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It looks like in passing their recent gun control legislation, the folks in Connecticut took a page out of New York’s playbook and passed the new laws without the required hearings and waiting periods. There’s been speculation that it was done to keep the legislators from having to actually listen to their constituents before passing the new laws. Of course, that would be ironic, since waiting periods are something that legislators seem to love when it comes to gun purchases. Anyway, the NSSF is up in arms (legally speaking) over the rush job, and has filed suit in Connecticut to have the laws repealed. Make the jump for their presser . . .

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today filed suit in federal court for the District of Connecticut alleging that Governor 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 filing can be accessed at http://www.nssf.org/share/PDF/NSSFComplaint-FILED_070813.pdf.

The Connecticut Law Tribune recently editorialized on this topic. That editorial can be accessed at http://ctlawtribune.com/PubArticleCT.jsp?id=1202608974608

13 Responses to NSSF Files Suit in Connecticut over Assault Weapons Ban

  1. This is hopeless. There was already a lawsuit in NY challenging Coumo’s use of “message of necessity” to rush through the SAFE Act. Even though message of necessity by the guvnah was misused, it is not subject to judicial review. No court will overturn a law that was passed by a legislature unless the law itself is subject to review.

    I don’t even see where the NSSF has standing in the matter.

    • Two things. The NY Suite has been kicked up to their higher courts. The lower courts said they need to defer to the upper courts per some prior ruling. Second, the SCOTUS has said they are getting mighty tired of these “emergency” laws. Many having to do with gay marriage and other items not necessarily involving guns have said they are ready to hear a case. Because, what is to stop a legislature from making everything an emergency.

      At the same time, I agree, the courts have never wanted to get into the sausage making process but now it is being abused.

      • To clarify. The NY trial courts denied relief because of prior NY appellate decisions (by which trial courts are bound as a matter of law) concluding that the determination of an “emergency” was not judicially reviewable, as it is an act within the Legislature’s discretion. That (entirely foreseeable) determination has been appealed, but the probability of reversal is slim to none.

      • There were laws broken, if you read the PDF link in the article to the NSSF complaint it says why they are involved and the illegal actions in pushing SB 1160.

    • NSSF’s case is different from the NY case because, inter alia, it is a different law with different requirements. In NY you cannot challenge the sufficiency of the “opinion” In CT, in this case, there was no “statement of facts” at all. We are challenging the plain as day failure to provide a statement of facts, we are not challenging the sufficient of the statement – there isn’t one to challenge. We have standing because we are a CT company and have CT member companies who were denied due process rights by the failure of the Genereal Assembly to follow the law, we were denied time to read the bill, to testify in public hearings, to express our views to the legislature.

    • The site is back online. Here is what they are saying

      “Judge Robert Satter, in Under the Gold Dome: An Insider’s Look at the Connecticut Legislature (2009), noted the increasing frequency of legislative leadership’s use of emergency certification to “bypass committees and get desired bills to the floor.” According to research provided by the legislative library that he cited, during regular sessions from 1993 to 1998, emergency certification was used an average of six times; from 1999 to 2002, an average of 1.5 times; in 2003, eight bills were given e-certification; in 2004, nine; in 2005, there were 15; in 2006, six; in 2007, 33; and in 2008, five bills were given emergency certification.

      “This escape valve,” Satter says, “circumvents the pattern of committees initially making judgments about bills, and has the potential for seriously eroding the integrity of the legislative process.”

  2. If Republicans win in any of these districts/states, and these anti-gun laws are not overturned, then the whole country will be lost.

  3. I find it amusing politicians csn pass gun control stuff in a matter of days but when it comes do doing what is truly needed…nothing gets done. The entire system needs an overhaul.

  4. I don’t get this BS that “the legislators didn’t even have time to read it.” If I were a legislator, and didn’t have time to read a bill or thought, even for a moment, that there was any wrong-doing in the process, I would vote against it. But then again, I’m probably significantly smarter than your average state legislator.

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