CT Lawsuit Has Been Filed!

And the lawsuit is filed! Here is the official release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 22, 2013

Contact: Scott Wilson
President, CT Citizens’ Defense League
860-235-7490

Contact: Brian Stapleton, Esq.
Goldberg Segalla, LLP
860-760-3300

Bridgeport, CT – Today, a widely-anticipated lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, challenging the constitutionality of the new firearms law that was passed hastily by the Connecticut legislature in response to the tragic shooting in Newtown by a disturbed individual. The lawsuit seeks immediate injunctive relief and a ruling declaring the new law unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It alleges that Connecticut’s new firearms law is not only unconstitutional but dangerous, since it makes both citizens and law enforcement less safe by depriving citizens of firearms that are in common use throughout the country. The very firearms and design features banned by the new law are commonly used in part because of safety, accuracy and ease-of-use features that make them effective in the hands of citizens who must defend themselves and their families against criminals and the mentally ill who do not obey such laws.

Brought on behalf of individual gun owners, retailers, and citizen’s defense and sportsmen’s organizations, the lawsuit seeks to vindicate the constitutional rights of citizens who are harmed by the broad prohibitions and unworkable vagueness of the new law. The legal challenge focuses on Connecticut’s ban of more than 100 additional common firearms that the law now dubs “assault weapons” and on the ban of standard design features, including magazines that hold more than 10 round of ammunition, that provide improved safety, accuracy, and ease-of-use. The lawsuit also challenges the practical bans imposed by the new law on an even broader array of firearms due to the law’s vague language and interpretative confusion combined with severe criminal penalties.

Plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit include individuals such as an elderly widow who lives alone in a rural area where the emergency response time of a lone resident trooper serving the area is 45 minutes, a rabbi whose synagogue in the Bridgeport area has been broken into by intruders, a young professional woman whose efforts to defend herself are made more difficult by the loss of an arm due to cancer, among other individuals.

In addition, retailers whose businesses have been severely harmed by the law have joined the lawsuit, which was conceived and organized by fellow-plaintiff organizations the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, commonly known as CCDL, and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen. Both organizational plaintiffs represent large numbers of Connecticut citizens whose rights to own the firearms of their choice for self-defense and other lawful purposes, such as sports shooting and hunting, have been harmed by the new prohibitions.

Despite the new law being called “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety,” Connecticut’s new firearms law makes Connecticut citizens less safe. Among the individuals harmed by the law’s provisions are women, the elderly, and anyone of a smaller physical stature — individuals who typically lack the strength to operate older style, heavier, or difficult to use firearms and yet who need to be able to protect themselves in challenging home-invasion and other self-defense situations.

CCDL’s President, Scott Wilson, who has seen his organization’s membership grow from 2,500 to 7,600 in just a few months, says “On behalf of our members and all of the plaintiffs, we wish to thank the National Rifle Association, whose vision and stalwart defense of citizens’ fundamental rights has helped make this important legal challenge possible.” Wilson says, “Connecticut’s new gun ban violates Second Amendment rights by depriving law-abiding citizens of firearms that are in common use throughout the country precisely because of their known effectiveness in the protection of citizens, their families, and homes. Criminals and the mentally ill will not abide by this terrible law, which means it has the perverse effect of actually making citizens and law enforcement officers less safe.”

Bob Crook, Executive Director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, says, “This law will do nothing to prevent a tragedy or solve the problem of crime committed with guns. Instead of violating constitutional rights, we need to get serious about addressing violence and mental illness.” He continued, “Two recent independent studies by Pew and the federal government have just revealed that gun homicides are down almost 40% and general crime involving guns has dropped a whopping 70% since 1993, which corresponds with the elimination of the federal assault weapons ban. In contrast, the few areas of the country where gun crimes have increased dramatically are the very places where local or state governments have banned or severely restricted gun ownership by law-abiding citizens.”

Many of the design features now banned by Connecticut’s new law have long been standard in firearms design as they enhance safety, accuracy and ease-of-use, and include: design features that enhance a citizen’s ability to balance a firearm properly so that it can be shot safely and accurately based on the size of the owner – especially if the owner is smaller-sized like many women, the elderly, and youth shooters (retractable shoulder stock); design features that allow a long gun to be held more easily for accuracy and to be held onto by its owner if an attacker tries to take the gun from a victim (pistol grip and forward pistol grip); design features that allow those who are in stressful situations with multiple home-invaders or attackers to have sufficient bullets for meaningful self-defense without impractical situation of having to try to reload or access a second gun (standard magazine capacities over 10 rounds), etc. The specific firearms now banned by the law include some of the most commonly used and popular models in Connecticut and in America today, including the light and versatile AR-15.

Some local retailers supporting the lawsuit say that in addition to the increased dangers created by the law, the law is vague and unworkable. Although they are knowledgeable about various types of firearms, many are having difficulty trying to determine which firearms are banned and which are legal to sell. If they decide incorrectly, they could be facing years in jail. Some say it is difficult for reputable dealers to continue serving the law-abiding citizens of Connecticut under these circumstances. If licensed dealers leave the state, it will become increasingly difficult for the people of Connecticut to acquire firearms to defend themselves. Meanwhile, these retailers say, the criminals will still be armed and in an even stronger position to harm and terrorize the people of Connecticut.

The Connecticut lawsuit, like similar legal challenges in New York, Colorado and Maryland, is expected to better define the limits of a citizen’s right to own a commonly used firearm of personal choice for self-defense, defense of family, and other lawful purposes. Each of these states has enacted new firearms laws that make citizens and law enforcement less safe as they try to defend against criminals and the mentally ill who do not obey these laws.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a pdf of the actual lawsuit:
Filed Stamped Copy USDC CT Complaint (pdf)

Gun Rights Group To Challenge New Laws

WFSB 3 Connecticut

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) –
President Barack Obama said Connecticut could be an example for the rest of the country, while he pushes congress to come up with a bill addressing gun control.

However, some gun rights advocates told Eyewitness News that they are planning to challenge the legislation signed into action by the governor last week.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League said they’re planning to file a lawsuit against the state.

You can read the rest HERE.

Sandy Hook Shooting Search Warrants Released

As promised, State Police have released some of the search warrants from the Sandy Hook School shooting. I have not had a chance to read them, but here they are. Warning, I understand some of this may be disturbing

Gov. Malloy Released Statement On Newtown Investigation

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released the following statement regarding the investigation of the Newtown tragedy:

“Like many others, I was disappointed and angered to learn that certain information about the Newtown shooting had been leaked, specifically with concern for the victim’s families who may have been hearing this news for the first time.

“Today, my office contacted the Chief State’s Attorney. I requested, and they have agreed, to release additional information relevant to the investigation and to provide a status on where the investigation currently stands. This information will be provided by Friday, March 29.

“As to what information can reasonably be shared at this time – that is a question that must be left to the State’s Attorney and other law enforcement. As a former prosecutor, I’m sensitive to the need for an independent investigation and believe that we must allow their work to continue without any undue interference.

“Having said all that, I will also say that I am bewildered by the demands of Mr. Cafero and others for a special briefing they claim is necessary in order for them to take a firm position on potential legislative responses to this horrific tragedy.

“To Mr. Cafero and those others I must ask: what more could you possibly need to know?

“We know for a fact that on December 14, a very disturbed young man took a military-style rifle with high-capacity magazines into a school and murdered 20 innocent children and six innocent adults. We know he had access to that weapon and others, although they were registered to someone else.

“Today, more than three months later, the vast majority of people in Connecticut can agree on some simple, common-sense things we can do – right now – to ban the sale of the weapon he used, to outlaw the high-capacity magazines he used, and to put in place systems that will make it much more difficult for a weapon like that to fall into the wrong hands.

“I ask again – what more does Mr. Cafero need to know before he’s finally ready to take action?”

Well Governor, I can’t answer for Mr. Cafero, but I do know what more CCDL members would like to know.

  • Were the weapons used properly secured, and if so, how did the shooter gain access to them?
  • I don’t believe the CSP have ever said what weapon was used to murder his mother. What weapon was used, and how did the shooter obtain access to it?
  • How many rounds were fired, out of how many magazines of what capacity? If the shooter only fired 10-12 rounds per magazine, how would banning those magazines prevent this from happening again?
  • What type of ammunition was used, and how was it obtained?
  • What specific feature(s) of the Bushmaster AR-15 contributed so greatly to the death toll that banning it is the only possible solution?
  • What kind of treatment was the shooter getting for his mental illness, and did it involve drugs? If drugs were perscribed, what kind and was he in fact taking them.
  • And lastly, if all your proposed gun restrictions were law on December 13, 2012, how would they have prevented what happened in Newtown?

Obama signs 23 Executive Orders Today

The following is a list of executive orders President Obama signed today under the pretense of addressing gun violence.

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, CCDL members. Welcome to 2013.

This year is already shaping up to be a watershed moment in the history of our state, and our country in regards to gun rights. If we don’t hold the line on both the local and federal fronts, we may lose those rights forever.

CCDL membership has been growing at an amazing rate the last few weeks, which is good. We’re going to need every single member to work harder then they ever have before if we are to prevail. And we must, the stakes are just too high not to,

The 2013 state legislative session starts on January 9th, and right at the start expect a slew of antigun/antiliberty bills. Just some that have been already publicly mentioned:

  •  Ban on guns or magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds
  •  bans and/or registration of semiauto firearms
  • bans on buying ammo online
  • bans on certain types of ammo like JHP
  • ban on private sales
  • registration of all guns owned
  • registration of ammo
  • 50% tax on ammo and guns
  • making permit info public to be published online
  • Increase cost or dificulty of permit, or even outlaw carry in public

And these are just on the state level. Many of these bills are also being proposed on a federal level as well. In the coming weeks things will be happening fast. We’ll try to keep everyone as informed as possible, but ultimately it’s up to you, the members of CCDL, to fight for your rights and for the rights of future gun owners.

Welcome to 2013.

CCDL Message to Our Members

We are all saddened and shocked at the slaughter of innocent school children and teachers in Newtown on Friday the 14th. Our heads and hearts are still reeling with sorrow and grief.

Since this incident, there have been calls for various types of gun control ranging from banning “assault weapons”, banning “high capacity magazines”, to banning all guns completely.

While CCDL and all gun owners are certain to face what is likely to be an avalanche of these various gun control measures, it is important that we realize any argument that we give anti-gun forces regarding a compromise only creates the next argument for them. In other words, if we acquiesce to the notion that so called common sense gun control exists, then they will surely always offer more “common sense”.

Does this mean that we will be successful in our efforts to protect us from bans on certain firearms or magazines? The answer is we simply do not know. Regardless of any uncertainty, the position of CCDL is that we stick to our principles that guns or magazines, of themselves do not murder people in cold blood.

These are trying times for gun owners and 2nd Amendment supporters. We have had our rights both challenged and whittled away, one law at a time, for many years. It is even likely that some of you have reevaluated your own personal convictions after this horrific event. We are all human beings and these feelings are natural.

After the shock has worn off, it will be time to regain our footing and realize that we are on the side of what is right. Murder and evil come in many forms and will always be a part of human society. It has been this way, long before guns existed. Evil will still exist even if they somehow confiscate every last weapon.

CCDL is working on an outline to help protect our children that will be put forth to legislators, media and gun control proponents. This may be met with skepticism, or embraced. Either way, we will continue to state our principles and stick by them with hands on activism, that will undoubtedly be needed to preserve our 2nd Amendment rights.
We Will not Surrender our rights!

There is no mistaking that the push has begun at the federal and state level to methodically dismantle the 2nd Amendment of our U.S. Constitution. Please stand with us in preserving our rights. Join us at the Capitol when the time comes.

We as an all volunteer grassroots organization want to thank all our members, for supporting us in every way, from physical help, to ideas presented via email and at meetings, to testifying along side us on gun bills, and especially for the financial contributions donated through our website, PO Box and at our General Meetings. Again we say Thank You!

Carry On!

 

Press Release – CCDL Expresses sorrow Over December 14 School Shooting

Groton, CT – December 14, 2012 – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) sends out their heartfelt sympathies to the victims, families,and the entire community of Newtown, CT in the wake of today’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is impossible to comprehend the full scope of this tragedy, and the lasting damage to children of such young age. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers throughout this ordeal and beyond.

CCDL President, Scott Wilson, also had this to say: “We, as law abiding gun owners abhor senseless and violent acts that harm our fellow human beings – especially innocent children. There have been, many statements condemning firearms and gun owners as a result of this tragedy. This was an act of deranged behavior from a mentally ill individual, not of decent and law abiding people that own guns and respect life. The members of CCDL weep with our fellow citizens of Connecticut”.

Free Legislative Testimony Workshop – December 9th

CCDL will be presenting a FREE training seminar to help gun owners and liberty-minded people prepare for the likely event that anti-gun legislation will be introduced in the 2013 legislative session. The 2013 session begins January 9th.

We invite all CCDL members and anyone that is interested in playing a vital role in defense of their liberty and preserving our Constitutional rights in CT to attend this FREE event.
We suggest you bring a notepad and a pen so you can take notes.
 

Some topics that will be covered include:

  • How to prepare testimony
  • How to submit testimony
  • How to testify effectively
  • How to coordinate public testimony with others
  • Tips on watching legislation and communicating with legislators
  • How to become and remain proactive and vigilant

Price: FREE and open to the public
Date: December 9, 2012
Time: 12 noon to 2pm
Location: Metacon Gun Club                
                 106 Nod Rd
                  Weatogue, CT 06089
                  map 

If you would like a flyer to print out and hang up in your favorite gun store or club, you can find one here.
CCDL would like to thank Metacon Gun Club and it’s members for hosting this important event. We hope to see everyone there.
Carry On!