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WILL THE LAW STAND UP TO SCRUTINY?

by Sharon Rondeau

Gov. Dannel Malloy is the 88th governor of Connecticut, which has no grand juries, county sheriffs, ballot initiatives, and some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.  Connecticut is nicknamed “the Constitution State.”

(Jul. 8, 2013) — On Monday, The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the legitimacy of the firearms law passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in the early morning hours of April 4, 2013.

The lawsuit is the second of its kind, with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) having objected to the law on the basis of Second Amendment violations in May.

As was done in New York State with the SAFE Act passed in January, the period for public comment was skipped.  The new lawsuit contends that such a move was made in order to “circumvent the safeguards of the normal legislative process and in violation of Connecticut statutory law.”

The law was signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy, who was nominated to Obama’s Council of Governors in February for a two-year term.  The act was passed in response to the mass shootings of 20 first-graders and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012.  Malloy had promised to sign new laws more restrictive than Congress might approve at the federal level, although Connecticut’s gun laws were among the most stringent in the nation prior to April 4.

Malloy’s spokesman, Andrew Doba, said that the bill improves “public safety.”

At least one gun manufacturer, PTR Industries, is leaving the state as a result of the new law, which its CEO said is “fraught with ambiguous definitions, insufficient considerations for the trade, conflicting mandates and disastrous consequences for the fundamental rights of the people of Connecticut.”

Another firearms company, Stag Arms, was invited in February by the state of Oklahoma to resettle there.

The bill was 139 pages, and the NSSF does not believe that all lawmakers read it before voting on it.  The general counsel for the NSSF, which is headquartered in Newtown, said that the lawsuit “focuses on this abuse of process that has resulted in enacted law that does nothing to improve public safety, while resulting in adverse effects on law-abiding citizens, manufacturers, retailers and sportsmen’s organizations.”

The filing names Malloy, members of the Connecticut General Assembly leadership, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, and the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Reuben Bradford, as defendants.

The NSSF recently launched a new initiative aimed at keeping children safe in homes where firearms are owned.

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