A win in Connecticut. A US District Court has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Governor of Connecticut’s executive order allowing the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to suspend taking fingerprints (necessary to purchase a firearm) during the declared coronavirus emergency.
In Connecticut, you cannot acquire, possess, or carry a handgun without a state permit or certificate. To get a permit or certificate, you must go to the local police or the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (“DESPP”) to have an officer there collect your fingerprints for purposes of a criminal background check.
Under Connecticut law, employees for the local police and DESPP may not refuse to collect the fingerprints of a person who seeks to apply for a handgun permit or certificate. In light of the exigencies of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Governor of Connecticut issued an executive order nearly three months ago that indefinitely suspends this law for so long as the COVID-19 emergency may continue.
The executive order leaves it to the discretion of state and local police whether to conduct fingerprinting, thus empowering the police to functionally deny the right of new applicants to acquire, carry, and possess a handgun. Consistent with the Governor’s order, DESPP and some unknown number of police departments have suspended all fingerprint collection activities that the law used to require them to do….
The Governor’s Executive Order No. 7E and the Commissioner’s implementation of the order plainly burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment. Because these actions result in the suspension of fingerprinting while not suspending the statutes that make fingerprinting necessary to issuance of a handgun permit or certificate, they categorically foreclose a person who does not already have a permit or certification from acquiring a handgun if the person’s fingerprints are not already on file. One cannot exercise the right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense if one is prevented from acquiring a handgun in the first place….
US District Court opinion in Connecticut Citizens Defense League v. Lamont