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
Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2620, the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act." This bill would remove ATF's authority to use the ...

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

Information collected by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) indicates an unprecedented surge in the number of concealed carry permits, with the largest one-year increase on record occurring between May 2016 and May 2017.

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

This week, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) reintroduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, a bill aimed at permanently dismantling Operation Choke Point (OCP).  

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing into law NRA-backed legislation that will make license to carry fees in Texas among the lowest in the ...

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

New Zealand Police Mislead Current and Prospective Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

New Zealand Police Mislead Current and Prospective Gun Owners

Back in April, NRA-ILA alerted readers to the results of the New Zealand Parliament Law and Order Committee’s “Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand,” which proposed that a ...

Public Health Researchers Use Common Gun Control Tactic to Mislead on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Public Health Researchers Use Common Gun Control Tactic to Mislead on “Children” and Guns

It is one of the most well-worn tactics of those who advocate for gun control. Step one, acquire statistics on firearms injuries among children ages 0-14. Step two, combine these relatively low numbers with the ...

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators Attempting to Get “Assault Weapon” Language into law

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators Attempting to Get “Assault Weapon” Language into law

This week, Senator Antonio Munoz filed Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 556.

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.