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Connecticut rights group joins in brief for state gun law challenge

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The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, the Constitution State’s largest gun rights group, joined with several individuals and organizations Friday to file an appellate brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of Shew v. Malloy.

"We have always stated that we would follow through on this matter,” Scott Wilson, president of the group stated in a press release accompanying the brief. "Our constitutional rights are hanging in the balance, and we are obligated to stand up for what we know is right.

“CCDL, along with the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen and a variety of other individual plaintiffs lost on the first go around at the Connecticut Federal District Court but remain committed to utilizing all legal recourse,” Wilson added.

That first setback was reported in this column in January, after United States District Court Judge Alfred Covello issued a 47-page ruling admitting “[T]he act burdens the plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights," but then claiming state infringements were "substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control.”

The brief, filed by a team of attorneys that includes noted Second Amendment lawyer, scholar and author Stephen P. Halbrook, argues that Connecticut’s ban on so-called “assault weapons“ and standard capacity ammunition magazines violates the Second Amendment, and that “provisions of [the] ban are unconstitutionally vague.”

“The semiautomatic firearms the State misleadingly calls ‘assault weapons’ include some of the nation’s most popular firearms,” the introduction informs the court. “Magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition are even more ubiquitous. There are tens of millions in the United States, and they come standard with many of the nation’s most popular firearms.”

While admitting “tremendous gains” in fundraising for the case, there’s still a long way to go, Wilson told supporters on the CCDL blog.

“The path to victory is unfortunately long and expensive, but the cost of defeat is far worse,” he advised.

"Your guns may be next," CCDL warns in a promotional graphic for the litigation fund, explaining why all gun owners should be concerned, and why it is in their interest to support this case. Support for the litigation can be made via online donation, or contributions by check can be mailed to CCDL Inc. PO Box 642, Groton, CT 06340.

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