Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Ruling Upholds Connecticut's Expansive Firearm and Magazine Bans Despite Findings that Banned Items are Commonly Used for Lawful Purposes

Friday, January 31, 2014

On January 30, 2014, a federal court judge upheld Connecticut's new gun control law as constitutional, notwithstanding its finding that "the act burdens the plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights …."  The ruling comes from U.S. District Court Judge Alfred Covello in response to a lawsuit filed last May challenging the constitutionality of Connecticut's new gun control legislation. In April, the Connecticut legislature hastily passed wide-ranging restrictions on Connecticut gun owners that embody several long-term planks of the anti-gunners' agenda, including an expanded ban on so-called "assault weapons," restrictions on magazine capacity, expansion of an existing "eligibility certificate" requirement to all firearms and ammunition, an expanded ban of private transfers, and registration of all non-conforming firearms and magazines, the possession of which was grandfathered under the law.

The plaintiffs in Shew v. Malloy, backed by the NRA, included the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, Connecticut Citizens Defense League, gun store owners, and individual citizens and focused on the bans of more than 100 additional commonly-owned firearms, as well as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The case challenged the melodramatically and inaccurately titled law, "An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety," for violating plaintiffs' rights under the Second Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and for containing provisions that are unconstitutionally vague.

Covello dismissed all three constitutional challenges in the 47-page decision. In assessing the common use of semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines, Covello invoked the Heller decision and found that that these firearms and magazines are, in fact, commonly owned and legally used nationwide, including in Connecticut.  He then disregarded his own findings of fact and wrote that the ban is justified because the government's asserted goal of reducing violence outweighs the Act's infringement on Second Amendment rights. Nevertheless, in finding that the bans satisfied intermediate scrutiny, he acknowledged that the "court cannot foretell how successful the legislation will be in preventing crime." He further acknowledged the vagueness of several provisions in the legislation and their need for clarity, but still dismissed any claim that the law is unconstitutionally vague.

Covello's decision was similar to the adverse ruling recently handed down in a case challenging New York's so-called "SAFE" Act. In both cases, the courts relied on the fact that although the banned weapons were commonly used for lawful purposes, other options still existed for people wishing to exercise their rights.  Needless to say, such reasoning would hardly be tenable if the government were to ban books or close places of worship, merely because other options it considered more acceptable were still available.  Also, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that self-defense is at the "core" of the rights protected by the Second Amendment, both courts used the "lethality" of the banned firearms as a basis to reduce the protection they receive under the Second Amendment.  Whether further appellate review will resolve these contradictions, or perhaps merely add to them, remains to be seen.

An appeal in this case is already underway, and NRA will be sure to inform its members of any new developments. As NRA continues to take up similar battles in courtrooms across the nation, it is more important than ever to focus on making pro-gun gains in state legislatures and Congress this election season. The only way to prevent ill-informed court rulings that affect our fundamental, constitutional rights is to stop giving opportunities to anti-gun lawmakers both to pass unconstitutional legislation and to appoint judges who have no familiarity, understanding, or appreciation of firearms and their role in the fundamental right of self-defense.

TRENDING NOW
Wisconsin: Important Right to Carry Bill Introduced

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wisconsin: Important Right to Carry Bill Introduced

Today, LRB 2039/1 was introduced to the Wisconsin State Legislature.  This Right to Carry bill would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where an ...

California: One Gun a Month Bill Pulled from Senate Public Safety Hearing

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

California: One Gun a Month Bill Pulled from Senate Public Safety Hearing

Today, Tuesday, March 28, anti-gun SB 497, was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  At the last minute, the bill was pulled from today's agenda. Thank you to all who contacted the ...

Texas: Senate Passes SB 16, LTC Fee Reduction Bill, by Overwhelming Vote

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Texas: Senate Passes SB 16, LTC Fee Reduction Bill, by Overwhelming Vote

On Monday, the Texas Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston), on a 26-5 vote.

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

On March 16, 2017, the Seattle Times reported that Seattle city officials were reluctant to release data on the revenue generated by the city’s firearms and ammunition tax, citing taxpayer confidentiality concerns. Less than a ...

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Monday, March 27, 2017

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Following their passage in the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed multiple self-defense bills; Senate Bill 1299, Senate Bill 1300, House Bill 1852, and House Bill 1853. 

News  

Monday, March 27, 2017

NRA Applauds Texas State Senate for Passing SB 16

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action applauds the Texas Senate today for passing Senate Bill 16, legislation that substantially reduces License To Carry fees in the Lone Star state.

Georgia: Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bills – Governor Needs to Hear From You!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Georgia: Senate Passes Pro-Gun Bills – Governor Needs to Hear From You!

Today, the Georgia Senate passed pro-gun bills; House Bill 406, House Bill 292, and House Bill 280. 

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on ...

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of ...

California: Anti-Gun Bill Limiting Firearm Purchases to be Heard in Senate Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28

Friday, March 24, 2017

California: Anti-Gun Bill Limiting Firearm Purchases to be Heard in Senate Public Safety on Tuesday, March 28

On Tuesday, March 28, anti-gun SB 497, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.  SB 497 would expand the existing one handgun a month law to include ALL guns.  

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.