NSSF Sues to Reverse CT Gun Control
Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 6:31:52 PM
On July 8, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, filed suit in federal court for the District of Connecticut alleging that Gov. Dannel Malloy and the leadership of the Connecticut General Assembly misused the so-called “emergency certification” exception to circumvent the safeguards of the normal legislative process and in violation of Connecticut statutory law in order to pass Senate Bill 1160, a package of strict gun-control regulations.
The suit further alleges that enactment of the new law violates fundamental due process rights guaranteed by both the Connecticut and United States Constitutions. NSSF is asking the court to declare the law invalid and issue an injunction prohibiting its enforcement.
“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. 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,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel, NSSF. “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.”
The law bans the sale of more than 100 types of military-style rifles, penalizes gun owners who don’t register with the state police by January 1, and limits magazine sizes to 10 bullets.
Also, NSSF is withdrawing its support for federal legislation that would establish the Coltsville National Historical Park in Hartford, citing recent passage of the state’s new gun control law.
In letters to the state’s congressional delegation and governor, Lawrence G. Keane, the senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the industry is “offended by the hypocrisy of our elected officials in Congress and the state government” to advocate for legislation paying homage to the firearms industry and the iconic Colt firearms factory while pursuing gun control legislation.
“As major contributors to the state’s economy, we find it unacceptable for lawmakers to propose banning our products and hindering our ability of Connecticut companies to grow their businesses, create more good-paying manufacturing jobs, and contribute hundreds of millions in taxes,” Keane wrote in the letters released Tuesday.
He called the state’s legislation “job-killing” because it bans many of the most popular and commonly owned firearms that the foundation’s members manufacture.