SAF, CCDL Sue Connecticut Over Magazine Capacity Limit Law

Standard capacity ar-15 magazines


From the Second Amendment Foundation . . .

The Second Amendment Foundation and Connecticut Citizens Defense League have filed suit in Federal District Court challenging the State of Connecticut’s prohibition on ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds, or loading more than ten cartridges into a so-called “high capacity magazine.”

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Connecticut residents Susan Ross and Domenic Basile. Plaintiffs are represented by noted civil rights attorney David Jensen of New York.

Named as defendants are Connecticut State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas; Commissioner James C. Rovella of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., all in their official capacities. The case is known as Ross v. Mellekas.

The lawsuit alleges state violations of the Second and Fourteenth amendments. Since 2013, Connecticut statute has prohibited individuals from having magazines containing more than ten rounds of ammunition. Violations of the statute can be prosecuted as Class D felonies.

Ross owns a pistol with an original-capacity magazine that can hold 17 cartridges and Basile has pistols that hold 15 rounds in their magazines. Both are licensed to carry for personal and family protection, yet they justifiably worry that they could be prosecuted for carrying fully-loaded defensive sidearms under the state law.

“This law does nothing more than penalize law-abiding citizens while criminalizing components of handguns they own that were previously legal,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This is a text book example of turning honest citizens into criminals by the mere stroke of a pen by the governor.

“Original capacity magazines are not dangerous or unusual,” he continued. “They’re in common use all over the country. But the Connecticut law makes it illegal to use such magazines, which amounts to a deprivation of rights under federal law. Neither SAF nor our partners at CCDL could stand by and allow that to happen.”

“In their rush to ‘do something’ in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook,” Jensen said, “politicians in Connecticut enacted a slew of restrictions that severely limit the right of self-defense, while doing nothing to prevent future tragedies from occurring. Nothing is more emblematic of this than the State’s requirement that lawful gun owners load their legally owned magazines to less than their full capacity as a means of supposedly inhibiting future mass murders. We are pleased to help get this ridiculous restriction off the books.”


The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.


  1. avatar Napresto says:

    NY has the same law, effectively, but I know of no suit that has gone anywhere on the issue in NY. Why will Connecticut be different? (I ask this hoping it will be)

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      They made it to Federal court first with someone who has the money to pay for the suit. Also we do have the Sullivan act to reduce the pool of potential litigants on the pistol side of things. Up end it’s in our district.

    2. avatar kevin says:

      A federal judge in CA recently held that the 10 round limit was arbitrary and hampered a person’s ability to use a gun effectively for self defense. The State appealed it, obviously, but it signals that there is still a possibility of rational minds prevailing.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        I posted this earlier today and saw it appear on this thread. Came back later and it’s been removed. Don’t know why…it’s completely relevant to the topic and the comment directly above. Here it is again:

    3. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      The NY law that one could only load 7 rounds into a 10-round magazine was struck down by the court.

      1. avatar Napresto says:

        True, but not the law that NY gun owners can only load a ten round magazine into a 30 round magazine well…

        1. avatar Keevin says:

          Strange – I was not aware that a magazine well coule be made for only a certain capacity. I have seen 50-round magazines for pistols that come stock with 15 or 17-round maggazines and as for the AR platforms that can use 10 or 20 or 30-round magazines. I suppose someone could make a 5-round or 50-round & still fit the same magazine well. Am I missing something?

        2. avatar napresto says:

          A joke, my friend. Just a joke. In NY, I own several guns that can happily accept larger magazines than 10-rd, but I am prevented from buying and owning them.

      2. avatar BusyBeef says:

        but the politicians still haven’t bothered to change the law

  2. avatar TommyGNR says:

    Its good to see they are using the 14th amendment. One of the motivations behind section 1 was states making carve out gun control laws.

    1. avatar kevin says:

      Civil rights are always preserved in the courtroom, not the voting booth.

  3. avatar Shawn says:

    Great, another lawsuit that will go nowhere when the courts side with the state setting the precedent magazine capacity limits are constitutional. Even thought other courts have already deemed it so.

    I have no faith in the courts anymore. Why should I when they always side with the state no matter how erroneous the ban is? At this point I say most judges Want not only gun ownership to be totally illegal but for the government to be able to kill every single gun owner in the country.

    1. avatar Pistis says:

      Oh ye of little faith, don’t forget what one federal judge did in CA, effectively making modern magazines no longer prima facie evidence of a crime. CA has to now spend lots more dollars in trying to defend their anti freedom ban. Get enough of these rulings around the country and watch the Karens at at Mom’s Demand Action (that gets more people killer) fold. It really does suck that things are taking so long to remedy, but I think things are turning in our favor.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:


        Exactly the point I’ve made several times over recent weeks. It takes time and money to have an unjust law overturned via the courts, but it can and does happen. What most people don’t realize is that unconstitutional laws (such as CA’s gun/ammo laws) are laid on top of each other like a Jenga puzzle. When one is overturned and removed, the other laws may continue to stand for the time being, and naysayers will shake their heads and declare that “nothing good will come of our efforts”. But when a few more key laws are overturned, then all the others which depend upon them for precedence will collapse on their own, and the Jenga falls down.

        Be patient. Be diligent.

        1. avatar Red in CO says:

          Precedent, while theoretically a pillar of the appellate courts, only matters when they decide to apply it, and they do so in a very selective manner. I applaud any and all efforts to get bullshit laws repealed but let’s not kid ourselves that it has any real effect; they can and do pass ten new crap laws in the time it takes us to overturn one. Only way we’d remedy this situation is if we had a generation or more to pack the courts at every level with true constitutionalist judges, which won’t happen for a half dozen reasons. The judiciary is 100% useless

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Red, read my previous comment again, especially the point about the Jenga.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Red in CO,

          I would not go so far to say that the courts are 100% useless. 99% useless? Sure. But 100%, no.

    2. avatar JC says:


      SAF is NOT the GOA. SAF is an organization specifically for bringing forward cases that can set good precedents. They DO NOT choose their cases frivolously.

  4. avatar cgray says:

    That’s cute. The supreme law of the land is whatever the Soviet Democrat Party says it is, not some “constitution” thingy.

    1. avatar Darkman says:

      Actually It’s being left up to 9 people who answer to no one. Who’s decision Can’t Be Overturned. Instead of the founding document of OUR Nation. Who could possibly is the danger in that.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        This is the common perception, but it’s not constitutional. SCOTUS is supposed to provide their opinions on constitutional matters to Congress for them to consider, and then decide whether to act. SCOTUS is not supposed to directly affect our own lives.

        There are not – and have never been – three equal branches of government per the Constitution. But that’s been discussed here ad nauseum already.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Yeppers. I keep TTAG open in the background in a minimized window and check in from time to time throughout the day. Because it’s such a joy interacting with people like you.

        2. avatar Void says:

          When the unemployed/paid poster produces less coherent messages than the workaholic……

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    Always remember the SCOTUS came after the country was founded not when.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Darnit now I need to reread Marbury vs Madison and try to remember the reasoning forming the supremacy clause.

  6. avatar WI Patriot says:

    I don’t have any “magazines”, just catalogs and books…

  7. avatar Dale Menard says:

    Actually, it depends on one guy, John Roberts. This scares the heck out of me.

  8. avatar william h cihak says:

    We should call them “regular” magazines…I think that comes across as easier for uninformed Americans to understand them….

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    If this gets to SCOTUS, I wonder of Chuck The Schmuck will threaten Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:


    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      ” I wonder of Chuck The Schmuck will threaten Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.”

      Ralph, a question –

      When ‘Chuck The Schmuck’ threatened Kav and Gore a few days back, who would they have called to report a criminal act of attempting to influence a federal judge?

      Who’s the “Controlling legal authority”?

      As far as I’m concerned, I wish they had both signed a complaint…

    3. avatar jwm says:

      I hope he does. Or another leftard. I want scotus pissed and looking for an ass to plant that boot in.

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        Questioning the authority of a government official tends to get that result can only imagine what threatening one will produce.

  10. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    A magazine ban is a gun ban.

  11. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Law upheld. Kourt to rubber stamp law. As always. Insanity.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      What is your solution, florida man?

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