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Setback in Connecticut ‘only first battle in multi-year legal war’

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A federal judge has upheld the State of Connecticut’s sweeping gun control laws enacted last year in response to the Sandy Hook “gun-free zone” shootings, the Associated Press reported Thursday. United States District Court Judge Alfred Covello at Hartford issued a 47-page ruling in the case of Shew v. Malloy admitting “While the act burdens the plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights," but then claiming "it is substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control.”

Judge Covello, a George H.W. Bush nominee, reasoned the law should stand because “the legislation here does not amount to a complete prohibition on firearms for self-defense in the home.

“Indeed, the legislation does not prohibit possession of the weapon cited as the ‘quintessential self - defense weapon’ in Heller, i.e., the handgun. In other words, ‘the prohibition of [assault weapons] and large - capacity magazines does not effectively disarm individuals or substantially affect their ability to defend themselves,’” Covello elaborated, leaving the Constitutional mandate “shall not be infringed” unacknowledged.

“Brian Stapleton, the lawyer for a group of Connecticut organizations that support gun rights, pistol permit holders and gun sellers, said he will appeal,” the AP report advised, and another attorney has elaborated on those plans.

“Today's ruling from the U.S. District Court of Connecticut in the 2nd Amendment challenge to Connecticut's new firearms law was expected,” lawyer Martha Dean told her followers on Facebook. “As the legal team for the plaintiffs warned from the outset, the federal courts in this region of the U.S. are generally hostile to 2nd Amendment rights. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals is the next step, but the prospects for a more favorable decision are as bleak there as they were in the lower federal court in Hartford.

“This is why the legal team has stated from the beginning that the case of Shew v. Malloy must be set up to go the distance -- all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the court will have to address these divergent views of our fundamental liberties,” Dean explained.

Advising friends not to “lose heart,” Dean characterized the setback as “simply the first battle in a multi-year legal war -- and it is only one of many fronts on which we are fighting.

“People from around the country are asking how to help out with this legal effort,” Dean added in a follow-up post. “Connecticut Citizens Defense League (one of the plaintiffs) is the one managing the money raised and all involved have asked that contributions be directed there. Supporters of the litigation can make online donations (100% goes to the Shew v. Malloy litigation effort -- CCDL covers its minimal operating expenses through other revenue) -- here's the link: http://ccdl.us/blog/2013/05/24/litigation-fund/.”

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When your turn to be tested comes, how will you fare? Wouldn’t it be better to stop the antis before they get that far? How can we, if most gun owners let a relative handful of activists do all the work? The latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "The Unconstitutional State.”

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