Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR CHALLENGE TO CONNECTICUT’S BAN ON POPULAR SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – The United States Supreme Court declined on Monday to review a lower court’s ruling refusing to strike down on Second Amendment grounds Connecticut’s ban on certain semi-automatic firearms including the most popular rifles in the Nation. The Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League (CCDL) and other plaintiffs challenged Connecticut’s ban in 2013, arguing that the ban openly flouts the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that law-abiding citizens have an individual right to keep commonly owned firearms in their homes for self-defense.

According to Scott Wilson, President of the CCDL, the banned firearms are very rarely used by criminals, and the only things that distinguish them from non-banned firearms are external features such as thumbhole stocks and pistol grips that promote safe and accurate use. While criminals typically do not use the banned firearms, law-abiding citizens do. Mr. Wilson stated that “the firearms the State has chosen to ban are very frequently used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as home-defense, hunting, and target shooting. In fact, one of the banned firearms, the AR-15, is the best-selling rifle in the United States.”

The federal courts have split over the correct way to analyze Second Amendment challenges after Heller, with most courts applying a fairly weak form of review ordinarily reserved for less-important rights. The Plaintiffs, Mr. Wilson said, had hoped the High Court would step in and reaffirm that the Second Amendment is not a “second-class” right. The lower court’s decision in this case was particularly indefensible, as the unconstitutionality of Connecticut’s ban follows directly from the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Heller. Mr. Wilson suggested that the Court’s decision to decline review may have been influenced by the recent, unfortunate death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the author if the Heller decision.

“We fully intend to renew our challenge to Connecticut’s blatantly unconstitutional ban as soon as there are five Justices sitting on the Supreme Court committed to the proper understanding of the Second Amendment.”

Scott Wilson Sr.
President
CCDL, Inc.
www.ccdl.us

Update On Supreme Court Case

Just a quick update to let our members know what’s happening with Shew v Malloy. As most know, we petitioned the Supreme Court to hear our appeal. The State of Connecticut has asked the court not to hear our case. You can read their argument why here:
Shew-v-Malloy 15-1030 – Respondents’ Opposition to Cert Petition (pdf)

Out legal team has fired back; pointing out how and why the State is incorrect. You can read our response here:
Shew-v-Malloy 15-1030 rb (pdf)

Shew v. Malloy Filed With SCOTUS – Press Release

02/11/2016
for Immediate Release:

(Groton, CT) – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League along with fellow plaintiffs have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States (Shew v. Malloy). The appeal challenges part of Public Act 13-3 (An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety) that was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature back in 2013.

The plaintiffs are challenging the ban on certain firearms that look similar to assault rifles. The plaintiffs claim that these are common semi-automatic firearms that only shoot once when the trigger is pulled; identical to others not banned. Real “assault rifles” are full-automatic and can fire multiple times when the trigger is pulled. Real assault rifles are already highly regulated by both federal and state government, and civilian ownership is quite rare.

The plaintiff’s challenge has been narrowed to focus strictly on the banned firearms and not magazines that contain 10 rounds or more as originally argued. The legal strategy behind this tactic is to offer the Supreme Court consideration to solely address this single issue with the hope that they will hear the case.

A similar case is expected to be filed soon in New York that may broaden the challenge to address magazines.

Comments from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
 
“We are thankful to finally have our petition filed with the Supreme Court. We have waited patiently for nearly three years to get to this stage, and we hope that the court will hear our arguments”.

“The firearms that have been banned under Public Act 13-3 are common firearms that are owned and enjoyed by millions of Americans throughout the country. They are excellent tools for home defense, and great for competition, hunting and target shooting. The law also bans firearms and features that enhance safety and allow physically disabled persons to exercise their rights and enjoy these same activities”.

“The Connecticut Citizens Defense League wishes to thank our fellow plaintiffs (especially June Shew) for being a part of this journey for justice. We also wish to thank our devoted members, numerous gun clubs, retailers, private individuals and of course the NRA-ILA for their help and support in getting us to this stage”.

“Public Act 13-3 infringes upon rights guaranteed by both the federal and state Constitution. Connecticut residents deserve to have these rights restored and protected by the Supreme Court”.

The filed petition (486 pages) may be downloaded here: Shew v. Malloy SCOTUS Petition as filed (pdf)

–End–

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 nearly 22,000 members from across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state 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

________________________________________________________

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.

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.

________________________________________________________

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.

Member Meeting Tonight

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, February 9, 2016.

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 (I don’t think we have to worry about that this month!).

Meeting Agenda

  • Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis will lay breakdown the landscape of proposed 2A related legislative proposals, or likely proposals.

  • Discussion on Shew v Malloy (Assault Weapon Challenge) Major Update including filing date and legal tactics

  • Discussion on 2016 state elections

  • Guest Speaker: Clay Cope (candidate US Congress 5th District)

  • Voter Registration Table

  • CCDL Anniversary Dinner Tickets available on site

  • Events planning update

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. 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
February 9, 2016 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

Major Win For Gun Rights

A few hours ago, gun rights received a major boost with a favorable decision in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kolbe v. Hogan (formerly known as Kolbe v. O’Malley) is a case in Maryland very similar to our Shew v. Malloy here in CT. Both cases concern bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “Large Capacity Magazines”. Both cases argue that the ban on “copies” of banned assault weapons is unconstitutionally vague. In both cases the courts failed to apply strict scrutiny, instead applying a lower standard.

Today the Court of Appeals issued its decision. They vacated the lower court’s decision upholding the assault weapon ban and magazine limits, and returned them back to the District Court for failing to apply the required strict scrutiny under the 2nd Amendment. This means the case isn’t over, but the state will now have a far more difficult chance to win.
Strict scrutiny “requires the Government to prove that the restriction furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest” and that [t]o be narrowly tailored, the law must employ the least restrictive means to achieve the compelling government interest.”
The lesser intermediate scrutiny merely “requires the government to ‘demonstrate . . . that there is a reasonable fit between the challenged regulation and a substantial government objective.’”. Strict scrutiny should be a difficult standard for Maryland to satisfy.

This may set up a split decision among the various Federal Circuit Courts, which greatly increases the chances of the Supreme Court taking up ours or a similar case.

Speaking of our case, this will slightly delay our filing with the Supreme Court, as our legal team analyzes this ruling and adjusts our case to these new facts. Also, I must remind everyone that Supreme Court cases are VERY expensive. If you can afford to, please donate to our Litigation Fund. CCDL is an all volunteer organization, which means every donation goes right to the fight for your rights, not to pay our salaries, like some other organizations do. We are also a 100% free to join organization, which means everything we do comes from your generous donations. Please donate here: Litigation Fund

If you would like to read the entire 90 page decision, you can download it here: Kolbe v Hogan opinion (pdf)

About Yesterday’s (Non)Decision by the Supreme Court

This is a guest post by CCDL president Scott Wilson.
______________________________________________________________________

While yesterday’s decision to deny cert in Friedman v Highland Park was disappointing, we knew that this would be likely. The fact remains that SCOTUS repeatedly kept conferencing the petition. This underscores that the matter is significantly important, but it was not the right time yet to hear a petition of this sort.

Some important things to note:
The inaction of the Supreme Court to not review Friedman v Highland Park is not based on merits of the case.

The Supreme Court will often decline the first case that comes before it to allow for other courts to offer a broader view of things to come.

There are differences between the opinions that came out of the 7th Circuit (Highland Park) and the 2nd Circuit (our case as well as New York’s). As such, arguments from our attorney in our petition to the Supreme Court will be tailored somewhat differently based on this.

We are still waiting on an opinion from the 4th Circuit (Maryland) in a similar case as well. One way we can be helped is if the Circuit renders a favorable opinion for the plaintiffs in that case. This is possible, but there is no certainty. Our hope is that the opinion gets published prior to our deadline to submit our appeal.

My statement as of now is this:
This has been a long fight from all of you to get to this point. Everyone has worked so hard, and in so many different ways to get us where we are, now we have to hang in there a bit longer.
I personally would rather go down swinging and maybe connect than to do nothing. Being that many of our rights in this country are on a downward trajectory as it is, the alternative we faced was to do nothing and accept our ultimate fate. I do not want to look back on my life one day years from now and think that we just let it all happen, and did nothing to try to stop it. To all of you, who feel the same way; thank you!

My final thoughts:
The Governor of Connecticut yesterday released a press statement after the ‘denial for Certiorari’ was released. In his press release, he sounded off in a manner which indicates he believes the Supreme Court’s “non-decision” was an ultimate victory for anti-gun laws. I’d like to take the opportunity to make sure that the governor of this state understands that we are not done, and I hope he enjoys a brief respite built upon the smoldering embers of our Constitution.

Scott Wilson – CCDL President

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!!


View Larger Map

Comments On Today’s Decision

Below is the press release on today’s Appellate decision in Shew v. Malloy, the lawsuit against Connecticut’s unconstitutional gun laws.

10/19/2015
For Immediate Release:

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots gun rights group) reacts to the Appellate decision handed down today. CCDL is one of the named Plaintiffs in the Shew v Malloy federal lawsuit. The case argues against a number of the firearms laws that were enacted with the signage of Public Act 13-3

The Federal Lawsuit against Public Act 13-3 has waged on since May 22nd of 2013.

Comment from CCDL President Scott Wilson:
“We along with our fellow plaintiffs were hopeful for a more favorable decision from the 2nd Circuit, but we are not surprised that this decision was handed down from this level. We are working with our team of attorneys and other plaintiffs and preparing for the next round”.

“We knew all along that we would end up appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn this clear injustice of our 2nd Amendment rights. We have 90 days from this ruling, and our attorneys will file a petition for certiorari within that time frame”.

Wilson concluded:
“We know that we are on the right side of this matter, and Connecticut gun owners will not surrender our constitutional rights. We will exhaust every possible avenue to preserve those rights”.
___________________________________________

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 nearly 20,000 members from across the state.

Thanks to this large supportive base, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state 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

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.