For Immediate Release: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (the state's largest grass roots gun rights group) announced today that the U.S. District Court has issued a preliminary injunction against Governor Ned Lamont and DESPP Commissioner James Rovella, finding that they are violating the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Federal District Court Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer issued the order Monday that within one week Governor Lamont must modifying the portions of his March 17, 2020 Executive Order 7E that suspended the law requiring state and local law enforcement accept applications – including taking the requisite fingerprints – from Connecticut residents seeking new firearm permits. As a result of Executive Order 7E, law enforcement throughout the state refused to accept new firearms permit applications, thereby unconstitutionally suspending the process to obtain a permit to purchase and possess firearms for self-defense. After the Governor ignored CCDL’s April 7, 2020 letter seeking reinstatement of the application process, CCDL had no choice but to file its May 9, 2020 action to obtain relief for its members from the federal court. In his 26 page decision, Judge Meyer ruled that Executive Order 7E, and law enforcement’s implementation of it, “plainly burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment.” Further, that “they categorically foreclose a person who does not already have a permit or certification from acquiring a handgun if the person’s fingerprints are not already on file. One cannot exercise the right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense if one is prevented from acquiring a handgun in the first place.” The state argued Lamont and Rovella did not violate the Plaintiffs’ 2nd Amendment rights because the “temporary” suspension was necessitated by the current pandemic, and the federal court should not intervene. Judge Meyer dispelled that argument, writing, “If the Governor and the Commissioner were to issue a gag order barring plaintiffs from exercising their First Amendment free speech rights for the balance of the COVID-19 crisis, plaintiffs would surely suffer injury despite the ‘temporary’ nature of the crisis.” Judge Meyer’s order imposes a preliminary injunction against Governor Lamont and Commissioner Rovella, ordering by June 15, 2020 that the Governor modify Executive Order 7E restoring the fingerprinting and firearm permit application process, and that DESPP Commissioner Rovella resume fingerprinting “for applicants seeking permits to acquire, carry, or possess firearms that are subject to protection under the Second Amendment.” Attorney Craig Fishbein and Attorney Doug Dubitsky are representing CCDL in this federal civil rights action. Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization of more than 36,000 members, committed to protecting the unalienable constitutional right of all citizens to keep and bear arms through legislative and grassroots advocacy, education, research, publishing, legal action and programs. You may find a copy of the court's order here.
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