On Wednesday, as we reported Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont never brought up his idea to force Connecticut gun owners to turn in or get rid of their so-called assault weapons during his State of the State speech address to lawmakers; a good sign as far as gun owners are concerned. But while Lamont’s silence may indicate his plan is getting a cool reception from lawmakers, that doesn’t mean Connecticut Second Amendment advocates are ready to declare victory.
Holly Sullivan, head of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (and one of the most effective 2A advocates I know), joins Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co today to talk about Lamont’s omission and what the state’s anti-gun lawmakers might have in store if they don’t end up going along with the governor’s gun ban plan, as well as the CCDL’s lawsuit taking on the state’s current ban on the sale and manufacture of modern sporting rifles.
When it comes to Lamont’s big, bad idea, Sullivan says she doesn’t believe the governor has given up, and will likely continue to lobby his fellow Democrats in the opening weeks of the session, even if it’s behind closed doors. As to why some Democrats have publicly stated they see no appetite to tell current gun owners they have to forfeit their firearms because the government says so, Sullivan says the motivation varies from lawmaker to lawmaker; noting some were still in the legislature when the original ban was approved in 2013 with a promise that current owners would be able to keep ahold of their guns.
“They remember those comments were made, those promises were made. You know, ‘we’re not going to come and take them, what you have is what you have’,” explained Sullivan.
“I put zero confidence in them [Lamont and his allies] that they won’t work for it, but there are members of the party who were there at the time who are still there who don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” she continued. “That being said, he’s got a majority in the House and the Senate, and they can do what they want to do.”
The trick then, is making them not want to infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners; something that Sullivan, the CCDL, and Second Amendment activists across the state were largely able to accomplish last year, when a public safety bill packed full of anti-gun provisions had most of the gun control measures removed in committee; leaving behind components that targeted violent offenders as well as directing money towards community violence intervention groups. Sullivan says the army of grassroots activists are going to be just as engaged this time around.
“We worked our tails off last year and we’ll do it again,” she vowed. “We’ll be there. And the arguments are there. There are components of this bill that are openly racist; when you talk about the ‘show your papers’ bill, which is essentially stop-and-frisk, there are some very legitimate reasons why we were successful last year. But at the end of the day, do I trust this legislature? I sure don’t.”
Check out the entire conversation with Holly Sullivan below, where we also discuss the CCDL’s lawsuit taking on the state’s existing “assault weapons” ban as well as why gun owners outside the confines of Connecticut still need to pay close attention to the gun control fights within.