Previous Post
Next Post

NRA Press Release [via]:

While the state of Connecticut ponders how to handle the owners  of thousands of unregistered semi-automatic firearms and magazines in the state, an important NRA-backed case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s firearm and magazine bans is making its way through the federal courts. The case, Shew v. Malloy, was initiated on May 22, 2013, when lawyers on behalf of June Shew and several other plaintiffs . . .

filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The complaint alleged several violations of the plaintiffs’ rights.

The complaint first claimed that the state’s bans on magazines and certain semi-automatic firearms are in violation of the right to “keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, and as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Next, the complaint argued that the firearm and magazine prohibitions violate the plaintiffs’ right to equal protection under the law, as several classes of government employees are exempt from the ban. Last, the complaint asserted that portions of the Act violate due process, as the ban is vague.

In addition to other extensive support to the case, NRA offered a friend of the court brief on July 15, 2013. The brief explained why Connecticut’s bans should be invalidated.

The brief argued that the Act should not be subject to an interest balancing test. It stated, “[T]he line between permissible and impermissible arms regulations is not to be established by balancing the individual right protected by the Second Amendment against purportedly competing government interests.” To bolster this argument, the brief cited the Supreme Court’s Heller decision extensively.

In a similar vein, the brief cited the Heller decision’s contention that the Second Amendment protects firearms “of the kind in common use.” It went on to cite a variety of evidence in explaining how the semi-automatic firearms and magazines prohibited by Connecticut’s ban are in “common use.” Indeed, as the brief pointed out, the AR-15 is “America’s ‘most popular semi-automatic rifle.’” Were the court nevertheless to apply a balancing test, the brief argued that the act is unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny.

Unfortunately, on January 30, 2014, the district court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, upholding Connecticut’s bans. The case was subsequently appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

On May 23, NRA filed a friend of the court brief with the Second Circuit. The brief began by advocating that the court employ strict scrutiny if it chooses to use an interest balancing test to determine the legality of the bans.

In doing so, the brief cited precedent from other circuits, along with the Supreme Court’s Heller decision.“What is often glossed over,” it stated, “is the fact that the Supreme Court also held a ban on commonly owned long guns, such as those prohibited by the Act, was unconstitutional ….”  Accordingly, the brief argued, the Act’s “provisions fall within the ambit of Heller’s mandate, and must be subjected to at least strict scrutiny.”

The brief also called upon the court to limit the evidence that the state of Connecticut can use to justify the Act. It stated that only the evidence which was considered by the Connecticut legislature at the time of enactment should be used to determine whether the legislature acted reasonably. Further, the brief went on to attack the credibility of evidence used by Connecticut and the District Court, by refuting the so-called “expert” opinions of Dr. Christopher Koper as unreliable.

Other friend of the court briefs were filed in support of the plaintiffs by a variety of organizations, including the Pink Pistols, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, and a coalition of states including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The case is now on appeal before the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit has announced that argument in the case will be heard on December 8, the same day and before the same panel as the pending appeal in the case challenging New York’s “SAFE” Act. We will report on further developments as they become available.


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Non starter. All they have to do is point to pretty much any state touching CT and say “It’s legal there.”

    • …or, the SCOTUS will find it unconstitutional and then MA and NY will be next to be forced to loosen their likewise unconstitional gun laws.

      • All gun laws are unconstitutional, What part of “shall not be infringed upon” and it is backed up by Article 6 of the constitution, which says that “congress and the states shall make no law violate one’s civil rights”.

        • And ^this^ is why the courts are afraid to get involved at all… because there is no way they will invalidate all gun laws and anything less than that is met with scorn by both extremes and usually involves tortured legal reasoning . Constitutional arguments aside, such a position is just not supported by enough of the population to make it viable.

        • It will never be the view of U.S. Courts that any and all restrictions on the freedom to keep and bear arms are infringements, any more than they would eschew completely certain very limited practical restrictions on Free Speech.

          Wise politics makes clear that active reasoned advocacy for strict scrutiny of any restriction is a non-trivial and urgent cause. We are fortunate that advocates devoted to our fundamental liberties are carrying forward truthful and cogent briefs in the matter.

          It remains to be seen whether a Supreme Court that can find a right to privacy in the emanation of a penumbra …sufficient to establish a right to birth control….can discover a right to privacy that covers phone logs and emails reflecting our most private business and relationships. If they cannot discover in the plain words of the constitution sufficient cover to protect the right to standard capacity patrol rifles, liberty does not stand a chance, and the brobdingnagian machine of big money and urban political cabal will smother freedom for a millenium.

          • The restrictions are not just on the Second Amendments, they have put restrictions on our civil rights. Wake up people, we need to take back our rights.

    • Harris. Yee. DeLeon. Some of us live in an “interesting” state. As for Peruta….with Sheriff Gore, Kamala and other so-called officials ignoring a Federal Court ruling, hopefully a positive outcome in Shaw will give them (and — long shot — the legislature) pause.

    • Drake v. Jerejian

      The SCOTUS is wildly inconsistent as to what does and doesn’t merit consideration. There’s about a 0% chance they touch another gun law-related case for a long, long time.

  2. Correction: Shew, not Shaw.

    One way or the other, I don’t see this stopping until it hits the USC. Malloy and Cuomo won’t back down, as failure would be a tacit admission that the laws have precisely nothing to do with public safety, and do nothing to forward that goal. Worse, it would show that at best, the legislature passed law of which it had no understanding and without any public input, and at worst intentionally and willfully violated their constituents Constitutional rights.

  3. The Second Circuit is the ultimate rubber stamp for all things that infringe on the Second Amendment. It’s probably the worst court in the US for gun rights, excepting only the First Circuit and the Third Circuit.

    A couple of years ago, Scalia said that he expected that the next SCOTUS 2A case would review the types of firearms that we the people would be “allowed” to own by our masters (my terminology, not his). I expect that he was right.

    • Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg the ACLU (!!!) lawyer/”justice” could do humanity a favor and drop dead as soon as we get a semi-conservative GOP POTUS with the BALLS to appoint a constitutionally focused REAL Justice in time to have a 6-3 bench and THEN we can burn down a lot of laws. She is holding on with her nails praying for another CONUS hater like the Usurper to get in so she can retire knowing another libtard moron will get a black robe.

      • I wouldn’t call her stupid but she has a terrible record of writing court dissents that amount to tons of complaining with little to zero supporting evidence to back it up.
        And what I read was for voter ID laws. I’m willing to bet she was worse in 2A cases…

  4. Godspeed and give ’em hell. Preserving rights is not a simple and convenient business. Efforts such as this make me proud to be a member of the NRA, while judges that uphold unconstitutional laws fill me with disgust. I trust lawyers, judges, politicians, and constitutional law experts equally: very little.

  5. That was a crappy video. Like the creator never watched it before releasing it or didn’t have anyone peer-edit it.

  6. I agree with the NRA on this, but it seems like the courts screw over our gun ( and other rights) right and left. This is sort of the thing that Patrick Henry warned about in that the balancing of power would be undermined by collusion. This is the problem with the courts being in collusion with the other branches of government; “[T]he line between permissible and impermissible arms regulations is not to be established by balancing the individual right protected by the Second Amendment against purportedly competing government interests.”

    • Agree. If the government has an interest in public safety they should keep away the criminals not take law abiding citizens’ arms.

    • When teachers caught students cheating in elementary school, she would move those students to different seats. Maybe the Senate, House, Courts, and POTUS should all be in different parts of the country so it’d be harder for them to meet. They should all work independently, why shouldn’t they be in different cities.

      That being said, NIMBY!

  7. The equal protection component of the suit raises an interested question. Since the magazine limit is expressly intended to reduce the numbers of victims who can be killed at one loading, it also expressly limits the number of rounds a victim has available to defend himself or herself from said attacker or attackers. The state tacitly recognizes the inherent fallacy in this rule by admitting that some citizens (officials, police, etc.) might well need larger capacity magazines to defend themselves and others in gunfights. The suit quite properly asks why, in a free society, should one class of citizens be given a better chance of surviving a gunfight (i.e., by being allowed to have larger capacity magazines) while the state then turns around and denies another class of citizens the same chance of survival by arbitrarily and capriciously demanding that they defend themselves with lower capacity magazines?

    Essentially, the state is saying that some citizens should bear a higher social cost (measured in chances of being killed, maimed, or convicted of a felony) than other citizens.

    The key terms here are “arbitrary and capricious”. The decision of the state to arbitrarily limit the magazine size of law-abiding private citizens, capriciously assumes that any armed criminal opponent they encounter will be similarly equipped with a low capacity magazine. Given the proclivity of criminally minded individuals to break the law and the common availability of high capacity magazines, that legal contention is fanciful at best.

    • “….the right to bear arms….” we need a clear and consice definition of what is “arms”…in 1776 and taken forward to today, and this can be settled. I have a felling that in the end, round capacity will not be the issue, but rather something else.

  8. Now that they have won their elections, I expect Malloy and Cuomo to double down on getting the bans enforced. The aggressive enforcement will begin after the holidays. It may be mass arrests or they may go out and jail a few to make examples out of them to intimidate the rest of the non compliant.

  9. Internal inconsistencies in argumentation usually reveal the unspoken motives of legal restraints.

    The governing elites, politicians and the extremely rich, put forth the argument that banning patrol rifles and standard magazines is intended to reduce crime. They argue that the idea such items in citizens’ hands could bring an end to tyranny, should one arise….is laughable.

    And yet they go after exactly the self-defense items which are most likely effective against a tyranny, and least likely to be used in the murders of children (AKA violent teenaged drug-dealing rivals). The thing speaks for itself.

  10. Are we even pretending that the United States functions under the rule of law at this point?

    The executive branch does whatever it wants.

    Courts do whatever they want.

    The bureaucracy does whatever it wants.

    You can’t predict legal outcomes in a system no longer bound by law.

  11. I’ll do my part as a (current) Connecticut citizen to fight this BS, but in all honesty, at this point Connecticut is a lost cause. The gun owners of Connecticut are fighting a gun grabber law, in a gun grabber state, run by gun grabbing politicians. It would be an act of awe inspiring luck to get this law overturned. The gun owners of Connecticut are outnumbered. But still I’ll fight. At least until I can make enough money to move.

    Seriously though, this is going all the way to the Supreme Court. No question

  12. I am reminded of the reasoning of a federal district court in Maryland upholding its AR limitations: the fact that the AR is the most popular rifle in America was irrelevant, the only relevant fact (of which their was little to no evidence) was whether the AR had been used “commonly” in MARYLAND for the purposes of self defense. The fact is that the justices in these liberal eastern districts have an undying belief that ARs are “dangerous” and need to be controlled in the public interest. and will say whatever magic words will get them that result even in the face of an absence of evidence to support the finding. The fact that the AR is the modern equivalent of the Brown Bess (the most powerful long arm in its day and sold widely to civilians as well as being the primary arm of the British Army) completely escapes them.

  13. They’ll probably lose. I’ve written off most assault weapon ban court cases as a lost cause. All they do is establish more and more precedent for the (supposed) legality of such laws.

Comments are closed.