If a law stops you from doing something you’ve been doing all along, that’s kind of an issue. We all know it to be one because many of us have run into that at some point or another.
Yet if you intend to be a law-abiding citizen, you follow the law. That fact, however, is causing an issue in Connecticut.
There, a gun owner and licensed concealed carrier has run into an issue due to a state law that prohibits carrying a firearm in state parks.
Now, a judge has issued a ruling saying that the man doesn’t have standing to challenge the law.
A federal judge for the District Court of Connecticut dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Connecticut law prohibiting firearm carry in state parks. Judge Janet Bond Arterton, appointed by Bill Clinton in 1995, issued a 17-page ruling, in which she found plaintiff David Nastri’s lawsuit to be “imaginary and speculative conjecture,” because he had failed to prove “an actual impending and credible threat of prosecution” for carrying a firearm in a state park. As a result, Nastri’s lawsuit lacked standing, she ruled.
In response, Nastri’s attorney filed an appeal, stating that Judge Arterton’s ruling “disregarded multiple U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate precedents and invented an unprecedented legal fiction to avoid reaching the true Second Amendment issues, which would have spelled the end of Connecticut’s unconstitutional law.”
Nastri hasn’t been charged with breaking the law–which, one would assume, is what Arterton figures would need to happen for him to have standing here–because Nastri won’t intentionally break the law.
The problem, though, is that standing is supposed to require the law to impact you. You can’t just challenge anything and everything, otherwise, nothing would ever get done.
Now, I don’t think that sounds like that bad of a thing, but some people disagree.
Anyway, Nastri actually has been impacted by the law, though he hasn’t been charged. It’s limited when and where he can lawfully carry his firearm.
This is especially problematic because state parks aren’t exactly known for tightly controlled points of entry. Anyone can carry a gun in there if they wish and Nastri and many other Connecticut gun owners are left defenseless because they’re obeying state law.
Luckily, as noted above, an appeal is in the works, as it should be. The idea that you can’t challenge law unless, basically, you’ve been arrested for breaking it–at which point it wouldn’t be “speculative” as the judge claimed–is insane.
The Second Amendment shouldn’t require one to risk arrest in order to challenge bad, unconstitutional laws.
Obviously, Connecticut disagrees with this being unconstitutional, and Bruen does allow for “sensitive areas” to be declared gun-free zones. I’m pretty sure state parks aren’t that sensitive, though, which is why this challenge needs to happen.
Hopefully, the appeal goes through soon, Nastri is found to have standing, and then we can get to the nitty-gritty over overturning this terrible law, hopefully in a manner that puts an end to this once and for all.