CT Legislators Declare War on Second Amendment

Just a Bill...

Just a Bill…

(UPDATED) Well, it certainly didn’t take long for the left-wing gun-haters in the Connecticut legislature to trot out their proposals.  It’s almost like the proposals were already written, and they were just waiting for some dead bodies to stand on while they presented the Bills.  Well, Rahm Emmanuel always said to never let a crisis go to waste…

This post is a long one, so refill your glass.

(more)

Here is a list of the proposed laws (posted at the CCDL website):

Current proposed gun laws

Take a look at the overreaching on that list:

  • Forcing gun owners to take out liability insurance policies.
  • Four bans on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (illegaller, times 4!).
  • Three expansions of the existing statewide “assault weapons ban”.
  • A limitation of one gun purchase per month.
  • Increasing taxes on ammo.
  • Requiring a gun permit to buy ammo, and banning mail order ammo sales.
  • Removing barriers to police chiefs denying gun permits on a whim.
  • A ban on any gun, magazine or clip that holds more than 1 (one!) round.

It’s a liberal’s wet dream.

Today, January 28, was the public hearing of the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group.  The Working Group (of CT state legislators) heard from the police, from the families of Sandy Hook victims, from CT mayors and from the NSSF and several manufacturers.  After that, members of the public would be allowed 3 minutes to speak, determined by lottery.  Those who were not able to speak would be able to submit written testimony to the committee.  I submitted testimony, and will follow up by email to the Republican members of the committee.

Who is the Working Group?  Sen. Martin Looney (D), Co-chair; Rep. Craig Miner (R), Co-chair; Sen. Eric Coleman (D); Sen. John Fonfara (D); Sen. Scott Frantz (D); Sen. Tony Guglielmo (R); Sen. Joan Hartley (D); Sen. John Kissel (R); Sen. Kevin Witkos (R); Rep. Dan Carter (R); Rep. Stephen Dargan (D); Rep. Gerald Fox III (D); Rep. Janice Giegler (R); Rep. Bob Godfrey (D); Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R); Rep. Toni Walker (D).  (There are different groups working on School Safety and Mental Health proposals).

Crapgame and I were there, and I brought copies of our two gun facts flyers to distribute.  Our observations, in no particular order:

The place was packed, and 95% of those in attendance were pro-gun. Parking was full by 9:30.  Bob Crook of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen was there, passing out “Another Responsible Gun Owner” stickers.

hearing line

Some of the attendees were embarrassingly obviously on the pro-gun side because of their attire, like the husky bearded guy in the fur coat and hunting pants. Fewer Gadsden flags than I feared however.  With so many TV crews there, it would be easy for the media to pick out the most backwards-looking people and mis-characterize the crowd as being hicks.  That won’t help us win the argument, people.  Take away their ability to stereotype us and you make it harder for them to marginalize us.

They had to open 2 additional rooms to accommodate the overflow, and there still wasn’t enough room. While the hearing room was supposed to remain quiet, the overflow rooms had no such restriction, and pro-gun points made by speakers were cheered.  Only a few lonely voices showed enthusiasm for the anti-gun points.  1300 people signed up to speak. 1300!  Bob Crook of the CCDL was scheduled to testify first during the open session.

Hearing_2E

One issue that was raised was the lack of background checks when selling a long gun in a private sale.  Expanding NICS to cover secondary sales was proposed.

Cromwell police chief Tony Salvatore (also head of CT Police Chiefs Assoc.) testified about a laundry list of anti-gun proposals he would like to see, including eliminating/reforming the Board of Firearm Permit Examiners.  (In CT, the local chief of police has influence over whether a gun permit is issued, and liberal towns make it harder to get a permit.  The Board reviews all appeals to permit denials and has many pro-gun members, and that has some of the liberal chiefs mad that their denials are overturned).  When asked (by Rep. Rosa Rebimbas) if any of the permit holders whose permits were issued over a chief’s denial had committed any crimes, Chief Salvatore claimed ignorance.

Salvatore also claimed that the police should be exempt from any magazine size restriction and should still be allowed to have weapons off-duty because of their job requirements and their “extensive” training, which he admitted when questioned further was “3 hours per year“.  The overflow room erupted in derisive laughter, and catcalls about cops shooting 9 civilians at the Empire State Building.

State Rep. Dan Carter (R) is not going to be much of an asset in this fight.  He seems willing to go along with any anti-gun measure proposed, and asked many ignorant questions like “What about guns with folding barrels?”  If you live in Carter’s district, start calling to pressure him to get his facts straight. (UPDATE: I am told that Carter was actually playing dumb to elicit useful information from the law enforcement personnel testifying.)

Rep. Craig Miner (R) seemed very level-headed, and counseled caution to avoid passing any law that would be ineffective.  “Another list of banned guns won’t help” is one of the phrases I recall.

The NSSF representative and the manufacturers acquitted themselves well.  They did a good job of conveying their long focus on product safety, and also managed to make it clear that their CT-based jobs were dependent upon civilian sales of guns (Colt and Stag especially).  Ron Coburn of Savage asked why we still didn’t have the facts on Sandy Hook.

While the Co-Chair of this committee (the aptly-named Martin Looney, a Democrat) is a well-known anti-gunner (and the CT legislature is controlled by Democrats), he seems to be letting State Sen. President Pro Tempore Don Williams (D) serve as his stalking horse.  While Williams (who represents a bunch of sparsely-populated towns) is not named as part of this subcommittee, he was nonetheless taking part in today’s hearing.

The snarky, ignorant Williams is going to be a thorn in the side of anyone who cares about facts & common sense.  He began his questioning by asking the NSSF attorney to comment on an anti-gun New York Times article (shocker, I know) which he had not read.  He then proceeded to chum the anti-gun waters by spewing a variety of fabrications & distortions:

  • Whining that the manufacturers shouldn’t use the words of Kennedy or Lincoln because both had been killed by guns
  • Claiming the Smith&Wesson promised Smart Gun technology in 2000 but were “ganged up on” by other manufacturers and saw a 40% sales drop (In fact, it was a civilian boycott that, by definition, competing gun companies had no role in) and “caved to opinion
  • Claiming that Smart Gun technology exists and is viable
  • Claiming that Smith&Wesson has an “armor-piercing pistol
  • Claiming that gun companies had special protection from tort lawsuits

The NSSF lawyer interrupted to correct this particular lie; in fact, gun manufacturers are subject to the same product liability claims as any other company.  They do have protection against lawsuits which have have no basis in fact, namely that they sell a lawful product in accordance with the law and are not responsible for what happens to that product after it enters private hands.  The NSSF attorney used the example of Ford not being liable for drunk drivers getting into accidents.  Williams still tried to push his claim but apparently the gallery in the hearing room was jeering him because his pal Looney had to admonish the room to be quiet.  Folks, we need to get rid of Williams at the next election.

The young, green and inarticulate mayor of Torrington, Ryan Bingham, is the president of the CT Conference of Municipalities, and offered 13 anti-gun measures which included the usual magazine bans, “assault weapon” bans, etc.  Most interesting was the testimony of his companion, New Haven mayor John DeStefano (D).  DeStefano refused to openly support an assault weapons ban by name.  He categorized New Haven’s crime problem (one of the worst in CT) as having 3 components: gang violence in poor minority neighborhoods (3/4 of the problem) which he said didn’t involve assault rifles, armed robberies & street disputes, and spree shootings (addressable by access to guns and mental health changes).  His proposals were: stricter licensing standards, enhanced purchase requirements, and mandatory registration.  Again, given DeStefano’s history, that is remarkably mild (but I still don’t support it.)

Of the testimony offered by the victims families, it encompassed the entire spectrum.  One grieving mother indignantly read a rehearsed statement demanding confiscation of all assault weapons, registration of their owners, and liability insurance requirements.  But another grieving parent delivered powerful testimony that pointed out that gun control is not the answer.

While we could not stay for the entire hearing, we noticed that two themes that kept recurring in the pro-gun testimony: acceptance of some improvement in NICS, and some kind of safe storage requirement.

To all those who made it to the hearing, we thank you.  You helped send a clear message about the popularity of gun ownership in CT.  And as much as the rabid anti-gunners on the committee might try to ignore you, your sheer numbers will force them to tread lightly or face your wrath at election time.

 

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5 Responses to “CT Legislators Declare War on Second Amendment”

  1. [...] Guys, this link is a good write up of the day in Hartford Monday as it really happened. I stayed until I was able to testify at 1:10 PM. We arrived at 9 am. I can not tell you how powerful it was to be with such a large crowd who were all aligned to protect your right to keep and bare your Arms. It was also powerful to talk with the families from Newtown. These people have been though a lot and I understand how their community has been torn apart. The speakers were 5 to 1 pro firearms and almost all were very polite and well spoken. Nearly 85 percent were dressed in their best Sunday suits. This is all about perception and the press was watching. I am curious as to what you saw in your news about this and how it played. Please take a moment to watch the video feed in this article of the Father of one of the Newtown victims. His words raised the whole building in applause. Be very aware the Chief of Police from Cromwell who is the head of the CT police chiefs association does not believe in the Constitution. He asked who was going to pay for his men to come get the guns he wants banned and confiscated. Senator Williams is looking to take Chuck Shummers spot on the national stage as a gun ban pro. He was totally against NSSF training young shooters to be safe with a firearm. He wants no youth use of guns. Thanks for making calls and sending emails. We need to keep asking friends to do the same and add the the momentum from yesterday. The task force is not firearms friendly. But they are listening to the phone calls and emails and taking a count. Please forward this to all you know who shoot legally in CT. Bob Butler Note: Hand ejector this link is the only mostly accurate write up of what happened in the state house I have seen so far. CT Legislators Declare War on Second Amendment | Yankee Gun Nuts [...]

  2. [...] CT Legislators Declare War on Second Amendment [...]

  3. Connecticut Resident says:

    I can not wait for all the gun companies and supporting companies to leave the state . Where will D-D-D-Dannel Malloy be then ? The state fiscal boat is sinking and the legislature planning the next banquet . They don’t care what the people want. How many residents wanted to eliminate capital punishment ? Didn’t matter,they did it. I did ask my state rep why are RETIRED police exempted in most of these laws ? Why not retired military as well ? Our pensions are 1/4 to 1/2 retired police .If I could,I’d move out of this state .Hard to believe this state was once The Arsenal of Democracy .

    • Crapgame says:

      I agree — we should encourage them to leave the state. We need to starve the Beast, both at the national and the local level.

  4. Mopar says:

    A few corrections:
    Bob Crook is not with the CCDL, he’s with the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen. He was passing out the yellow gun owner stickers. He said he ran out at 1100.

    CCDL was there in force, Including all of our officers and most of the executive board. We gave out 800 CCDL stickers to CCDL members that were in attendance, and didn’t get everyone.

    Dan Carter was the greatest asset gun owners had up there that day. He knows far more then you think. His questions were not because he didn’t know something as much as they were to try and get the state police to say certain things on the record. He was actually in contact with CCDL members throughout the entire process.

    Come to our next meeting, Feb 12th at 7pm at the Elks Lodge in Middletown, CT if you would like to become more active in protecting your gun rights.

    • Mopar says:

      PS: that hearing was just the beginning…. The public hearing was a sham. It meant nothing. Williams still fully intends to go the E-CERT (emergency certified bill) route. That will bypass all the committee hearings, and a public hearing on the specific bill they propose, and go right to the floor for a vote before the end of the month. This is really the same thing NY did, there won’t be any discussion allowed on the actual bill.

  5. Gunnutmegger says:

    Thx for the info. Will update the post.