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You may recall that California’s gun control advocates capitalized on the Isla Vista spree killing by ramming through a bill creating Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs). TTAG identified this as one of the worst civilian disarmament laws in the history of the United States. It eliminates due process for gun owners, directing the state to confiscate legally owned firearms on the basis of secret, unopposed testimony from family members (i.e. a disaffected spouse). The owner must then prove that they are innocent of the accusation. And now Connecticut wants to institute the same thing . . .

Connecticut Representative Rob Sampson, though, is having none of it. In his testimony above, Sampson takes the Constitution State’s Lt. Governor to task for the unconstitutionality of the proposed bill. Lt. Governor Wyman seems tongue-tied on the whole subject of due process, claiming that a GVRO affords the accused this protection.

For taking on the forces of tyranny, and doing so head-on, using facts, Rep. Sampson gets TTAG’s Gun Hero of the Day accolade. The Connecticut GVRO bill will probably pass, but those of us who value our rights appreciate that Rep. Sampson will not let this abomination pass without exposure. [Too bad about the audio. h/t Pascal]

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  1. Every so often……,a politician demonstrates independence, in a positive manner…..

  2. In one ear and out the other. It is good to know at least that not everyone in CT has completely lost their minds.

  3. Gotta say… this guy is kinda awesome. Makes the most straight-forward argument against this sort of law: the constitution says that you cannot be deprived of property without due process. This kind of law deprives you of property, then gives you a process, only after the fact, to get it back. I say “a process” because due process requires that it occur before the action is taken.

  4. This guy is not kinda awesome, he is completely awesome… Take it from us pro 2A citizens that are fighting this nonsense…

  5. Can we have him run for the presidency? Everything he said from beginning to end was right on.

  6. “There is not an appetite for any discussion of new gun control in the state at this time”. Where have I heard that?

  7. It’s unfortunate that the founders didn’t put a provision in the US Constitution that REQUIRED lawmakers to address the constitutionality of proposed laws BEFORE passage, quoting chapter/verse from the US Constitution, that gives them the ability to write said law. Instead, we are stuck getting steamrolled by our government and must prove injury prior to filing suit.

    • Well, judges are already very inclined to allow any law that is for “Public Safety” to get through unscathed, except for the most heinous applications of law. I don’t think it would be all that different.

  8. When are the 100,000+ good and honest felon citizen victims of their last package of unconstitutional laws going to stand up and shout? I don’t feel sorry for them anymore. The only way for the citizens of Connecticut to put an end to this lawlessness is to stand up and fight back. They need to make themselves heard. They need to get out of the closet and put it on the line.

  9. I find it really sad that you and I get excited about things that should be the norm. We’re so used to having rights taken away one at a time that even a mere statement based on the constitution that these people swear an oath to makes us leap for joy. I make that leap for joy, with sadness.

  10. More and more it seems the gun control issue is turning into an X vs. Y battle. You see who keeps running the anti gun movements, who is proposing various pieces of legislation and who is backing it, compared to who is fighting it and there’s a disturbing trend there.

    • Middle-aged bitter Feminists, punishing men for the sin of having been born male.

      Guns are a symbol of masculinity in so many ways.

      If they thought they could find a way to take your balls and your guns, they’d do that. but they can’t so they just take the guns.

  11. Robert, as I’ve posted more than once, your interpretation of the California GVRO is FUD.

    California’s GVRO law does comport with due process, it does NOT allow a “disaffected” spouse to obtain one unless she is a resident of the same household, and it is NOT “secret” as the affidavits filed in support of the temporary order MUST be served on the subject of the temporary order. This has just as much due process protections as a warrant, a process that has withstood constitutional attack. A “disaffected” spouse has far more potent remedies than a mere GVRO–she can apply for and obtain a DVRO, a restraining order that may be enforced through criminal sanction including jail; and a final DVRO may lead to permanent loss of gun rights.

    And the issuance of a “permanent” GVRO does NOT required the subject to prove “innocence” for two reasons: first it is not a criminal action, so “innocence” of a “charge” is not at issue, only whether the subject is an immediate threat of serious injury or death to himself or others, and two, the burden of proof is on the proponent of the order to introduce clear and convincing evidence of the facts. The subject does not have to introduce any evidence unless the proponent meets his/her burden of proof. “Clear and convincing” is much more than a “preponderance of the evidence” (more likely than not), but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And the suspension of gun rights cannot exceed one year. By contrast, a Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150 72 hour hold for “evaluation and treatment”, which may be initiated by a police officer or mental health worker on no more than probable cause and without a warrant, now results in a ten year loss of gun rights, and if that 5150 is converted to a 5152 involuntary two week confinement to a mental institution, the loss of gun rights is permanent. If you were suicidal, which procedure would you rather have imposed on you?

  12. Mark,

    Neither. Regardless of which section of the law it’s under, someone should not be deprived of their rights or property without being convicted of a crime. Leaving a judge to decide if evidence is “clear and convincing” is not the same as a conviction by a jury.

    • If you want to propose that people should be allowed to commit suicide, great, go for it. Good luck with that. Interestingly enough, it is not illegal in California to attempt to commit suicide–although an attempt is a crime in most states. A prohibition that dates back to the Christian theology that suicide is an unforgivable sin (harking back to Judas I suspect).
      It is not a crime to be suicidally depressed or even psychotic. But as we read at least weekly, people with severe suicidal depression will kill themselves, and often take their family with them. Should the family have no remedy at all? Psychotics and schizophrenics who go off their meds will do bizarre and dangerous things–should we allow them to keep their guns despite clear and convincing evidence that they are a risk of harm to themselves or others? These are political questions, not legal ones.
      And under the GVRO procedure, the deprivation of property is only during the period of the order, after which the property must be returned. Civil deprivations of property occur daily–these are called civil lawsuits where someone is injured by another, or breaches a contract, or dissolves a marriage. None require a criminal conviction, none even require a crime.

      But I am not arguing the wisdom or efficacy of the law (which actually does not go into effect until next January)–only that Robert mischaracterizes it and that it passes constitutional muster.

      • Mark, you seem up on this so I’m gonna ask–after the order expires, is the property “automatically” returned (I’m taking that to mean all the guy has to do is go pick it up, with suitable proof of ID), or does the guy have to petition the court in some fashion to get it back? And I will say in RF’s defense–any ex parte proceeding can arguably be called “secret”, at least as far as the not-notified, not present other party is concerned, no? After-the-fact knowledge is hardly an adequate substitute for notice and a hearing.

      • I believe it was impolitic of you to accuse Derek of proposing that, “…people be allowed to commit suicide…”. I’ll attribute it to the intensity of your feeling.

        Sadly, the world is not a perfect place. My heart goes out to any families with seriously depressed loved ones. They have my sympathies.

        That said, giving the state the power, under force of law to deprive persons of their property without due process is a cure worse than the disease. This is true in part because, also sadly, he Government is not perfect either. Time and time again the government has abused power awarded it in a noble purpose.

        So you would give an imperfect and untrustworthy State the power to inflict unwarranted upheaval in others lives in exchange for… in exchange for what exactly? The mere potential to save someone from themselves? There are cases where parents have asked the police for help with their troubled teens – only to have the police show up and immediately murder their loved one. You want more of this? .

        Sadly, sometimes no solution seems ready to hand. We feel powerless. Nearly always, getting the State involved in providing the solution is much worse than doing nothing at all. The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

  13. The Lt Guv and the Guv’s Spox were absolutely clueless. But they know they are in CT where the Constitution is dead.
    At least one person made them sweat just a little bit.
    But then, back in 1980’s a brave women, Dr. Susan Gratia, spoke out in the US congress against the proposed Brady crap and they sat their with expressions of total disdain for this woman.
    Is it even debatable anymore that the North East is lost? They have effectively isolated VT, NH, and Maine from the rest of the country. On cannot safely travel to those states without the risk of long prison sentence unless one travels completely disarmed.

  14. Hes my rep. He comes down to all the gun rallys at the capital and shakes hands. Great guy to have on our side.

  15. CT’s Lt Governor should do a song and dance routine on Broadway. I have never seen anyone dance around so much. She stutters so much is sad to watch and I could not disagree any more about this bill.

    The two woman would lose their minds if they were told, OK, we’re going to take your car and phone away for 2 weeks, then if we discover you did NOTHING, you have to wait 2 years to even think about getting a new phone or car.

    I am sure they thought well nobody will disagree with this bill, if they do we’ll shame them by claiming they hate women and support abuse. Both of the women fail to realize it’s 2015, normal women own firearms too.

    Good luck CT you need it. Enjoy your Lt Gov doing a backstep shuffle.

    • I ask this in all seriousness; was she drunk during this hearing? Honestly, what came out of her mouth was complete gibberish. Not just illogical, it literally made no sense.

      If this bill passes into law after such clear obfuscation, I think it’s pretty clear that there is no hope for this state anymore. Not just on gun laws but in general. Anybody who can vote for this bill after seeing that performance is either a fool or intentionally wants to destroy civil rights.

      • She wasn’t drunk at all. She was stating matters from the perspective of someone who elevates the State to Almighty God status. In her mind, by definition, anything the State does is wholesome and beyond reproach. The law, in her mind, is okay because the State government will pass it according to the published rules of the State. And individual cases satisfy due process, in her mind, because an agent of the State (a judge) signs off on an order.

        What you are seeing is the end result where individual people are irrelevant and the Almighty State is Supreme.

  16. “The Connecticut GVRO bill will probably pass, but those of us who value our rights appreciate that Rep. Sampson will not let this abomination pass without exposure.”

    Rep. Sampson also guaranteed his personal safety if/when the good people of Connecticut and/or the rest of the United States of America finally decide that they have had enough subjugation and humiliation.

  17. Kudos to Rep. Sampson for finally stating, on the public record, the illegality of restraining orders.

  18. Look, you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand “due process”. The representative stated it perfectly, it is the “opportunity to be heard” before your liberty or property is taken away. That entails notice of the hearing. That does not happen in an ex-parte hearing. The Lt Governor is acting the willful fool on this.

  19. Rob Sampson for Governor! I live in the PROCt and we need to push back… The liberals who propose these bills despise the constitutions of both the State of Connecticut and the USA… it doesn’t fit their agenda…

    • “The liberals who propose these bills despise individuals and the constitutions of both the State of Connecticut and the USA.”

      There, I fixed that for you.

  20. All this again, still, from (formerly), The Constitution State. They need the State Motto to reflect a more accurate reflection of the current level of UN- Constitutional status of CT. The folks that can are moving out, best numbers are a 10-15% compliance rate with registering evil “assault weapons” & magazines, they nettled the least amount of new jobs by state, and they will continue a steady decline into a Progressive Unicorn filled utopia.
    Just like Detroit and Chicago.
    Good luck with that.

  21. “…in my mind if something is so dangerous that it would require someone’s firearms taken away, I think that person being accused ought to be arrested immediately. And I’ll just leave it with that. Thank you Mister Chairman.”

    Truer words, Rep. Sampson, truer words.

    Less spoken, I mean. Sorry

  22. ” It’s out of mode nowadays to be patriotic. If you show patriotism you are considered a subversive”.
    Audie Murphy. Fifty years ago. The past is prologue. The war is far from over as long as morons keep electing fascists. The brainwashed never wonder.

  23. Joe Abuser stalks his ex. She gets a gun to protect herself from him. He goes before a judge and gets a GVRO against her, she is disarmed, he stalks and then beats her to death in full knowledge she is unarmed.

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