Newtown-based firearms group sues over CT gun law

Connecticut School Shooting

A Second Amendment organization that represents a host of Connecticut firearms companies and is based 2.8 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School is suing the state over a package of gun reforms it adopted in April in the wake of the massacre.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, located in Newtown, filed an 11-page federal lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut alleging that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and fellow Democrats who control the Legislature short-circuited the approvals process when the sweeping legislation was signed into law.

“A 139-page bill was assembled behind closed doors, bypassing both the public hearing and committee processes, and quickly sent to floor votes on the same day in both the House and Senate where legislators did not have adequate time to even read the bill,” Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of NSSF, said in a statement. “The governor then signed the package into law the next day. All of this is in violation of guarantees citizens are supposed to have under Connecticut State Statutes and protections in our State and U.S. Constitutions for which our forefathers fought. Our suit focuses on this abuse of process that has resulted in enacted law that does nothing to improve public safety, while resulting in adverse effects on law-abiding citizens, manufacturers, retailers and sportsmen’s organizations.”

Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Malloy, defended the restrictions in a statement.

“We’ve known for some time that groups opposed the to the new gun violence prevention law would be filing suit against it,” Doba said. “We believe the bill improves public safety, and we will work with the Attorney General’s office to defend it.  Let’s not forget that this has happened before. In prior instances where Connecticut has passed common sense restrictions on firearms, there have been challenges. They have all been unsuccessful.”

The General Assembly banned so-called high-capacity magazines like the ones Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza used in his Dec. 14 rampage that left 20 children and six educators dead, setting the limit at 10 rounds of ammunition.

It added the Bushmaster XM-15 E2S, the semi-automatic rifle used by Lanza, to the list of banned weapons in the state.

All ammunition purchases are also subject to an instant background check.


Neil Vigdor