‘risks’ of these people being here. It is sheer lunacy that you would risk the lives of your fellow citizens in such a manner if given the opportunity.

Your way would make all of us less safe if you eliminate the means for us to protect our lives and our families. Therefore, you and your beliefs are more dangerous to this nation than any immigrant from anywhere in the world ever could be.

Scott Wilson
President
CCDL, Inc.

Zeig Mir Deine Papiere – Show Me Your Papers

The following is a guest post by CCDL member David Ortiz of New Britain.

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A phrased quite often uttered from the mouths of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany as they stopped anyone they deemed suspicious and quite possibly harboring a Jew, “Zeig mir deine papiere” in English means “show me your papers”. As Jay Roberts so eloquently stated at the Public Safety Committee public hearing on February 3rd, “most people are not familiar with that saying because we beat the Nazis and we have a fourth amendment”. That is exactly what is at stake here for all of us in Connecticut, gun owner or not, our 4th Amendment right to be secure in our persons, papers, and privacy is in jeopardy. We face the complete obliteration of our 4th Amendment rights for the sake of security. This is at stake when legislation such as H.B. 5408 is attempted to be raised and signed into law. An act concerning the presentation of a carry permit must be stopped. Citizens of Connecticut must come together to stop these unconstitutional jabs at our Bill of Rights and our Constitutional Amendments which are here to protect each and every one of us from arbitrary governmental intrusions to our daily lives. Like one our nation’s founding father Benjamin Franklin had said on multiple occasions, “He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

We The People” …it seems we the people have forgotten the meaning of those words and that which was written for us all in the Bill of Rights. We have to stand up for what is granted upon each and every one of us in that declaration. Law enforcement must take a step back from the badge and take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror and come to grips that they are much more than a badge number within a department but that they themselves are members of this society and citizens of the United States of America. They have to realize that their authority should never compromise the Rights and personal liberties of the persons whom they’ve taken an oath to serve as peace officers and that their authority does not yield higher authority over the Supreme Court and their case rulings. Beyond the uniform and the shiny badge is a man or woman just like those who they seek to provide a public service to. Law enforcement should recognize that without those items they too are but citizens of the state of Connecticut with rights and liberties just like the rest of us, which should never be violated under any circumstance. To ask a person to provide identifiable information about themselves against their will in any other profession, outside of law enforcement, would seem ludicrous to most. As a professional working in the realm of social work I often witness the difficulty many American’s have in disseminating such privacy-related information to myself and to others. However, in the social work profession in order to protect the clients right to privacy under the 4th amendment, consent is always asked beforehand. Law enforcement in essence seek to gain ease of access towards obtaining a person’s personal information for the purposes of verification but through means such as bypassing the legality and constitutionality of a person’s 4th amendment right. In the process they are making their job easier but making it harder for the public to live free from unwarranted governmental intrusions and unreasonable stops, searches, and seizures of their persons and papers. You either stand for something or you stand to lose everything.

David Ortiz

New Britain, Connecticut

Connecticut Citizens Defense League Member

University of Southern California, MSW, Graduate Student

Opposition To Gun-Violence Study Misconstrued

The following is a guest post by CCDL Executive Member Bob Starr. It was originally published in the Republican-American newspaper.

See our Letter Writing Guide for helpful tips and links for crafting your own opinion pieces for local newspapers.

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This is in response to Jonathan P. Costa Sr.’s letter published in the Republican-American on April 11 in which he expresses his disagreement with an April 6 opinion offered by J. Mark Harran. (subscription required to read full links)

I am left wondering how Mr. Costa’s opinion was formed.

He claims that the NRA has thwarted efforts to conduct research on gun violence. The NRA has indeed opposed some research which it believed was being proposed by organizations which appeared to be starting with an agenda that might jeopardize the credibility of any reports that would result from it. What puzzles me is that Mr. Costa starts out by saying that research has not taken place and then proceeds to cite “facts” for which he gives no sources.

I have heard many opinions expressed both for and against “campus carry” (the original opinion’s topic). It is impossible to definitively know whether such a policy would result in positive or negative consequences. My feeling is that it would most likely be both.

The title above Mr. Costa’s letter claims that profit is the NRA’s motive in defending the second amendment, but I don’t see any indication in the letter to support that assertion or any actual expression of that belief. Since the NRA is a non-profit organization I’m not sure how that would even be a concern.
Robert Starr

Gun-Seizure Law Makes Us Less Safe

The following is a guest post by Brooke Cheney.
Brooke is a competitive shooter (IDPA), certified Range Safety Officer, certified firearms instructor, and an active CCDL member. She owns A Great Start Shooting School in Harwinton, CT.
This article was originally published in the Republican-American newspaper.

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Even if they’ve never set foot in a courtroom, Americans know they have the right to “tell it to the judge.” This fundamental right, known as the right to due process, is the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. It’s a right our Colonial ancestors didn’t enjoy. As subjects of the British crown, they routinely were abused by government agents who brought false, baseless charges against innocent people. Our ancestors had no right to tell their side of the stories, face their accusers or demand evidence of crimes.

Today, Connecticut lawmakers are debating a bill that would take us back to the days when the government trampled our rights and freedoms. Under House Bill 5054 and others, the government could seize a person’s firearms without giving him a chance to tell his side of the story or face his accuser in court. He wouldn’t even have to be accused of a crime. Under this bill, a law-abiding citizen could be forced to hand over his firearms based solely on a brief statement by an accuser. Innocent people would have no right to defend themselves before being deprived of property and due process.

Our Constitution is under assault. Gun-control groups are trying to undermine our freedoms and chip away at our constitutional protections. Supporters of H.B. 5054 claim they want to protect victims of domestic violence by taking firearms from the accused. However, under this proposal, there is no way to know if they are taking the guns away from the abuser or the abused.

As a firearms instructor, I have heard many stories of women choosing to become educated with firearms to defend themselves against their abusers. This bill could leave victims of domestic violence defenseless. A better approach would be to change the attitudes and behaviors of the abusers, and promote measures enabling victims to defend themselves.

A tragic case in New Jersey illustrates the folly of gun-control laws. Carol Bowne, 39, of Berlin, N.J., was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend. Bowne had applied for a firearms permit in an attempt to defend herself — months before she was attacked. Bowne was granted a restraining order, but she knew it was only a piece of paper and would not protect her if her ex-boyfriend chose not to abide by it. But New Jersey’s gun-control laws prevented her from being able to defend herself.

This tragedy also shows that if you take away guns from domestic abusers, they will find other weapons, or acquire firearms illegally.

H.B. 5054 is part of the fear-based agenda Connecticut lawmakers have adopted in recent years. In 2013, they imposed a ban on magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds, banned all new general-purpose sporting rifles (a measure that was found ineffective because of the rarity of crimes committed with these rifles based on the federal assault-weapons ban of 1994), and imposed registration on all of the state’s existing rifles — while ignoring the suggestions from the FBI’s multi-year study on how to prevent school shootings.

H.B. 5054 is ripe for abuse by angry, bitter domestic partners, unhappy neighbors or coworkers, anyone who just doesn’t like you. Our lives can be messy, and motives are not always clear. But what is clear is our right under the Constitution to defend ourselves against an accuser and tell our side of the story.

I urge Connecticut’s lawmakers to reject H.B. 5054, no matter how well-intentioned the proponents are.

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NOTE: The Judiciary Committee will be debating this and other related bills this coming Monday, March 28th. We urge members to call or email members of the committee and tell them not to strip domestic violence victims of their ability to defend themselves from violent abusers without the opportunity to tell their side of the story to a judge.

Hartford Home Invasion

This is a guest post by CCDL president Scott Wilson
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CCDL President Scott Wilson speaks out about Hartford home invasion (09/05):

On a Saturday evening in Hartford on September 5th, three violent criminals set their sights on a person whom they believed to be easy prey. Instead of ending up with a helpless victim for their choosing, two of these “alleged” criminals ended up at the hospital shot and bleeding with very serious wounds. Thankfully the intended victim only sustained minor injuries as a result of his ordeal. But certainly this experience will be life changing enough for him and his family.

Was another “Cheshire Style” home invasion preempted by the hands of a person who was lawfully armed? We may never know the answer to this for certain, but I would argue that the chances for such an outcome were enhanced given the knowledge that a multitude of armed intruders came prepared with weapons and zip ties.

Instead of news reports of mercilessly murdered victims who helplessly pleaded for their lives, a different and much more fortunate outcome replaced what could have easily been horrific news headlines that echoed across the country. Positive outcomes like this one do not sell as many newspapers, or gain as many website clicks; but they should considering what might have happened.

There is an eerie silence from Connecticut based gun control activists at the moment. Either because they do not want to admit the truth, or because they do not want people to know the truth. Maybe both.

Guns in the hands of people who wish to protect themselves can make a difference. This is why we should have the choice to protect our families the way we feel best. There were no police on hand to rush in and save the day. Just one man looking out for his family’s best interest.

Scott Wilson
CCDL President

Departure

The following is a guest post by CCDL president Scott Wilson:

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League announces the departure of two founding members of CCDL from our executive ranks. Both Lenny Benedetto and his wife Virginia Benedetto worked very hard to help start the organization, and build it to where we are today. Lenny served as the Vice President of the CCDL, and Virginia Benedetto served as our Technology Coordinator from the very beginning.

It is unlikely that CCDL would have become what it is without their hard work and dedication. I personally feel that every gun owner and 2nd amendment supporter in Connecticut owes both of them a debt of gratitude for their efforts.

Thank you, Lenny and Virginia for all of your efforts over the last six years!

Scott Wilson, President
CCDL, Inc.

CCDL Responds To Republican Geniuses (Cafero, Weicker and Shays)

This is a guest post by CCDL president Scott Wilson.

As president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group), I’d like to respond to recent comments made by Chris Shays, Larry Cafero and Lowell Weicker.
(see “GOP could have avoided gun fight by picking McKinney over Foley” and “Cafero on Foley Loss: ‘He Was The Wrong Republican’“)

If these defacto election analysts are looking to place blame on anyone, they should look at how certain leaders in the GOP leadership treated gun owners during and after the gun bill hearings in 2013. They joined forces with the anti-gun leadership of the Democratic party and helped them ram through massive gun control.

It is Mr Cafero’s own fault that his notions of running for governor were derailed, and the reason McKinney failed in his bid as well. If John McKinney was such a great candidate, why didn’t he win the Republican convention or primary election?

People should start to realize that gun owners are not going to sit by and be led around by the nose by gun grabbing politicians. If this is the case, the GOP should be prepared to suffer more losses in future elections

Serious candidates need to learn how to articulate 2nd Amendment positions better, and how to counter anti-gun propaganda. These are our Constitutional Rights we are talking about, after all.

It’s easy for these failed politicians to play Monday morning quarterback, but I can guarantee that they or any other Republican who supports gun control will face the same outcome in future elections that we’ve witnessed this year.

Despite the top-tier loses, the Republican under-ticket did better this year than it has since 1994. Had the antigun McKinney been the GOP candidate, does anyone think groups such as CCDL and the NRA would have invested the same amount of time, energy and money into this election?

It is important to note that all but one Democrat incumbent who lost this election voted to support last year’s gun control law, and only one Republican incumbent to vote against it lost. Even Democrat House leader Brendan Sharkey admits the gun control bill clearly had an effect on recent Democrat losses.
(see “Republicans Now Hold Most Seats In Connecticut House Since 1994“)

Not all Republicans are gun owners, but it is a fact that most gun owners vote Republican. Political strategists that spew this type of hindsight rhetoric would be wise to keep that in mind.

A Thank You

This is a guest video post from CCDL President Scott Wilson

Note: Shortly after this was recorded, Unaffiliated candidate for governor Joe Visconti dropped from the race and asked his supporters to vote for CCDL-endorsed candidate Tom Foley. Scott Wilson and the rest of the CCDL Executive Board would like to thank Joe and his supporters for joining with us to defeat anti-gun governor Dannel Malloy.

CCDL Wisely Endorsed Tom Foley for Governor

This is a guest post by CCDL’s president, Scott Wilson.

Connecticut gun owners need to vote carefully on November 4th.

The CCDL Executive Board thoroughly vetted Tom Foley and the other candidates for this upcoming election. Tom has a good understanding of what the capabilities are with respect to the governor’s office. An unaffiliated candidate named Joe Visconti does not.

The majority of CCDL’s 16,000 members and other informed 2nd Amendment supporters are not buying into Visconti’s pledge of repealing Connecticut’s 2013 gun law. A sitting Governor CANNOT repeal a law, as Visconti has suggested.

The Governor can only sign a repeal bill “if” one is presented to them from the legislature. However, given the current make up of a majority of anti-gun politicians in Hartford, it is highly unlikely that a repeal bill would be presented in the upcoming session. This logic is an aside to the fact that Visconti cannot win at this stage of the game, nor could he ever, given his lack of financing and low polling numbers. All he can accomplish by people voting for him is helping Malloy win a second term.

Allowing Governor Malloy another four-year term either through inaction (not voting) or unwise action (voting for a spoiler such as Joe Visconti) would have dire consequences for Connecticut gun owners. There are MANY pieces of anti-gun legislation lying in wait to be introduced, should Malloy win a second term. The following is a list of restrictions that will be considered by the legislature, should Malloy get re-elected. These current proposals could likely impact ALL Connecticut gun owners.

  1. Registration of ALL FIREARMS on a regular basis, such as registering your car or truck. They are also reportedly considering a ‘magazine permit’, similar to a pistol permit.
  2. Limits to the amount and type of ammo you can purchase. Ammo purchases would also be limited to the caliber of firearms registered in your name.
  3. Mandate that all ammo be stamped with a traceable serial number i.e. Bullet “micro-stamping, significantly increasing the cost and availability of ammunition.
  4. Mandate that firearms imprint a unique serial number on cases when fired, i.e. ballistic imprinting. California already passed this and the result is that firearms manufacturers have refused to sell any new models of guns in CA.
  5. Limit the purchase of firearms to one gun per month.
  6. Gun Permits would be renewable EVERY YEAR with a $70 (or higher) fee. Increased permit eligibility requirements.
  7. Mandated “Smart-gun” technology, increasing the cost of firearms by as much as 500%.
  8. Eliminate the power and authority of the Board of Firearm Permit Examiners and Appeals.
  9. The State would abolish the current list of banned ‘assault guns’ and reintroduce a new list of ‘allowable’ firearms you can own and purchase. If it’s not on the list…you can’t EVER own it!
  10. Additional taxes and fees for all firearms, ammo, accessories, etc. making it more difficult for those with limited income to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

Tom Foley will make sure that the rights of gun owners are not damaged further. He will help fix the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners by appointing fair-minded individuals. This is something that would fall well within his purview. He can and will remove Michael Lawlor (Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning) from his position. Both of these measures can be implemented starting from day one in a Foley administration.

CCDL, along with other plaintiffs, is actively in the midst of a constitutional challenge to this gun law via the Federal courts. We are headed to an appeal this December at the 2nd Circuit, and the aggrieved party of that decision, (us or the state) will be filing for Certiorari with the Supreme Court immediately after an opinion is rendered from the 2nd Circuit.

Lastly, I know (as do many others) that a candidate for governor in this state cannot win on guns alone. However a motivated base of 2A supporters, who show up to vote on Election Day, can potentially make a huge difference in a narrow election. This is exactly what we are facing. Please vote wisely with your choice for governor.

Respectfully,

Scott Wilson Sr.
President- CCDL,Inc.

CCDL Mission Statement:
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is a non-partisan, grassroots organization devoted to advocating rights affirmed by the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Connecticut. We are especially dedicated to protecting the unalienable right of all citizens to keep and bear arms, for the defense of both self and state, through public enlightenment and legislative action.

We welcome anyone who believes that the defense of our constitutional rights is critical to the longevity of our freedom and to the success of this nation, and in particular that the rights to
self- defense and to keep and bear the arms to actualize that defense, are fundamental and undeniable.

To join CCDL or learn more about CCDL endorsed candidates, Please visit: www.ccdl.us

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