Litigation Update – Expert Testimony

Here is the latest update on the pending lawsuit.
Several of our expert witnesses have submitted their testimony to the courts. You will find the documents linked below.

One thing I’ll point out before someone else does…. you might notice Dr Gary Kleck’s testimony makes mention of NY’s SAFE Act in places. This is a typo that sneaked through because Dr Kleck has also submitted testimony in the lawsuit against NY’s new gun control law. Don’t worry, the legal team is aware of it.

Public Hearing and Press Conference – 3/22/2013

Reminder
Happenings at the LOB for Friday March 22nd:

Beth Bye will be holding an antigun press conference at 2:00pm in room 1B.

There will also be a hearing on 2 bills we should support. Details below, including where to email testimony. Remember this a budget committee, so focus on why they should spend money on this.

Appropriations Committee
PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
Friday, March 22, 2013
10:00 AM in Room 2C of the LOB

The Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. in Room 2C of the LOB.  Please submit 60 copies of written testimony to Committee staff three hours prior to the start of the hearing in Room 2700 of the LOB.  Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:30 A.M. until 9:30 A.M. in Room 2700 of the LOB.  Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, State Agency Heads and Municipal Chief Elected Officials.  Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. The Committee will accept electronic testimony via email at appropriationtestimo@cga.ct.gov for posting on the Committee’s website and inclusion in the hearing transcript. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information.  As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and will be indexed by internet search engines.  Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

Proposed S.B. No. 307 SEN. GUGLIELMO, 35th DIST. ‘AN ACT PROVIDING FUNDING FOR THE STATE-WIDE FIREARMS TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE’, to fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.
REF. APPROPRIATIONS

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That the sum of one million dollars be appropriated to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, from the General Fund, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, for the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.

Statement of Purpose:

To fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.

__________

Proposed H.B. No. 5561 REP. TONG, 147th DIST. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDING FOR THE STATE-WIDE FIREARMS TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE’, to fully fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force to improve its ability to enforce Connecticut gun trafficking laws.
REF. APPROPRIATIONS

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That section 29-38e of the general statutes be amended to require that the state-wide firearms trafficking task force be fully funded to the extent necessary to accomplish the duties of the task force.

Statement of Purpose:

To fully fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force to improve its ability to enforce Connecticut gun trafficking laws.

2 Public Hearings This Week

We will have two public hearings to testify on this week. 

The first hearing is for a bill that would require firearm and self-defense insurance for all gun owners.

The second, on Friday, is a good one as it is a gun bill we can support – the reinstatement of the statewide gun trafficking task force.  There are two versions of the bill.  One specifies the dollar amount at 1 million the other doesn’t specify the funding.

Insurance and Real Estate Committee
PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
1:00 P.M. in Room 2C of the LOB. (Legislative Office Building)

Please submit 30 copies of written testimony to Committee staff at the time of the sign-ups. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB. The list of speakers registered thru the lottery system will be posted outside Room 2C of the LOB at 12:00 P.M. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, State Agency Heads and Municipal Chief Elected Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. The Committee will accept electronic testimony via email at instestimony@cga.ct.gov. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and will be indexed by internet search engines. Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

SUBJECT MATTER: Insurance Bill
 H.B. No. 6656 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR FIREARM POSSESSORS OR OWNERS. (INS), to require any person who possesses or owns a firearm to procure and maintain excess personal liability insurance and self defense insurance, and to require the Insurance Commissioner to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
REF. INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE

Appropriations Committee
PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA
Friday, March 22, 2013
10:00 AM in Room 2C of the LOB

The Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. in Room 2C of the LOB.  Please submit 60 copies of written testimony to Committee staff three hours prior to the start of the hearing in Room 2700 of the LOB.  Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:30 A.M. until 9:30 A.M. in Room 2700 of the LOB.  Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, State Agency Heads and Municipal Chief Elected Officials.  Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. The Committee will accept electronic testimony via email at appropriationtestimo@cga.ct.gov for posting on the Committee’s website and inclusion in the hearing transcript. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information.  As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and will be indexed by internet search engines.  Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

Proposed S.B. No. 307 SEN. GUGLIELMO, 35th DIST. ‘AN ACT PROVIDING FUNDING FOR THE STATE-WIDE FIREARMS TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE’, to fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.
REF. APPROPRIATIONS

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That the sum of one million dollars be appropriated to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, from the General Fund, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, for the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.

Statement of Purpose:

To fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force.

__________

Proposed H.B. No. 5561 REP. TONG, 147th DIST. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDING FOR THE STATE-WIDE FIREARMS TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE’, to fully fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force to improve its ability to enforce Connecticut gun trafficking laws.
REF. APPROPRIATIONS

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That section 29-38e of the general statutes be amended to require that the state-wide firearms trafficking task force be fully funded to the extent necessary to accomplish the duties of the task force.

Statement of Purpose:

To fully fund the state-wide firearms trafficking task force to improve its ability to enforce Connecticut gun trafficking laws.

 

Watch Public Hearing Live

If you can’t attend today’s public hearing (and we certainly hope you can!), it will be covered live on cable TV and online by CT-N, the Connecticut Network. The hearing starts at 10:00am, and will most likely run well into the night. Once it starts, there should be a link to view it here: http://ct-n.com/daily_schedule.asp

Remember, even if you can’t  be there at 10am, you can show up as long as the hearing is still going and sign up to speak. That means if you want you will most likely be able to show up after work and still be able to testify. If you can’t attend at all, you can and should still submit written testimony via email. More info on how to sign up to speak or to email testimony can be found here.

Testimony For Monday’s Hearing Now Online

Some of testimony already submitted for Monday’s Task Force Hearing on gun violence is now online. You may read it here. There are only about 170 there so far, and it’s a mix of pro and anti gun control. Unless every other gun owner in the state plans on attending the hearing Monday in person, there should be several hundred thousand more in support of our rights then I see there, Again I remind you to “Stand Up! Step Up! Speak Up, Dammit!”.

This might be the only chance you get to make your voice heard. Just to remind you, there are already over 60 bills working their way through Hartford, and all but a handful will restrict your rights to own and shoot your gun. Even if the only gun you own is a revolver, or a double barrel shotgun, you WILL be effected as well. Here’s a reminder of just some of the proposed laws:

  • A ban on virtually all semiauto rifles classifying them as “Assault Weapons.”
  • Restricting magazine size to 10 rounds, 6 rounds, 5 rounds or even just 1 round.
  • Confiscating all magazines holding more than 10, 6, 5 or 1 rounds, pistols included.
  • Statewide gun registration for all firearms.
  • Re-registration every 2 years with ever increasing fees.
  • Requiring permits for any rifle with a pistol grip.
  • Limits on how much ammunition you can purchase and possess.
  • Registration and background checks on all ammo purchases.
  • Banning of internet sales of ammo.
  • Mandatory gun storage laws, like the one the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in the Heller decision.

If you can’t attend the hearing Monday, at least email your thoughts to the Task Force. If you need help or suggestions with your testimony, see our tip sheet for some helpful hints.

For past posts on this subject, click here.

 

Legislative Testimony “Tip Sheet”

Overview:

Testifying (in person or written testimony) may seem like a daunting task at first. Use this “tip sheet” to help you as you prepare for your testimony. Regardless of how you testify (in person or written) many items are still the same. However, if you plan to submit written testimony AND testify in person, you do not need to stick to your written testimony. This is particularly helpful if you have knowledge of a particular subject that was not answered in previous testimony.

Keep all your testimony brief and “stick to the facts”. It is also helpful if you personalize your written testimony and explain how a bill will affect you. This also makes it easier for you to not repeat the same facts and testimony of previous speakers. If your written testimony is essentially the same as previous speakers, tell the committee you agree with previous speakers and you are available to answer any questions.

Regardless of how you testify, the following should always be included:

  • Your name
  • Where you’re from (city/state)
  • State whether you support or oppose the bill
  • Use the bill number and title of the bill (EX: HB 1234 An Act Concerning Firearms)
  • Summarize your recommendation first and then add any needed explanation
  • Restate your position on the bill
  • Thank the legislators for their time and consideration of your position. Provide contact information and offer to answer any questions.
  • BE RESPECTFUL—never use derogatory names or threaten/antagonize

If you are testifying in person, here are a few more tips:

    • Each committee has a different operating procedure, however most only allow 3 minutes of testimony. You will be timed, and a buzzer or bell will sound once your time is up. If you hear that sound, please wrap it up as soon as you can. CAVEAT: If at the end of the 3 minutes, a legislator asks you a question, you may continue to speak to answer that question. However, please be respectful of time and try not to be excessive.
    • If you cannot cover all the information in the required 3 minutes, add it to the written testimony you submitted and note to the legislators that there is more you provided in writing
    • Rehearse your testimony. Anticipate questions and answers to those questions
    • If you DO NOT know the answer to a question, say so! Offer to get the correct information to the legislator or their aid as soon as possible.
    • Arrive and sign up early to testify.
    • Bring enough copies of your testimony. This is often stated when a hearing will take place. Bring a few extra copies so you have a copy to go over and practice before you speak. Not all committees allow testimony to be submitted electronically.
    • Dress appropriately for testimony. Business dress or business casual is preferred. No cammo, Printed T-shirts, etc. No hats. Your testimony may be televised.
    • Make sure cell phones are “muted” or turned off
    • Adjust and speak directly into the microphone. You should be no more than six inches from the microphone.
    • Avoid technical jargon. Many legislators are not familiar with terms and acronyms.
    • Plan to spend the entire day at the legislature. You may not have to, but depending on how testimony is organized (it could be by lottery) you may be there all day. Make sure plans are made with babysitters and employers ahead of time. It’s not uncommon for hearings to go through the evening hours.
    • Bring food or snacks (there is a cafeteria and auxiliary store).
    • DO NOT threaten or antagonize or argue with the legislators
    • DO NOT bring weapons into the legislature.
    • DO NOT clap, cheer or jeer during testimony. It only slows down the process and just doesn’t make us look good. Respect is key here.

If you have the time, make a visit to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) ahead of time and sit in on a hearing. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. Many of the hearings are also online at www.ct-n.com (The CT Network)

Statistics
Avoid using outdated statistics. Also, make sure your sources are valid. I.e. if a legislator sees you reference for a statistic is a known biased “news” (Fox, MSNBC, Breitbart, etc.) outlet, it may be called into question (perceived bias). There are some GREAT resources for firearms statistics that help you avoid a perceived bias.

  • Gunfacts.info – www.gunfacts.info This site has a downloadable book (available for purchase as well). GREAT information. All statistics are referenced in footnotes of every page.
  • FBI Crime Statistics – http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats Data here is hard for “the other side” to refute as it comes straight from the FBI.
  • Gun Cite – http://www.guncite.com/ – Not always up to date, but good source of ideas.
  • CT Pistol Permit Issues – www.ctpistolpermitissues.com – More information specific to Connecticut. Defensive firearms use, Office of Legislative Research Reports, pivotal state, federal and supreme court cases and permit procedure information.

Other useful resources
Connecticut Citizens Defense League – www.ccdl.us – keep current on issues affecting Connecticut.
CCDL also maintains an active presence regarding legislative efforts and informs members as soon as information is made available. CCDL is free to join and email lists are not shared with any other source.
NRA-ILA – National Rifle Association, Institute for Legislative Action – www.nraila.org – NRA-ILA maintains a large web site with information on legislative issues around the nation.
Connecticut General Assembly – www.cga.ct.gov – Lookup feature to find who your legislators are and how to contact them. Bill tracking – this allows you to read the language and any updates that may have been made. Hearing dates and times and any specific information for that hearing day (How many copies of testimony, etc.).
Books:
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition [Paperback] John R. Lott Jr. (Author)

Document created by E. Jonathan Hardy, Legislative Affairs Coordinator, CCDL permitissues@ccdl.us Rev Date: 1-24-13

You may also download and print out a copy of this tip sheet.

legislative testimony handout (pdf format)

Time To Testify!

A few days ago I warned you the state legislature was planning on passing some antigun bills without any public input, just like they did in NY. Well, I’m here to tell you that basically they still are. After CCDL members raised a stink, they scheduled a chance for you to speak out. Great, that’s what we wanted, right?
Not exactly.
These public hearing days will happen before the Legislature’s Gun Violence Task Force has proposed or endorsed any bills or law changes. In other words, you will get to address them in general on gun control, then they will go and submit an emergency certified bill which will bypass all the usual legislative committees and public hearings and get signed right into law.

First, you need to contact your legislatures and tell them the only “emergency” here is the trampling of our rights. Despite the horror in our backyard on Dec. 14th, crimes committed with AR-15s and other rifles are almost nonexistent. There is no reason or need to bypass the proper legislative process that Americans hold dear. If this is TRULY about Sandy Hook and crime prevention, there is also no reason not to at the very least wait until the State Police have finished their investigation and released those findings to the public.

Second, you need to attend and speak out at the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group Public Hearing
Monday, Jan. 28, 2013
Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT
10 a.m., Room 2C

Please remember the Dos and Don’t of testifying, get there early and be prepared to spend the day.

The task force has said there will be a way to submit written testimony if you can’t attend, and we’ll post that info here and in an email as soon as we have details. But, please, if you can, showing up in person is much more effective. If you care at ALL about your rights, this might be the ONLY chance to address these people before they pass laws that will effect all present and future gun owners in CT. If you haven’t kept up with all the various gun laws being proposed this session, you will find most of them listed here. All but a few restrict your rights. There are bills there that would add a 50% tax onto all guns and ammunition, require background checks on all gun or ammo purchases, and ban online sales. There are bills that ban guns with a capacity over 10 rounds, and a bill that bans guns with a capacity over 1 round. Bills that would ban all modern sporting rifles, and require anything with a pistol grip to have a permit. And that’s just some of what they want to pass under the guise of an “emergency”. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN!
Right now, you can start by contacting the members of the gun task force and tell them how you feel. If you live in their district, be sure to mention that fact.

Clicking on a name will take you to their website. These are the main phone numbers so if you call please ask for the legislator’s office.
Sen. Martin Looney, Co-chair  looney@senatedems.ct.gov  860-240-8600
Rep. Craig Miner, Co-chair  Craig.Miner@housegop.ct.gov  860-240-8700
Rep. Gerald Fox III   Gerald.Fox@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8500
Rep. Stephen Dargan Stephen.Dargan@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8500
Rep. Bob Godfrey  Bob.Godfrey@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8500
Rep. Toni Walker  Toni.Walker@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8500
Rep. Rosa Rebimbas  Rosa.Rebimbas@housegop.ct.gov  860-240-8700
Rep. Janice Giegler   Janice.Giegler@housegop.ct.gov  860-240-8700
Rep. Dan Carter  dan.carter@housegop.ct.gov  860-240-8700
Sen. Eric Coleman  Eric.Coleman@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8600
Sen. John Fonfara  Fonfara@senatedems.ct.gov  860-240-8600
Sen. Joan Hartley   Hartley@senatedems.ct.gov  860-240-8600
Sen. John Kissel   John.A.Kissel@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8800
Sen. Scott Frantz  Scott.Frantz@cga.ct.gov 860-240-8800
Sen. Tony Guglielmo   Anthony.Guglielmo@cga.ct.gov 860-240-8800
Sen. Kevin Witkos   Kevin.Witkos@cga.ct.gov  860-240-8800