Resources For Monday’s Public Hearing

We hope ALL of you will be attending or at least submitting written testimony for Monday’s public hearing. The antigun groups are mobilizing their members, it is vitally important we make our voices heard!
CCDL Legislative Coordinator Ray Bevis has put together the following resources to help you out. If you have any questions, you may email Ray at legislative@ccdl.us

Resource Sheet for:

2016 – H.B. No. 5054 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

2016 – H.B. No. 5597 AN ACT PROTECTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS SEEKING RESTRAINING ORDERS

2016 – H.B. No. 5623 AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 Some Points to Raise:

  • Try not using the word victim, instead try using applicant or applicant of the ex parte restraining order.
  • Try referring to the alleged attacker as the respondent or subject.
  • Taking away a person’s natural right of protection without a hearing, without a criminal charges, without a police report, without due process.
  • This is just a gun grabbing law.
  • For an ex parte application, a judge cannot determine a fair preponderance of the evidence on the basis of one biased affidavit.
  • Connecticut already has a seizure of firearm provision for persons posing a risk of injury to self or others under 29-38c – “Seizure of firearms of person posing risk of imminent personal injury to self or others”.
  • Connecticut already has a seizure of firearm provision for when a peace officer determines that a family violence crime has been committed under 46b-38b.
  • Many states, including Connecticut, already prohibit people with violent misdemeanor convictions from acquiring or possessing firearms or ammunition, regardless of the offender’s relationship to the victim.
  • Applicants of temporary restraining orders commonly apply for them days and sometimes weeks after the alleged incident happened and often without a police report filed.
  • Alleged domestic violence victims are not required to report to the police in order to obtain a restraining order.
  • Rights are striped without a chance to be heard and without a police report.
  • If a crime is serious enough to cause an individual to lose a fundamental constitutional right, then that crime should be serious enough for a police investigation.
  • Police are trained to administer the Lethality Risk Assessment, which is the evidence-based instrument that’s used to identify domestic violence victims who are at heightened risk of injury or worse.
  • In 2014, 45% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing.
  • In 2015, 37% of all ex parte temporary restraining orders were found not to be valid after the hearing.

Background Information


Ex parte: /ˌɛks ˈpɑrtiː/ is a Latin legal term meaning “from (by or for) [the/a] party”. An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.

Protective / Restraining Order Glossary

Other References & Resources

Firearm possession & domestic violence restraining orders report from OLR:

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT:

THE FAMILY VIOLENCE ARRESTS ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2014 with great visual charts.

Hands, fists, feet were the most commonly used weapon to commit the murder used in 38 percent of the incidents

In only two incidents was there either an active or expired Court Order of Protection

In the 24 family violence homicides, hands, fists, feet were the most common weapon, nine (38%). Other weapons included knives, eight (33%) and firearms, seven (29%).

2014 Findings & Recommendations Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee

Letter to Gov. Malloy from Rachel M. Baird, Attorney

Regarding Connecticut Ex Parte Restraining Orders, Due Process, and Amending the Laws to Discourage Abuse of Process and Protect Victims of Domestic Violence.

Connecticut judicial branch statistics

Connecticut judicial branch statistics for restraining orders

CT Uniform Crime Reports: Publications & Statistics

U.S. Government’s open data

Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.

Restraining Orders Out of Control by Gregory A. Hession, J.D. 2008

Connecticut Law About Domestic Violence

REPOST – Legislative Testimony “Tip Sheet”

This is another in a series of repeats of older blog posts for new members and also as a refresher course for older members. Remember, the 2014 Legislative Session starts today, February 5th. We’ll post any new bills here on the blog, as well as keep you updated about any bills we need to testify against (or for) in Hartford. Subscribe to the blog for updates by email.

Legislative Testimony “Tip Sheet” originally published on 1/25/2013

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, John R. Lott Jr. (Author) [Paperback] [Kindle] 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)

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)