Connecticut’s law that prohibits semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines is legally challenged.
These gun control measures came into effect following the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Now the association National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) has filed lawsuits against several states to end these bans, including Connecticut.
Heads of state say they will fight to keep the measures in place to avoid unnecessary tragedy.
“We’re not going to let people come in from out of state and send us back,” Attorney General William Tong (D) said. “And putting assault weapons back on our streets, weapons of war, weapons designed for one purpose, and that is to kill people.
“It’s outrageous that people from outside of Connecticut are trying to come in and attack us for our gun laws that have protected us. Especially after Connecticut suffered one of the worst tragedies ever. a state may suffer,” he said.
Meanwhile, a 12-page complaint says the lawsuit upholds the rights of all law-abiding individuals to own and bear arms.
“We don’t forget our members in states like Connecticut,” said Chris Stone, director of communications for the National Association for Gun Rights.
The federal lawsuit is brought by NAGR and New Milford resident Patricia Bringed.
“Our members there are law-abiding citizens, they have the right to keep and bear arms peacefully,” Stone said. “The Heller decision, the McDonald decision and, more recently, the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision have all affirmed that it is an individual’s right to own and bear arms.”
The lawsuit says millions of law-abiding U.S. citizens own semi-automatic firearms for lawful purposes.
According to the complaint, “magazines are unquestionably ‘weapons’ protected by the Second Amendment.”
“The AR-15 is the most commonly purchased and owned semi-automatic rifle in the country,” Stone said. “Yet if you try to own one in the state of Connecticut and you try to own standard capacity magazines suitable for this rifle, you will become a criminal overnight.”
The document also states that the term “assault weapon” is not commonly used in the firearms industry and “…is a rhetorically charged political term intended to elicit the emotions of the public.”
“It’s something that states like Connecticut have done to just basically say, we’re going to take these guns off the market, you can’t own them anymore. And by the way, if you own them, we’re going to make you a criminal,” Stone said.
The complaint calls Connecticut’s ban on such weapons unconstitutional, then calls on the defendants, including Governor Ned Lamont, to justify the regulation.
“Let me say this about the legal challenge, there’s no way they’ll win,” Tong said. “Connecticut’s gun laws are constitutional. They’ve been challenged before, we’ve beaten them before, we beat the NRA in 2016. And we’re going to beat them again.
Tong says implementing these gun control measures in 2013 has made a difference.
“I think we’ve proven that in the last ten years since Sandy Hook, these laws have protected us,” he said. “We are one of the safest states in the country. Regarding gun violence. I think most people in Connecticut agree with our laws, they want to safeguard and protect those laws.
Lamont also promises to protect the measurements.
“Connecticut’s law banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines was passed as part of a bipartisan effort to prevent unnecessary tragedy and is overwhelmingly supported by the people who live here. It has withstood previous legal challenges despite persistent efforts by opponents of gun safety to undermine it,” Lamont said in a statement. “When it comes to the safety of the people of our state, we need to stand up and do what’s right – that’s why I’ve proposed to strengthen, not weaken, our assault weapons law more early this year.”
The executive director of CT against gun violence wants to see a strong response from state lawmakers, citing Sandy Hook and other tragedies where these types of weapons have been used.
“In Connecticut, we know very well what it can do to have an assault weapon in the hands of someone who poses a danger to themselves or others. We’ve seen it with the Sandy Hook tragedy, and we’ve seen we’ve seen it since then,” said Jeremy Stein, executive director of CT Against Gun Violence.
“AR-15s and assault weapons have been used in shootings at Sandy Hook, Parkland, Aurora, Pulse nightclub, Las Vegas, and the list goes on and on. We need to make sure these weapons of war are not in the hands of civilians,” he continued.
In response to the lawsuit, The Sandy Hook Promise encourages communities to continue to pass common sense gun laws, writing in a statement:
“As state courts — including Connecticut — listen to arguments asserting that Bruen’s standard of historical analysis is grounds for repealing bans on semi-automatic firearms, we ask them to consider the facts of recent history. This tells us that these weapons, along with high-capacity magazines, are increasingly being chosen above all else by those intent on causing mass death and harming our communities.
The nonprofit adds, “We can protect our children’s lives and also protect the Second Amendment.”
On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers will discuss the lawsuit in more detail at a press conference. Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Tong and other Democratic leaders will denounce the lawsuit at the State Capitol at 2:30 p.m.
NAGR filed similar trials against Massachusetts, Colorado, Hawaii and Highland Park and Naperville, Illinois.