Gun Advocates Try To Speed Up Case Against State
Two gun rights groups and a handful of other plaintiffs have filed a motion asking a judge to declare the state’s new gun control regulations unconstitutional in an attempt to bypass a trial on their lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed in May in response to legislation the governor signed in April. The legislature passed new firearm regulations on a bipartisan basis in response to the December murders of 20 children and six educators at a Newtown elementary school.
A lawyer for the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen and the Connecticut Citizens Defense League made the complaint on behalf of eight other plaintiffs, including individual citizens and stores that sell firearms.
In a motion for summary judgment filed last week in federal court, the group asked a judge to decide the case in their favor before discovery or a trial. The lengthy document cites more than 100 “undisputed material facts,” which the plaintiffs say prove the regulations are unconstitutional. The motion also requests an immediate injunction on the law’s enforcement.
The points range from gun violence statistics to assertions on the suitability of now-banned weapons for self defense purposes and the impact the plaintiffs say the law will have on gun owners. Other points suggest that the law’s prohibition on new magazines carrying more than 10 rounds will make it more difficult for gun owners to defend themselves by forcing them to reload more frequently.
“Where a crime victim faces multiple adversaries, the ability and need to fire many rounds without reloading is obvious,” the motion reads.
The filing also asks the court to expedite oral argument in the case.
“This is a classic case of ‘an Alice-in-Wonderland world where words have no meaning,’” the memo reads. “. . . Connecticut’s fundamental premise in passing [the law] is that any firearm it wishes to ban loses Second Amendment protection as long as its demeaned an ‘assault weapon.’”
The Attorney General’s Office is defending the legislation in court. A spokesperson for Attorney General George Jepsen said Friday that the office’s response to the motion is due next month.
“We look forward to responding to the motion in court at the appropriate time. Based on the schedule set by the court, our response is due Sept. 20,” she wrote in an email.
Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said the administration knew the law would be challenged by groups opposed to it, but they are confident it will be upheld. Legal attempts to challenge similar efforts to regulate guns in Connecticut have failed.
“We believe the bill improves public safety, and we will work with the Attorney General’s office to defend it. Let’s not forget that this has happened before. In prior instances where Connecticut has passed common-sense restrictions on firearms, there have been challenges. They have all been unsuccessful,” Doba said in a statement.