Connecticut Gun Law Challenged in Federal Court

By:  Jack Kenny
05/23/2013
       
Connecticut Gun Law Challenged in Federal Court

Connecticut's seven-week-old gun law, passed in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown in December, has been challenged in federal court.

Connecticut's seven-week-old gun law, passed in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown in December, has been challenged in federal court. A coalition of individuals, gun retailers, sports shooters, and gun rights activists entered a suit in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport Wednesday, asking for a declaration that the law is unconstitutional and both a preliminary and a permanent injunction against its enforcement.

The suit lists six individuals by name as plaintiffs, along with Hiller Sports, LLC, MD Shooting Sports LLC, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, and the Connecticut Citizens' Defense League. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state attorneys for Connecticut's 11 judicial districts are named as defendants. A press release issued by Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, and Brian Stapleton, the Hartford attorney who filed the suit, said the plaintiffs include "an elderly widow who lives alone in a rural area where the emergency response time of a lone resident trooper serving the area is 45 minutes, a rabbi whose synagogue in the Bridgeport area has been broken into by intruders, [and] a young professional woman whose efforts to defend herself are made more difficult by the loss of an arm due to cancer, among other individuals." The complaint also claims the law has created financial harm to the business owners represented in the suit, along with violations of the plaintiff's constitutional rights.  

The law, generally regarded as one of the strictest in the nation, was passed by the legislature and signed into law on April 4 of this year. Entitled "An Act Concerning Gun Violence and Children's Safety," the bill had broad support in the weeks and months following the Sandy Hook shootings, in which a single gunman entered the school and killed 20 first-graders and six adults on December 14.

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