Connecticut Democrats are gunning for the Second Amendment

Connecticut Democrats are gunning for the Second Amendment

Gun owners in the Nutmeg State are staring down the barrel of an onerous anti-gun bill that would criminalize their right to openly carry a firearm, impose gun registration requirements on previously grandfathered owners of so-called assault weapons, and other provisions largely aimed at the state’s legal gun owners.


On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Holly Sullivan of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League provides an update on that massive anti-gun bill, which is expected to receive final approval in the state Senate this week, as well as what gun owners can do to start changing the anti-gun political environment in the state.

As Sullivan notes, just five years ago the Connecticut Senate was divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, but now anti-gunners hold an almost 2-1 majority in the state legislature and they’re taking full advantage of their majorities to go big. Sadly, they even managed to get a few Republicans to go along with their schemes when the bill was heard in the state House last week.

Although the bill received some bipartisan support, most Republican members voted in opposition. The Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican Rep. Craig Fishbein of Wallingford said the legislation focused too much on increasing restrictions on gun owners rather than reducing violence.

“The right to open carry is the very essence of the right to keep and bear arms,” Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Granby, said. “Starting in the first section of this bill, I think it is patently unconstitutional.”

Fishbein said “The majority of this legislation goes after the law abiding [residents] and that is not where we should be.”

Some members praised the bill as a work of compromise that included input from Republican legislators like Fishbein and substantive changes from the proposals passed out of committee.

“I really feel compelled at the compromise that’s been done about this on the other side of the aisle about this,” Rep. Tom O’Dea, R-New Canaan, said. “You could’ve forced down our throats that was really bad in my opinion, but you didn’t. You reached across the aisle and you compromised.”

The bill also includes a provision designed to ensure local police departments quickly process applications for gun permits. If a local agency takes more than 16 weeks to act on an application, the bill allows residents to submit the application directly to the state.


Tom O’Dea needs a primary challenge if he truly believes these new restrictions aren’t that bad. Take that provision supposedly written to ensure that gun permit applications are “quickly” processed. Under the terms of the legislation, would-be gun owners can only take their applications directly to the state after waiting four months to be approved to exercise a fundamental civil right. If that’s considered a compromise on the part of the anti-gunners, it’s one that should have been soundly rejected by every member of the legislature who purports to protect our right to keep and bear arms.

Sullivan didn’t mention O’Dea in our conversation, but she and I did discuss the importance of getting involved in the political process; not just when the legislature is in session, but every day of the year. Whether it’s supporting candidates who will do more than pay lip service to the Second Amendment or running for office ourselves, we can all take steps to put our right to armed self-defense on firmer ground… even in places like Connecticut where gun owners can feel outnumbered and unheard.

That also extends to supporting Second Amendment organizations like the Connecticut Citizens Defense League whenever we can. Sullivan tells Bearing Arms that the organization will be taking a close look at the final language of the legislation that reaches Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk, and litigation is a definite possibility once the bill has been signed into law. The CCDL is already suing over the state’s current ban on so-called assault weapons, and Connecticut lawmakers have given them a new target of opportunity with these sweeping restrictions on legal gun owners.


Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Holly Sullivan in the video window below, and head over to the Connecticut Citizens Defense League website to show them some love and lend some support if you can.

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