The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) filed suit on Monday against Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and several leaders of the state’s legislature, alleging that Senate Bill 1160 was improperly introduced and restricted the constitutional rights of the state’s residents.
Senate Bill 1160 is a package of gun-related acts signed into law by Governor Malloy in April, several months after the tragic Newtown shooting that occurred in the East Coast state. In addition to banning a number of “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines, the law also calls for a new application process to purchase long guns and ammunition, longer wait times for these to be processed, and an additional $1 million to fund the state’s firearm trafficking task force. Along with new restrictions on the purchase and ownership of firearms, the law will also affect mental health insurance coverage and security for schools.
Connecticut’s firearm industry has not failed to notice the new legislation. Gun manufacturer PTR Industries has already announced a move to South Carolina in light of the new restrictions, while nearby Stag Arms ponders following suit. Gun owners and organizations like the NSSF and National Rifle Association were overwhelmingly opposed to the bill’s passage.
“A 139-page bill was assembled behind closed doors, bypassing both the public hearing and committee processes, and quickly sent to floor votes on the same day in both the House and Senate where legislators did not have adequate time to even read the bill,” said Lawrence G. Keane, the NSSF’s senior vice president and acting general counsel in a press release. “The governor then signed the package into law the next day.”
In the lawsuit, the NSSF alleges that the enactment of the new law–which went into effect on July 1–violated due process. The organization is now asking the federal court in the District of Connecticut to invalidate the law and to issue an injunction.
“All of this is in violation of guarantees citizens are supposed to have under Connecticut State Statutes and protections in our State and U.S. Constitutions for which our forefathers fought,” Keane continued. “Our suit focuses on this abuse of process that has resulted in enacted law that does nothing to improve public safety, while resulting in adverse effects on law-abiding citizens, manufacturers, retailers and sportsmen’s organizations.”
Image by Phan Milne/Phan Dillon, released in the public domain