Connecticut's latest gun control laws hit with federal lawsuit

Connecticut's latest gun control laws hit with federal lawsuit
(AP Photo/Yakima Herald-Republic, TJ Mullinax, File)

On Tuesday Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed HB 6667 into law; a devilishly broad gun control package that requires longtime owners of modern sporting rifles to register them with the government, bans open carry, increases training requirements for all would-be gun owners, and several other infringements to our right to keep and bear arms.


We’re likely to see multiple legal challenges launched in the coming days, but the first federal lawsuit has already been filed by an Idaho-based outfit called We The Patriots USA. Their litigation doesn’t challenge every aspect of HB 6667, instead focusing on the open carry ban and a gun rationing scheme that limits gun owners from purchasing more than three firearms in a 30-day period.

In its complaint, WTPUSA argues that while Lamont “called the bill a means of addressing gun violence, it will have the unintended effect of making the streets more dangerous for law abiding citizens who will have fewer options with which to defend themselves against violent assault in public places.”

Prior to the passage of new Public Act, Connecticut was an “open Carry” state, in which registered gun owners were permitted to carry their weapons openly displayed in public, a practice some believe to be associated with a general deterrence of strangers to engage in acts of violence.

The new restricts the right of a registered gun owner to carry their right to do so by making it a crime to open carry a firearm in Connecticut unless one meets the requirements of a narrow class of exemptions, such as being a law enforcement officer.

The unintended consequence of this law will be to prohibit those in lawful possession of a gun permit to carry their weapon openly for the purpose of self-defense while leaving unaddressed the fact that many individuals unlawfully possess, carry, and then use guns to commit crimes.

The plaintiffs contend that while the state of Connecticut punishes those crimes it is able to detect, it does not, and cannot, adequately protect citizens from crimes that have no yet occurred. The open carry ban irrationally makes the streets less safe for ordinary citizens.

The new Public Act also prohibits a person from acquiring more than three handguns within a 30-day period from any particular dealer, an arbitrary limit bearing no relation to public safety, but infringing a citizen’s right to choose the manner and means of defending himself or herself.


The Firearms Policy Coalition also weighed in with a statement hinting at future litigation and calling out Lamont and his anti-gun allies in the statehouse for their unconstitutional actions.

In a twist of bitter irony, HB 6667 attacks the core fundamental and Constitutional rights of the peaceable People of Connecticut and those who visit the “Constitution State.” The measure seeks to create criminal liability for the mere exercise of a fundamental right, doubling down on a slate of immoral and dangerous laws running the gamut from keeping, bearing, acquiring, building and possessing protected arms.
Governor Lamont and his legislative co-conspirators need to be reminded that the fundamental right to keep and bear arms falls outside the purview of their offices. They are simply not in a position to so casually dispose of those rights that are naturally intrinsic to the People.
Governor Lamont’s embrace of state violence to disarm and disadvantage peaceable People–throwing them in government cages, and ruining their lives at best–reveals the naked depravity and conceit of the state in its efforts to promote its immoral policy preferences.
To the peaceable People of Connecticut–you are not alone. We see you. The nation sees you. All peaceable People across our nation seeking to be free from the violence of the state in its efforts to disarm and victimize you are engaged together in this fight for freedom.
And to all of those who supported and passed this immoral legislation, we say simply this: “Fuck you. No.”

When I spoke with Holly Sullivan of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League last week, she indicated that the 2A organization would also be taking a close look at the final version of the legislation in anticipation of a lawsuit of their own, so the federal courthouse in Hartford could be a busy place over the next few days, and for good reason. While there are a few portions of HB 6667 that most gun owners would find unobjectionable, like increasing bond and tightening up probation requirements for repeat offenders, the vast majority of the bill is aimed squarely at the state’s legal gun owners and not the relatively few individuals who are driving the violence in cities like Hartford and New Haven.

Despite the fact that the state already has one of the lowest rates of gun ownership in the nation, Lamont and his political allies like Hartford Mayor Luke Bonin have proclaimed that the problem is that there are too many guns around. In fact, Lamont’s original proposal would have required existing owners of modern sporting rifles to turn them over to police, destroy them, or remove them from the state or else face felony charges. Their goal is the complete eradication of our right to keep and bear arms, even if they’re using an incrementalist strategy to get there. HB 6667 will have a chilling effect on those seeking to exercise that fundamental right if its provisions are allowed to take effect as planned in October, but hopefully by then one or more of the Second Amendment groups who’ll be suing the state will have secured an injunction keeping those new restrictions on ice for the foreseeable future.


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