'Sensitive Places' Bill Gutted Thanks to CT 2A Activists

Townhall Media

Gun control activists have seen some successes so far this year, though arguably their biggest wins have come through Joe Biden's executive actions and ATF rule changes as opposed to legislation. New Mexico Democrats largely curtailed Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's expansive anti-gun agenda, there are signs that Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will veto an "assault weapons" bill if it gets to his desk, and even some California gun control bills have been gutted this session instead of being enshrined into law. 


On today's Bearing Arms Cam & Co we're talking about another Second Amendment success story; this time in the blue state of Connecticut. A recent news story in the Stamford Advocate pointed out that there's little gun control being debated this session, framing it as a conscious decision on the part of Democratic lawmakers "not to pursue 'major' gun legislation in 2024." 

Holly Sullivan, head of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, tells Bearing Arms that's not exactly the case; pointing to a bill that would have turned much of the state into a gigantic "gun-free zone" once early voting began. 

As Sullivan explains, the way the bill is currently written, much of the state's populated areas would be off-limits to concealed carry in the weeks around Election Day by setting up "gun-free zones" 1000 feet around polling places, ballot boxes, locations where votes are tabulated, and other election-related locations as soon as early voting begins. 

"On top of that you've got a lot of local groups like Republican Town Committees that use municipal buildings for their meetings," Sullivan explained, adding "it's going to have a disproportionate impact on certain parties versus other parties, where maybe carrying and going to the town hall isn't that big a deal. But now they can't participate in municipal functions, in their RTC activities, and these other things." 

"In my town, which is kind of unusual, none of our voting locations are 'gun-free zones' right now," Sullivan continued. "We have the library, we have a community center, and we have town hall and a firehouse. They kind of made the case that everyone's used to these locations being gun-free anyway because voting usually takes place in a school. Well, not in my town. Not a single person votes in a school in my town, so we're not accustomed to that." 

Sullivan even pointed out to lawmakers that, under HB 5448, volunteer firefighters in the town where she lives would be forced to return home and secure their firearms before heading to the station house to put on their gear and go battle a blaze, at least for fires that break out around Election Day. Is anyone going to be made safer as a result, especially when, as Sullivan points out, supporters of HB 5448 couldn't point to a single incident in Connecticut involving a concealed carry holder (or anyone else, for that matter) threatening an election worker with a firearm? 


When we spoke to Sullivan about HB 5448 a little more than a month ago, the legislation still posed a live threat to gun owners. On today's show, however, Sullivan declared that every bit of gun control language has been stripped from the bill thanks to the grassroots efforts of CCDL members and 2A activists. 

"Once it made its way over to the Judiciary Committee we had 1,071 CCDL members who reached out to their state representatives and senators pushing back, saying 'please, do not do this to us. We are going to be de facto removed from municipal activities, getting around our neighborhood.' And even though they reduced it down to 250 feet, it's just not enough." 

Amazingly, enough lawmakers appear to have listened that the bill was largely gutted by the Judiciary Committee. While the legislation still contains language protecting the identities of election workers, Sullivan says all of the language creating new "gun-free zones" has been stripped from the bill, and CCDL is now neutral on its passage. 

This is a great example of the power that grassroots activists can have, even in states where they face a hostile legislature.  Sullivan and the CCDL deserve a lot of praise for defanging HB 5448, but they're not stopping there. Check out the entire conversation in the video window below to learn about CCDL's ongoing efforts to overturn Connecticut's ban on "assault weapons", as well as the invaluable work that Sullivan is doing to help state-level groups like CCDL connect and learn from one another.




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