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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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/11/2020
CONNECTICUT CITIZENS DEFENSE LEAGUE FILES FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
SOUTHBURY, CT – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against Governor Ned Lamont and several municipal police chiefs to stop their blatant and ongoing violations of the CCDL members’ right to keep and bear arms, as well as other constitutional rights.
The CCDL was forced to bring suit after the Governor’s March 17, 2020 Executive Order 7E suspended Connecticut General Statute § 29-17c, the law requiring state and local law enforcement to fingerprint, and process the applications of, Connecticut residents seeking State-issued permits to legally purchase and possess firearms, ammunition and magazines. As a result of the Governor’s Executive Order, law enforcement throughout the state are refusing to collect fingerprints for firearms permit purposes, and are refusing to process firearms applications, even while fingerprinting and application processing continues for other purposes. Under Executive Order 7E, state and local law enforcement have effectively shut down the issuance of all firearm permits in Connecticut. The CCDL cannot allow such blatant disregard for its members’ rights to go unchallenged.
The right to obtain and possess a firearm is a fundamental right guaranteed each citizen by the United States and Connecticut Constitutions. Especially in times of societal unrest, law-abiding citizens must have the ability to protect themselves and their families. However, under Connecticut’s strict firearms permitting scheme, lawful persons seeking to purchase a firearm or ammunition, or to carry a firearm for personal protection, are required to hold a certificate or permit issued by the State. To obtain a certificate or permit, an applicant must first submit to law enforcement taking his/her fingerprints and conducting an extensive background investigation on the applicant. Now, state and local law enforcement have completely shut down even that narrow path for people to protect themselves and their families with a firearm.
The CCDL wrote Governor Lamont on April 10, 2020 seeking reinstatement of the fingerprinting and application process, and offering alternatives to the process. Sadly, the Governor never responded to, nor even acknowledged, the CCDL’s letter, giving it no choice but to seek relief for its members in federal court.
Attorney Craig Fishbein and Attorney Doug Dubitsky are representing the CCDL in this federal civil rights action.
“While the CCDL understands these are times of unprecedented challenges, many Connecticut residents are being denied their constitutional rights just when they feel the exercise of those rights is most needed,” said Holly Sullivan, President of the CCDL. “We respect the Governor’s goal of mitigating the COVID-19 virus. However, stripping citizens of their rights does not further that laudable goal. It is in these extraordinary times that the Governor must most staunchly defend the rights of Connecticut’s people. If the Governor won’t, the CCDL will.”
The 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.
Lawsuit documents can be accessed here:
- Letter to Office of Ned Lamont
- Complaint in CCDL v. Lamont
- Memo of Law in Support of Motion for TRO or Injunction
CONTACT: HOLLY SULLIVAN – (860)785-5322 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a reminder CCDL is again fighting for your rights. We have filed a lawsuit in federal court and need your financial support. If every CCDL member donated just $10 this litigation and future action would be well funded. Please donate today!
Due to the social distancing requirements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the April CCDL Monthly meeting is canceled.
We will be sending an update to members in the coming days.
Stay safe and carry on!
for Immediate Release:
(Southbury, CT) – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League along with fellow plaintiffs have filed suit in the United States District Court (Ross v. Mellekas). The suit 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 prohibition on Connecticut residents that makes it illegal to load more than 10 rounds of ammunition into lawfully owned magazines that can hold more. The plaintiffs assert that this prohibition imposes an unconstitutional burden on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This lawsuit against Connecticut State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas; Commissioner James C. Rovella of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. alleges violations of both the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.
Both CCDL and the Second Amendment Foundation have members who live in Connecticut and have declared magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition pursuant the law. Members of both CCDL and SAF may face criminal charges or other adverse actions.
Comments from CCDL President Holly Sullivan:
“For most Americans, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are simply considered standard capacity magazines. Many firearms are not even available with magazines that hold less than ten rounds. In Connecticut, the legislature has redefined those magazines as Large Capacity Magazines. However, many of these magazines are commonly used by most other Americans who own firearms. Law abiding gun owners in Connecticut are left more susceptible to harm or death by being limited in their means of self-defense.”
“Only a law abiding gun owner is going to heed the State’s requirement to load only 10 rounds into a magazine capable of holding more ammunition. Criminals who are intent on doing harm will not follow this same law.”
“The Connecticut Citizens Defense League extends our most sincere gratitude to our fellow plaintiffs for being a part of our enduring fight for justice. We also wish to thank our devoted members, numerous gun clubs, retailers, private individuals and of course the Second Amendment Foundation for their help and support.”
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 more than 36,000 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 https://ccdl.us.
For Immediate Release:
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Holly Sullivan issues the following statement in response to an Act Concerning a Risk Protection Order or Warrant (HB5448):
“The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is extremely concerned about the removal of law enforcement investigatory procedure in order to proceed with an expanded red flag order as is proposed in HB5448. The proposed bill states that a complainant may go directly to a judge bypassing the unbiased and trained input of law enforcement.”
“This bill contains no stipulated penalties for false reporting. Since the temporary restraining orders were passed several years ago, 40% of these complaints have been dismissed by numerous courtroom judges.
However, not a single perjury charge was filed against anyone. The State of Connecticut is allowing some of its most vulnerable residents to be disarmed while they may be in their greatest need. More than 60,000 Connecticut women are permitted to lawfully carry firearms and do so primarily for self-defense. Complainants may be ex relations with whom the lawful gun owner has a child, in-laws and estranged spouses.”
“The bill would demand that anyone who has had a risk warrant filed against them prove by a preponderance of evidence that they are no longer a risk before any of their property will be returned. All Connecticut residents who value any of their constitutionally protected rights should be concerned about the precedent being suggested and how far government overreach will be allowed to go.”
“This bill is a phony solution created by the same politicians who fail to hold accountable actual violent criminals who steal guns and commit other crimes. CCDL has fought to get the Gun Trafficking Task Force funded and to increase penalties for those who steal firearms. The educational component of Ethan’s Law has yet to be initiated from 2019.
The very proponents of this bill have fought against these common sense measures in our state.”
Dear Senator Winfield, Representative Stafstrom, Distinguished Members of the Judiciary Committee,
Oppose H.B. 5448: AN ACT CONCERNING A RISK PROTECTION ORDER OR WARRANT, Support H.B. No. 5390: AN ACT CONCERNING THE DUTY TO RETREAT IN A HOUSE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP, Support H.B. No. 5432 AN ACT CONCERNING NONLETHAL ELECTRONIC DEFENSE WEAPONS
H.B. 5448 – CT already has an ERPO process, and we know that 40% of the cases are dismissed, but not before greatly impacting the accused. And now you want to make it even easier, for far more people, to impact the innocent even worse? Where is the logic in that? When are you going to start targeting actual criminals, that have already committed a crime? When are you going to reinstate the Firearms Trafficking Task force?
I urge you to support H.B 5390 and remove the obligation to retreat in a place of worship.
I also support H.B 5432 and hope you will as well.
Judiciary Committee, Public Hearing on HB 5448, HB 5390, HB 5432
I oppose H.B. 5448. This bill ignores due process, putting the burden of proof innocence on the accused. When in America did we decide that not everyone deserves due process, an opportunity to be heard and defend themselves before their rights are taken from them. This is the face of tyranny!
I ask you to Support H.B 5390 allowing legal permit holders to protect themselves in a place of worship.
Please Support H.B 5432 to allow Connecticut residents more options in self-defense.
Dear Judiciary Committee,
Please oppose H.B. 5448.
This bill turns a temporary order into a permanent one without any concern for due process, with no participation of the accused, or without any independent investigation into the matter. The bill gives no details on counsel for the respondent, the respondent’s ability for their own witnesses or cross‐examine others. The unintended consequence of this bill is that gun owners will no longer seek mental health treatment because of fear of losing their rights.
Support H.B 5390 allowing legal permit holders to protect themselves in a place of worship.
Support H.B 5432 to allow Connecticut residents more options in self-defense.