Skip to main content

Newtown-based firearm trade group sues for repeal of Connecticut gun laws

By Allison Malloy, CNN
updated 8:25 PM EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The National Shooting Sports Foundation says constitutional procedure wasn't followed
  • The law bans more than 100 types of assault weapons, among other provisions
  • The governor's spokesman says the challenge was expected

(CNN) -- A firearm trade group based in Newtown, Connecticut, has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Dannel Malloy and other state lawmakers in hopes of reversing the state's recently passed strict gun control law.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, the National Shooting Sports Foundation alleges the Connecticut bill that made history for its tough measures on gun control -- including a ban on the sale and purchase of high capacity magazines -- was illegally introduced and rushed through legislation by Malloy and other lawmakers.

The NSSF alleges the bill is in violation of Connecticut's constitution, which states that printed copies of proposed bills must be provided to legislators two days before a vote can take place.

Five things to know about guns

The bill, which passed on April 3 and was signed into law by Malloy the following day, banned more than 100 types of assault weapons, called for background checks on all weapon sales -- including private sales -- and created the nation's first dangerous weapon offender registry.

"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," Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the NSSF, said in a news release.

States tighten, loosen gun laws after Newtown

"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, manufactures, retailers and sportsmen's organizations."

The NSSF, whose headquarters are less than 3 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 students and adults were killed by a gunman on December 14, 2012, wants the laws repealed.

Has the moment passed? Why gun control push fizzled

Andrew Doba, Malloy's spokesman, issued a statement saying, "We've known for some time that groups opposed to the new gun violence prevention law would be filing suit against it. We believe the bill improves public safety, and we will work with the attorney general's office to defend it.

"Let's not forget that this has happened before. In prior instances where Connecticut has passed common sense restrictions on firearms, there have been challenges. They have all been unsuccessful."

Asked if he thinks the laws will be upheld, Doba responded, "That's for the courts to decide."

The lawsuit also names as defendants state legislature leaders J. Brendan Sharkey and Donald Williams Jr.; state Attorney General George Jepsen; Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane; and Reuben Bradford, commissioner of public safety.

Connecticut school shooting: Fast Facts

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:30 PM EST, Fri December 12, 2014
Though Congress hasn't passed any gun reform laws in the two years since the Sandy Hook massacre, there's one senator who's made it his mission to push for changes.
updated 2:14 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Adam Lanza was an isolated young man with deteriorating mental health and a fascination for mass violence, according to a report released by a Connecticut state agency.
updated 10:58 AM EST, Sat December 14, 2013
Horror struck Newtown, Connecticut, in such a disturbing way that the nation still struggles with its impact a year later.
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
Fifty miles from Newtown, workers hate that their products fall into the wrong hand. But the Second Amendment is sacred here.
Rabbi Shaul Praver says people in Newtown have grown weary of syrupy condolences.
updated 7:18 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
Congress may have defeated tighter gun laws, but states have been passing bills of their own in the wake of Newtown
Details continue to emerge about what precisely happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a timeline of events that compiles the latest reporting.
An interactive tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
updated 1:12 AM EDT, Sat May 25, 2013
The public school district will receive $1.3 million to help the community recover from the , U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
Police released new documents related to the shootings last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, but a motive for the attack by the troubled young man remained elusive.
updated 11:26 AM EST, Tue January 15, 2013
His parents remember Dylan Hockley as such a happy child.
updated 10:17 AM EST, Wed December 19, 2012
Amid the chaos that first-responder Ray Corbo witnessed on Friday, there is one image that he will never forget.
updated 10:02 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
In many ways, Josh Stepakoff's childhood came to an abrupt halt at 10:49 a.m. on August 10, 1999.
updated 9:40 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
When Lauren Rousseau's boyfriend wakes up, he can smell her perfume.
updated 10:30 AM EST, Tue December 18, 2012
Placing yourself in the path of flying bullets to protect innocents. It's a job description fitting for a soldier or police officer, but not for a school teacher.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT