Second Amendment Groups Seek to Overturn Connecticut Firearm and Magazine Ban

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Published on: November 13, 2014

Shew v. Malloy, a case filed last year with the backing of several pro-Second Amendment groups, including the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, is now making its way through the federal courts to challenge the pretended legislation passed by Connecticut legislators and signed by Governor Dan Malloy. The legislation not only banned semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines, but also required that citizens of Connecticut register their weapons with the state.

The legislation resulted in tens of thousands of Connecticut residents saying “no” to registering their guns in a mass civil disobedience display and issuing somewhat veiled threats against those that might try and disarm them through gun confiscation because of the failure to register their weapons.

Earlier this year we told you about the amicus brief filed by GOA. The NRA came alongside them with a friend of the court brief on behalf of June Shew on July 15, 2013. According to the NRA brief, the legislation should be invalidated because “The line between permissible and impermissible arms regulations is not to be established by balancing the individual right protected by the Second Amendment against purportedly competing government interests.” There was even an appeal to the landmark ruling in the Heller case by the Supreme Court.

However, a district court upheld Connecticut’s ban in January 2014 and the case was then on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In May, the NRA filed another friend of the court brief with the Second Circuit Court. According to the NRA:

The brief began by advocating that the court employ strict scrutiny if it chooses to use an interest balancing test to determine the legality of the bans. In doing so, the brief cited precedent from other circuits, along with the Supreme Court’s Heller decision. “What is often glossed over,” it stated, “is the fact that the Supreme Court also held a ban on commonly owned long guns, such as those prohibited by the Act, was unconstitutional ….”  Accordingly, the brief argued, the Act’s “provisions fall within the ambit of Heller’s mandate, and must be subjected to at least strict scrutiny.”

The brief also called upon the court to limit the evidence that the state of Connecticut can use to justify the Act. It stated that only the evidence which was considered by the Connecticut legislature at the time of enactment should be used to determine whether the legislature acted reasonably. Further, the brief went on to attack the credibility of evidence used by Connecticut and the District Court, by refuting the so-called “expert” opinions of Dr. Christopher Koper as unreliable.  

Other friend of the court briefs were filed in support of the plaintiffs by a variety of organizations, including the Pink Pistols, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, and a coalition of states including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The case is now on appeal before the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit has announced that argument in the case will be heard on December 9, the same day and before the same panel as the pending appeal in the case challenging New York’s “SAFE” Act.

If you recall, politicians, specifically Republican politicians were warned well in advance of the legislation by patriots that they would not comply. One Connecticut gun collector was arrested for having “too many” guns and model rockets while patriot John Cinque was threatened by a Connecticut police officer who wanted to kick down his door and take his guns. Even Governor Dan Malloy taunted gun owners, “You lost,” get over it!

Connecticut had the opportunity this month to put a pro-Second Amendment governor in charge, who vowed to get the unconstitutional laws repealed, but instead were content to let the establishment politicians fight it out instead of vote their principles.

All of this stemmed from the Sandy Hook incident, which many still question much about the official story. In fact, Connecticut legislators rammed the legislation through in spite of testimony against their pretended legislation and in favor of the protection of the people’s right to keep and bear arms. One parent of a 6-year-old victim even said that the problem wasn’t a lack of gun laws, but a “lack of civility.”

While people called for all sorts of “pause” and not “jumping the gun” (no pun intended) the day the Sandy Hook story broke, I warned that the gun grabbing crowd would be immediately on the issue calling for more laws to advance gun confiscation. I was right, and though we had some major victories against the Obama administration in the wake of Sandy Hook, sadly Connecticut has become a casualty. Let’s see if there will be a resurrection.

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