Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Connecticut Case Seeks to Overturn Firearm and Magazine Bans

Thursday, November 6, 2014

While the state of Connecticut ponders how to  handle the owners  of thousands of unregistered semi-automatic firearms and magazines in the state, an important NRA-backed case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s firearm and magazine bans is making its way through the federal courts.

The case, Shew v. Malloy, was initiated on May 22, 2013, when lawyers on behalf of June Shew and several other plaintiffs filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The complaint alleged several violations of the plaintiffs’ rights.

The complaint first claimed that the state’s bans on magazines and certain semi-automatic firearms are in violation of the right to “keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, and as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Next, the complaint argued that the firearm and magazine prohibitions violate the plaintiffs’ right to equal protection under the law, as several classes of government employees are exempt from the ban. Last, the complaint asserted that portions of the Act violate due process, as the ban is vague.

In addition to other extensive support to the case,NRA offered a friend of the court brief on July 15, 2013. The brief explained why Connecticut’s bans should be invalidated.

The brief argued that the Act should not be subject to an interest balancing test. It stated, “[T]he 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.” To bolster this argument, the brief cited the Supreme Court’s Heller decision extensively.

In a similar vein, the brief cited the Heller decision’s contention that the Second Amendment protects firearms “of the kind in common use.” It went on to cite a variety of evidence in explaining how the semi-automatic firearms and magazines prohibited by Connecticut’s ban are in “common use.” Indeed, as the brief pointed out, the AR-15 is “America’s ‘most popular semi-automatic rifle.’” Were the court nevertheless to apply a balancing test, the brief argued that the act is unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny.

Unfortunately, on January 30, 2014, the district court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, upholding Connecticut’s bans. The case was subsequently appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

On May 23, NRA filed a friend of the court brief with the Second Circuit. 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. We will report on further developments as they become available.

TRENDING NOW
H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the “universal” background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on ...

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

H.R. 8, which would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, has received significant attention from the gun rights community. However, H.R. 1112, which purportedly targets the inappropriately-named “Charleston loophole,” is just as insidious an attack ...

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

A study published in Preventative Medicine by Yu Lu and Jeff R. Temple concludes that “the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit.”

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the terrible crimes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was a somber occasion, but some media outlets couldn’t contain their glee this week that ...

Indiana: Self-Defense Bill Passes House, On To Senate

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Indiana: Self-Defense Bill Passes House, On To Senate

On February 11th, the Indiana state House of Representatives voted 80-13 to pass House Bill 1284 to enhance protections afforded to law-abiding citizens acting in defense of themselves and others.  HB 1284 will now go to the ...

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

Friday, February 1, 2019

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

During the executive session on February 1st, the Washington state House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary voted to pass House Bill 1068 to ban many standard capacity ammunition magazines and House Bill 1225 for firearm ...

Illinois: Gun Tax Legislation Introduced

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Illinois: Gun Tax Legislation Introduced

On February 11th, legislation was introduced (HB 2331) in the Illinois House that would impose a new gun tax on all firearms and firearm components sold in Illinois. 

Congress to Take Up Gun Control Next Week

News  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Congress to Take Up Gun Control Next Week

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called "universal" background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals

News  

Friday, February 8, 2019

House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals

On Wednesday, gun owners got to see what a Nancy Pelosi controlled Congress looks like as the House Judiciary Committee held its first gun control hearing in nearly a decade. Things went as one would ...

Arizona state flag

Friday, February 15, 2019

Arizona: Committee to Hear School Pick-up/Drop-off Bill

On Wednesday, February 20th at 9:00AM, the Arizona state House Committee on Public Safety will be hearing House Bill 2693 to improve the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families by reducing arbitrary ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.