CCDL Legislator of the Year – Doug Dubitsky

The Executive Board proudly selects Doug Dubitsky as the CCDL Legislator of the Year for 2015.

Announcing the award, CCDL president Scott Wilson said:

“CCDL expresses our gratitude and appreciation that there are legislators like Doug Dubitsky who work to protect our constitutionally recognized rights. Connecticut is a brighter place with Doug in office”.

Doug serves the 47th house district,and is a freshman legislator. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Doug stayed throughout the 13 hour hearing for Senate Bill 650 and House Bill 6848. Doug queried those who testified about ‘Due Process concerns’ and followed both of these bills right to the end of the legislative session.
Doug was also instrumental in killing language harmful to gun owners in the 2nd Chance Society bill that passed in the special session this year.

Doug is a regular at our monthly member meetings, and will receive his award at our August 11th meeting.
Thank you, Representative Doug Dubitsky!

Press Release – 2015 Legislative Session Is Over

06/04/2015
For Immediate Release:

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) is expressing its appreciation for the State Legislature’s decision to cease action on bills that would have seriously affected due process rights of gun owners. Particularly Senate Bill 650.

Comments from CCDL President Scott Wilson:

“Fortunately many legislators came to realize that there are already statutes that protect potential victims against domestic violence. If someone truly is a threat to an individual, or if there is proof of active violence, Connecticut state law already has those potential victims covered”.

“Persons who never threatened or harmed anyone would have automatically lost possession of their personal property for two years or longer if SB650 had become law. We are talking about people potentially being punished who have never committed a crime, or been convicted of any wrongdoing. That is a harsh and unjust outcome to imagine”.

Wilson concluded:

“CCDL would like to thank our members for contacting and communicating with their legislators, and for testifying publicly in Hartford this year. Hopefully this outcome marks a shift back towards common sense legislation that impacts gun rights”.

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About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to over 18.000 members across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture at the Capitol, and well-recognized by committees that see firearms related bills.

As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information on the CCDL please visit http://www.ccdl.us//

Press Contact:

Scott Wilson
president@ccdl.us
860-235-7490
www.ccdl.us

SB650 – Quick Update

CCDL’s Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis spent all day and night in Hartford yesterday following the closing days of the 2015 legislative session (Thank you Ray!). Here’s a quick update he sent in after finally getting home early this morning:

The bill SB650 was called in the senate last night. An amendment was called, debated, voted on and the amendment passed. Then another amendment was called by Senator Joe Markley. While Senator Markley was summarizing his amendment, Senator Duff who is the majority Leader and is his job to set the daily agenda / calendar interrupted Senator Markley to temporarily pass on the bill and move onto another bill.
This is just a passed temporarily on the agenda. It is not a passing of the bill. The bill is still on the senate agenda but passed by temporarily. They can come back to it but with a deadline so close we think that is unlikely to happen. But IF this bill was to be called again in this session it would still need to be called in the senate and senator Markley would continue with his summation of his amendment.

CALL Your Legislators Today!

CALL your legislators today! The CT General Assembly will be voting on a bill that will seize firearms, ammunition, permits, and certificates from lawful gun owners without evidence, without witnesses, without a police report, and without a chance to be heard. This bill is called S.B. 650 – AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.

Last year in Connecticut 45% of these temporary restraining orders were found to be false after the judge was able to hear from both sides. Temporary restraining orders are based solely on the accuser’s word. No evidence is required.

Tell your legislators to protect the ability for the victims to defend themselves. Tell your legislator not to support a bill that will disarm someone without the constitutional right to be heard first. This bill will give abusers, stalkers, and rapists a way to disarm their victims.

To find your legislators and their contact info, go to: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
Your immediate action is needed! Make sure your voice gets heard, call your legislator today.

SB650 – Looney/Coleman Amendment

Yesterday state senators Martin Looney(D) and Eric Coleman(D) introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 650, which we’ve talked a lot about. The 24 page amendment basically replaces the original SB650 in it’s entirety. It’s going to take some time to analyze everything, but one change jumps out right now. “The department’s determination not to reinstate any such permit that has been revoked may not be based solely upon the issuance of such expired ex parte order.”
That can be read a few ways, but my gut feeling is since it’s coming from staunch antigunners Looney and Coleman, it’s not good. I’ll include the changes in context for comparison:

Original version
(d) If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, the department shall reinstate such permit.

New version
If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, the department shall reinstate such permit. The department’s determination not to reinstate any such permit that has been revoked may not be based solely upon the issuance of such expired ex parte order.

We have video of Senator Coleman describing the amendment.

We also have the full 24 page amendment. SB650 Amendment (pdf)

And, if you’re really interested, you can watch the entire 7.5 hour long senate session here.

Reminder – May 12th 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, May 12, 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 in the last full month of the legislative session for 2015. This is our last chance to communicate with legislators about the two remaining gun related bills: Senate Bill 650 and Governor’s Bill 6848. These bills will eliminate the right to “due process” for gun owners in certain instances.
  • CCDL’s Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis will give a breakdown on leftover gun related bills and our strategy.
  • Pre-planning for a number of events will take place. This will include discussions about our annual family picnic, the poker run, and possibly a legislative trap shoot event.
  • Any updates on Shew v. Malloy that are available will be given. We are now 5 months past the date of oral arguments at the 2nd Circuit Appellate level, and we’re hoping to hear something very soon.

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 patches, pins, and magnets (perfect to put on your car, gun safe, or refrigerator). We also sell the car decals in assorted colors besides white.


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
May 12, 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

Partial Victory – Still Work To Do

The wording just got finalized and posted for SB650 and HB6848. Because of your testimony, emails, phone calls and visits, both bills have been amended.

S.B. 650
Amendment A:
if the court issues an ex parte order against a respondent who is a peace officer as defined in section 53a-3, such hearing shall be held not later than five days from the date of the order.

Amendment B:
(d) If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, the department shall reinstate such permit.
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/s/pdf/2015SB-00650-R02-SB.pdf

The Gov. Bill 6848 has the same wording of amendment B added.
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/h/pdf/2015HB-06848-R01-HB.pdf

At least on paper, this appears to be at least a partial victory, but we must not get complacent.

  • These bills STILL violate “due process“.
  • There is also still no provision for the return of lawfully owned firearms, magazines and ammunition, especially those that are now banned under Governor Malloy’s unconstitutional Public Act 13-3.
  • The bill and the amendment still “revoke” your permit. This may seem like splitting hairs, until you go to renew your CT permit, move to another state, or apply for a non-resident permit in another state. On the CT permit renewal form it asks “Have you had a firearms permit, permit application or eligibility certificate of any kind from ANY jurisdiction in the United States denied, suspended or revoked?”
    Most other states include similar language. This means, despite a court finding a lawful gun owner innocent of the accusations in an ex parte restraining order, he/she’s record will be forever marred by the event; in essence forced to defend themselves anew every few years come renewal time.

We must continue to contact our legislators (see this post for more info). Thank them for the language in Amendment B, but continue to voice your concern for the issues that have not been addressed yet.


Shameless plug: CCDL is leading a federal lawsuit to overturn 13-3. We have assembled a legal team comprised of some of the very best 2nd Amendment lawyers in the country. Such a lawsuit is extremely expensive, and to date we’ve spent in the area of $600,000, and it’s projected to cost us at least another $1 million. CCDL is an all volunteer, not for profit organization. We don’t even charge a membership fee! (If you are not already a member, join here.)
We also don’t have some foundation or billionaire ex-mayor giving us cash. This lawsuit is funded solely by people like you and I who support the right to keep and bear arms. If you would like to donate directly to the litigation fund, you may do so here. http://ccdl.us/blog/donate/

Defeat SB650 and HB6848

The following is another guest post by John Sturmer. John is the principal owner of JJ Firearms Training, LLC. He is also a Certified Firearms Instructor, Range Safety Officer, Glock Armorer, and a CCDL Member.
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At our last CCDL Meeting on April 14, Ray Beavis and I spoke about what it would take politically to defeat SB650 and HB6848. We have been lucky so far in that all Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted against it, but sadly it was given a “Joint Favorable” recommendation, and will now advance. As you know, many Republicans voted FOR Senate Bill 1160 in 2013, and although we have seen all Republicans on the Judiciary committee vote against this bill, I have little faith that ALL Republicans will follow suit.

Remember… We need legislators from BOTH parties to vote against SB650 and its House counterpart in order to defeat it. There are 64 Republicans. 76 votes are needed to kill it in the House. The good news is that 10 Democrats voted against SB1160… 8 of them are still there, one lost his seat to a pro 2A Republican, and one is Steve Mikutel’s former district. Representative Mikutel if you don’t know was a better friend to CCDL than many Republicans are. I have included a list, if you live in any of these districts it is absolutely critical that you reach out and we keep these votes on the right side. There were also 20 Republican house members who voted FOR SB1160. 6 of them are on the Judiciary Committee, and all voted against this bill.

Take the following actions

  • Find your legislator and their contact info at: www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
  • Reach out to the chairman of your town committee, of your party. Attend a meeting if possible.
  • Find the website for your party’s state central committee. Every town has a representative. Reach out to them and let them know how you feel about these bills.
  • When you e-mail your legislator make sure to include the bill number and the fact that you oppose it clearly in the subject. They may not read your individual e-mail, but the primary driver of their vote is the consensus of their constituents. The overwhelming majority of these legislators are everyday people that just want to “do the right thing”. Sometimes they need a little help knowing what the right thing is.

The following Democratic Representatives voted “NO” on SB1160, and are still sitting members… it is critical that you reach out to them if you live in their district:
Buddy Altobello – 82nd altobello@cga.ct.gov
Theresa Conroy – 105th Theresa.conroy@cga.ct.gov
Louis Esposito – 116th Lou.Esposito@cga.ct.gov
Ed Jutilla – 37th Ed.Jutila@cga.ct.gov
Douglas McCrory – 7th Douglas.mccrory@cga.ct.gov
Frank Nicastro – 79th Frank.Nicastro@cga.ct.gov
Danny Rovero – 51st Danny.Rovero@cga.ct.gov
David Zoni – 81st David.Zoni@cga.ct.gov

Additionally – the following Republican representatives, while the voted “Yes” on 1160, voted “No” in the Judiciary Committee. We need to keep every Republican Vote, so if you live in one of these districts, PLEASE e-mail and call:
Bill Aman – 14th – bill.aman@housegop.ct.gov
Christie Carpino – 32nd – Christie.carpino@housegop.ct.gov
Tom O’Dea – 125th – tom.odea@housegop.ct.gov
Arthur O’Neill – 69th – Arthur.oneill@housegop.ct.gov
John Shaban – 135th – john.shaban@housegop.ct.gov
Richard Smith – 108th Richard.smith@housegop.ct.gov

CCDL Response to Norwich Bulletin

The following has been submitted by CCDL President Scott Wilson to the Norwich Bulletin in response to an editorial published a few days ago.

________________________________________________________________

In response to the April 25th editorial: “Responsible gun owners want to make a difference to do what’s right” I submit the following to address some of the points made by the writer of that op-ed.

First off, Tim McGraw is free to perform anywhere and anytime that he so chooses, and for whatever cause he desires. Tim is accountable to his fan base, not us. Repeat: No matter how misdirected his intentions may be, he is free to perform at the Sandy Hook Promise event in July.

The point that the Connecticut Citizens Defense League is making is this:
We believe that it is not at all clear who this event will actually benefit. To say the event is “for the children” or “for the community” is very vague. Is the event being held for mental health support? Is it being held to benefit the families of victims directly? Is the event being held to support all people who reside in Sandy Hook, Connecticut? We know that the benefit is not for the families directly; or at least not all of them. We also know that this concert will not benefit most of the people from Sandy Hook at all. So is it going to the cause of implementing gun control at the state or federal level? We suspect the real answer to whom the concert benefits lies in this last question more so than the others.

By the way, we use the term “gun control” to reflect an honest element to what is really going on. Sandy Hook Promise and similar ilk learned some time ago that the phrase “gun control” has made decent folks run away from these people; and rightfully so. Gun control proponents have adapted their language to hide their agenda, so they now use phrases such as “gun safety” instead. I know most reading this will be shocked to hear that such well-intentioned people could employ such deceitful tactics; but they do.

One of the other false claims in the editorial I am responding to is that we somehow want guns in dangerous hands. The bills in question (Senate Bill 650 and Governor’s Bill 6848) would remove firearms from individuals without being able to respond to any claims made by an applicant for a Temporary Restraining Order. In some instances, the subject of to one of these orders may never see their firearms again because of loopholes in state law. Even many advocates for these bills support the return of firearms and the reinstatement of pistol permits to respondents upon the vacating of a “TRO” that has been issued without merit. Yet the Judiciary Committee in Hartford has been unrelenting in its course so far. And we are supposed to go along and not speak in opposition to violations of due process and the seizure of private property without any basis or proof of wrong doing? What a very Marxist notion indeed.

As far as blocking or ending “gun violence” or any violence for that matter; that is impossible. But, for the sake of argument, most of our members (me included) have publicly argued for violent criminals to be punished by lengthier sentences and ending early release programs for this segment of society. We have also called for increased penalties for criminals who ‘straw purchase’ or steal firearms and then sell them to other criminals. These ideas are real solutions to at least minimize violence to a significant degree.

The author of this editorial also overlooks the effectiveness of CCDL. Prior to the rising tide of the post Sandy Hook era, CCDL has had a track record legislatively since the organization’s founding in 2009. We were instrumental in defeating an earlier magazine ban. Prior to that we actually had anti-gun language stripped out of a DPS bill right smack in the middle of a public hearing. We also fixed ordinances in towns that affected lawful carry of firearms and initiated a favorable declaratory ruling that has helped pistol permit applicants across the state immensely.

Also we were able to help end the runs for governor by Mayor of Danbury Mark Boughton and Senate Minority leader John McKinney; both who had publicly opposed gun rights. Admittedly, Tom Foley was not savvy enough to defeat the anti-gun incumbent.

While we cannot take all of the credit, we certainly helped with flipping 10 seats to pro 2A House members. Not bad for our first legislative cycle in which we were seriously engaged, with hundreds of active volunteers embedded in campaigns. Readers of the Bulletin should also know that CCDL currently leads a legal challenge against the State of Connecticut. We are calling into question to the constitutionality of Public Act 13-3 which was rammed through by politicians in the dark of night while using questionable ‘Emergency Certification’ maneuvers. We have the finest of law firms and legal minds working for us to overturn this injustice (Shew v. Malloy). We believe that ultimately we will win because we are the ones who stand by the principles that this state and this country was founded on. We take our rights seriously, and will not lay down for anybody.

At the end of the day this whole issue is about much more than Tim McGraw, isn’t it? It is really about the time honored and ongoing struggle between people who support ALL constitutional rights (not just some of them), and people that seek to impose their will on others; and where whatever ends they use, somehow justify their means.

So who are the real extremists in this story? Is it Tim McGraw, Sandy Hook Promise, the writer of the editorial in question, or all of them? At the very least, it’s two of these three in my opinion.

Scott Wilson
President
Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc.

Action Alert: Please Contact Your Legislators – Your Input Is Critical

Immediate Action is Needed on the Following Bills:
Governor’s Bill 6848
Senate Bill 650
Emails, phone calls and/or personal visits can go along way to defeating these pieces of proposed legislation. We need you to tell your elected officials to oppose both of these bills. Both bills have passed out of the Judiciary Committee as Joint Favorable and could be voted on very soon!

These bills violate due process of law, a right which is protected under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution and also Article 1 Sec 7 of the Connecticut State Constitution. If either of these laws are passed, Connecticut citizens who have even a Temporary Restraining Order (ex parte) filed against them will not have an opportunity to be heard by a judge before firearms, ammunition, and their permits are seized.

For more information on these bills and calls for action by CCDL pertaining to these bills, please look here: CCDL Blog – 2015 legislative session

You may find and contact your legislators here: Find Your Legislators