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.



CCDL Files Suit in the US District Court

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

Press Contact:

Holly Sullivan


Click Here to see a copy of the complaint




CCDL Response to HB5448 An Act Concerning a Risk Protection Order or Warrant

(Southbury, CT)

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.”

Holly Sullivan
CCDL, Inc.



Pending Legislation for 2020

Here are all the bills CCDL is following for the 2020 state legislative session.  We will update this article throughout the session so check back often to see if anything has changed.

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Statement of Purpose:  To establish an excise tax on ammunition to increase funding for gun violence prevention and reduction efforts

Is a proposal to levy a 35% excise tax on ammunition.  This was proposed by

Representative Jillian Gilchrest district 18 in West Hartford. 

CCDL is opposed to this proposal.

Status: Awaiting Committee Action


Statement of Purpose: To establish a nonrefundable credit against the personal income tax of up to one hundred fifty dollars for the purchase of a gun safe for personal use.

This was proposed by Senator Rob Sampson of district 16.

CCDL supports this proposal.

Status: Awaiting Committee Action



CCDL Endorses Mark DeCaprio for 48th house district.

Endorse3The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is proud to announce its endorsement of Mark DeCaprio in the January 14th Special Election for the 48th House District. After much discussion with Mark, CCDL believes that he will represent the people of Colchester, Lebanon, Mansfield and Windham strongly and with steadfast support of the Second Amendment.

CCDL members have this rare January opportunity to make a difference in the General Assembly. We are asking our members in these four towns to not only be at the polls and support Mark DeCaprio but to bring two friends, family members or neighbors as well. Every vote in a special election carries tremendous weight!

We are also asking any CCDL members to volunteer even a few hours between now and January 14th to assist with Mark’s campaign. Volunteering is easy and can even be done from the comfort of your own home with new phone technology. CCDL members in Colchester and Lebanon should contact and members in Mansfield and Windham should contact to help out.  Please be sure to tell the campaign that you are a CCDL member and that gun rights matter to you.

Do not miss this opportunity to ensure your Second Amendment rights are protected in Hartford by supporting Mark DeCaprio in this January 14th Special Election! Carry on!


CCDL Announces Results from Board of Directors Elections

For Immediate Release:

Groton, CT- The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, the state’s largest grass-roots advocacy group for the right to keep and bear arms, is pleased to announce it has selected a new Executive Board. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization devoted to protecting the rights affirmed by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to over 34,000 members. Thanks to the commitment of their members and Executive Committee, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state capitol, and well-recognized by committees that see firearms related bills.

Holly Sullivan has been elected to the role of President of the organization. She has previously served on the CCDL Executive Committee as the Event Coordinator. Additionally, she is actively involved in the DC Project and the Second Amendment Institute, both national organizations. Holly is succeeding Scott Wilson who has been President since the organization’s founding.

Frank Russello is the incoming Vice President and has served as the organization’s Technology Coordinator. He is succeeding Chris Lemos, one of the organization’s longest serving members.

Robert Starr will remain in his current position of Treasurer. Bob has dedicated years of service to the organization and will continue to ensure the fiduciary integrity of the organization.

Michele McBrien is the new Secretary and has previously served as the organization’s Merchandise Coordinator. She is succeeding Cheryl Lemos, who has served as member of the organization since its infancy.

I would personally like to thank the outgoing board members for their tireless dedication and commitment to the organization and our membership. I’d like to recognize Scott Wilson for ten incredible years of service, vision and diplomacy. The work of all past board members since the foundation of the organization has paved the way for a new leadership team to hold steadfast our mission to protect the unalienable right of all citizens to keep and bear arms, for the defense of both self and state, through public enlightenment and legislative action. I am confident the incoming Executive Board will defend the fundamental rights of all Connecticut residents.

Holly Sullivan


CCDL Alert- All Eyes on the Supreme Court

On Monday (December 2nd), The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for   NYSRPA v City of New York . This is the first time that the Supreme Court of the United States has heard oral arguments on 2nd Amendment cases since both Heller v DC and McDonald v Chicago.

The initial and underlying Issue for this lengthy legal action action is whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause and the constitutional right to travel.

Since this case was granted certiorari (an agreement to review a case) by the Supreme Court of the United States, there have been several failed attempts by anti-gun politicians to void this case based over “mootness” claims and other actions. There is a lengthy history of policy changes and state law changes designed to end to this case. Simply put, Anti-gun forces are afraid that a pro 2A decision that might broaden the scope of the 2nd Amendment will possibly occur because of this case.

Many outside parties of interest (including CCDL) have filed or co-filed Amicus Briefs- this is a legal brief that is otherwise known as ‘Friends of the Court brief’. Amicus briefs are written to help the court understand the issues at hand.

Important Note: Several anti-gun United States Senators (Including Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut) have filed one that stands out. While most of these types of brief’s are filed with the intent of displaying the potential impact of a ruling one way or another, this brief took an entirely different approach. Rather than focusing on a constitutional argument, these senators called into question the integrity and makeup of the court that included an assertion of political bias and a thinly vailed threat to restructure the court if it doesn’t rule in favor of NYC. We encourage our members to read this source to further understand what Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal co-filed with the Supreme Court.  

As soon as we have further information regarding the arguments, we will update CCDL members accordingly.

In the meantime, probably the best source of any information after Monday’s oral arguments will SCOTUS BLOG

Arguments were heard by the court.  Click here for the transcript

Click here to listen to audio argument


2018 General Election Endorsements

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League’s Executive Committee releases the following endorsements for the November 6, 2018 general election. We urge all our members to support and assist these candidates, and vote for them in November.
(*name* denotes past CCDL Legislator Of The Year)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor

Bob Stefanowski/*Joe Markley*

U.S. Senate

Matthew Corey

U.S. House 
District Candidate Name

2           Daniel Reale

3           Angel Cadena

5           Manny Santos

CT Senate Seats
District  Candidate Name   Towns Represented

7           John Kissel             East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, Windsor Locks

8           Kevin Witkos           Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington

9           Ed Charamut          Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield

12          Adam Greenberg     Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford

13          Len Suzio                Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown

14          Pam Staneski          Milford, Orange, West Haven, Woodbridge

16          *Rob Sampson*     Cheshire, Prospect, Southington, Waterbury, Wolcott

17          George Logan          Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck, Woodbridge

18          Heather Somers       Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown

19          Mark Lounsbury        Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich, Sprague

31          Henri Martin              Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston

32          Eric Berthel               Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Roxbury, Seymour,  Southbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury

33          *Melissa Ziobron*    Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook

35          Daniel Champagne   Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington, Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock

CT House 
District  Candidate Name   Towns Represented

2           William Duff            Bethel, Danbury, Newtown, Redding

8          Tim Ackert               Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, Vernon

22         Dr. William Petit       New Britain, Plainville

29         Andrew Lanciotto     Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield

30          Steven Baleshiski    Berlin, Southington

33          Linda Szynkowicz   Middletown

34          Irene Haines           Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton

37          Holly Cheeseman   East Lyme, Salem

40          John Scott              Groton, Ledyard

42          Mike France            Ledyard, Montville, Preston

44          Anne Dauphinais     Killingly, Plainfield

45          *Steve Mikutel*       Griswold, Lisbon, Plainfield, Sterling, Voluntown
45           Brian Lanoue           (co-endorsed)

46          Andrew Lockwood    Norwich

47          *Doug Dubitsky*     Canterbury, Chaplin, Franklin, Hampton, Lebanon, Lisbon, Norwich, Scotland, Sprague

50          Pat Boyd                  Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Union, Woodstock

51          Rick Hayes               Killingly, Putnam, Thompson

52          Kurt Vail Somers,      Stafford

53          Samuel Belsito          Ashford, Tolland, Willington

55          Robin Green             Andover, Bolton, Hebron, Marlborough

58          Gregory Stokes         Enfield

59          Carol Hall                  East Windsor, Enfield

60          Scott Storms             Windsor, Windsor Locks

61          Tami Zawistowski       East Granby, Suffield, Windsor

62          Bill Simanski               Barkhamsted, Granby, Hartland, New Hartford

63          Jay Case                     Colebrook, Goshen, Torrington, Winchester

65          Molly Spino                   Torrington

66          David T Wilson             Bethlehem, Litchfield, Morris, Warren, Woodbury

68          Joseph Polletta             Watertown, Woodbury

73          Steven Giacomi            Waterbury

76          John Piscopo                Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield, Thomaston

77          Cara Pavlock-D’Amato Bristol

78           Whit Betts                    Bristol, Plymouth

80          Gale Mastrofrancesco  Southington, Wolcott

81          John Fusco                  Southington

82          Ernestine Holloway      Meriden, Middlefield

83          Lou Arata                     Berlin, Meriden
83         Roger Misbach             (co-endorsed)

86          Vincent Candelora       Durham, Guilford, North Branford, Wallingford

89          Lezlye Zupkus             Bethany, Cheshire, Prospect

90          Craig Fishbein             Cheshire, Wallingford

100         Anthony Gennaro       Middletown

103         Diane Pagano            Cheshire, Southington, Wallingford

104         Joseph Jaumann        Ansonia, Derby

105         Nicole Klarides Ditria  Beacon Falls, Derby, Seymour

109         Veasna Roeun            Danbury

113         Jason Perillo               Shelton

120         Jim Feehan                Stratford

122         Ben McGorty              Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull

139         Nick DeLucia              Bozrah, Montville, Norwich

9/19/2018 added Steven Baleshiski, Molly Spino, and Nick DeLucia


Middletown Permit Application Update:

Since our founding in 2009, CCDL has been working to resolve various pistol permit issues in many cities and towns. Some of the issues pertain to issuing time frames or procedures that violate what is required or mandated by state statute.

On May 30th, CCDL filed a FOIA request with the Middletown Police to review their issuance time frame for temporary permits. Once the information was received and reviewed, CCDL determined that most of the applications exceeded the 8-week statutory time frame. This had been an ongoing problem that plagued residents of Middletown simply seeking approval for permits to carry.

Eventually, with the help of a CCDL resident of Middletown, a city councilor facilitated communications between Police Chief William McKenna and CCDL President Scott Wilson.

Because of the positive dialogue between the two, and the background efforts of the Police Chief, Middletown is adding additional resources and revamping its process to issue permits within the eight-week time frame. It was important to listen to the Chief’s concerns and the challenges that he has faced, and to also explain that CCDL is not out to create unnecessary headaches for his department.

CCDL wishes to thank Chief William McKenna for looking deep into this matter and resolving it. Special thanks to CCDL member Kevin Kelly and City Councilor Deb Kieckowski for their help.


Message from Scott Wilson to the CCDL Membership

To my fellow CCDL members –

This week we have all witnessed the horrible carnage committed by a mass murdering individual. With no respect for the lives of his victims, he went on a rampage that lasted for 10 minutes. Predictably, before all the victims were evacuated or any facts known, politicians were clamoring for more gun restrictions.

We are certain that we will be facing an untold variety of gun control proposals at the state, federal, and even local level. While we mourn for the victims of this senseless and violent act, the gun control lobby is already hard at work. They’re working day and night to use this horrific event to further their agenda of restricting your rights. While we wait and see what legislators bring forth, we will undoubtedly need the effort and support or our members in the very near future.

This Tuesday evening at our monthly meeting in Middletown at 7:00pm, CCDL will take a moment of silence for those murdered and injured in Las Vegas this past week. Whether you can join us in person or not, we ask that you pause for a moment at 7:00pm in solidarity.
Come join us as we plan to continue the fight for our rights.

Scott Wilson – CCDL President