Connecticut gun owners drown out opposition, but will lawmakers listen?

The number of opponents to Gov. Ned Lamont’s package of anti-gun legislation far outnumbered supporters during this week’s hearing on the gun control bills, but the Connecticut Citizens Defense League’s Holly Sullivan says that’s no guarantee that the bills will go down to defeat. On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Sullivan says last year’s reluctance on the part of Democrats to go big on gun control seems to have been replaced with a new appetite for infringement, despite the overwhelming objections from Connecticut residents who’ve spoken out on the bills.

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“This year is a lot different,” says Sullivan, though she says that while Lamont’s office may be eager to see these bills enshrined into law Connecticut residents seem cool to the idea; pointing to an online poll by the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper that found most respondents don’t believe the bills will make the state a safer place.

“I think among actual constituents there is not an appetite for it, but there certainly is an aggressive push in the governor’s office despite what their constituents think,” Sullivan concluded.

Included in the anti-gun bills that Lamont is pushing this year are proposals to ban adults younger than 21 from purchasing firearms, expanding the state’s existing ban on so-called assault weapons, banning the open carrying of firearms, and instituting a gun-rationing scheme limiting legal gun owners from purchasing more than one firearm within a 30-day period. Meanwhile, legislation that’s aimed at repeat gun offenders instead of legal gun owners has come under fire from some Senate Democrats, including the powerful co-chair of the Judiciary Committee. Sen. Gary Winfield objected to the bill during the Judiciary Committee hearing this week, telling the mayors of Hartford and New Haven that there are plenty of guys in his district who are carrying guns illegally; not because they’re violent criminals but because they live in a dangerous neighborhood. Sullivan says it’s a sign of just how nutty politics in the Nutmeg State has become that legislation aimed at repeat offenders is arguably more controversial in Democratic circles than legislation targeting the state’s legal gun owners.

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“Why is there such a double standard? And that’s really getting to the core of how bananas it is here in our state,” Sullivan said with exasperation. “They’re saying that you guys that did everything right… you can’t even carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol anymore. We’re going to take away every ability for you to do all of the things that are part of your daily life, but for these people who are breaking the law, we should be lax on them because they haven’t shot someone.”

Sullivan’s also bothered by what she says is blatant information on the part of Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who this week proclaimed that the state needs a waiting period law because a person in a heated situation can walk into a gun store and with the “proper documentation” can walk out with a gun. As Sullivan explains, what Bysiewicz left out is the fact that the “proper documentation” includes a permit-to-purchase or an “eligibility” certificate; a process that includes a background check and can take two months or longer to be issued. In other words, Connecticut law already has a built-in waiting period, at least for first-time buyers, and Sullivan says adding even more red-tape will only serve to hurt those who might find themselves with a sudden need for self-defense.

Be sure to check out the entire conversation with the CCDL’s Holly Sullivan in the video window below, and if you’re a Connecticut gun owner you should sign up to receive the CCDL’s action alerts at the organization’s website. Sullivan and the thousands of CCDL members are already doing a great job of defending the right to keep and bear arms in a very hostile legislative environment, but there’s plenty of challenges ahead and now is not a time for Second Amendment supporters to sit on the sidelines.

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