BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in federal district court, challenging the ban on so-called “assault weapons” in Connecticut, and asking for declaratory and injunctive relief.
SAF is joined by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and three private citizens, Eddie Grant, Jr., Jennifer Hamilton, and Michael Stiefel. Named as defendants are Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, plus James Rovella, commissioner of the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; Chief State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin and several other officials. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Doug Dubitsky of North Windham, Conn., Craig C. Fishbein of Wallingford, Conn., and Cameron L. Atkinson of New Haven.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
Connecticut’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” dates back to 1993. The state criminalizes the possession, sale or transfer of such firearms—about 160 guns named in four subsections—even though many of these guns are in common use across the country.
“The ban was previously upheld, but that was before the Supreme Court handed down its Bruen ruling earlier this year,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “That landmark decision eliminated the ‘two-part test’ which included an interest-balancing provision that didn’t pass constitutional muster.”
According to the lawsuit, the current ban deprives “responsible citizens of their Second Amendment rights under the guise of providing a panacea for social problems that Connecticut remains unable to solve.”
Gottlieb said there is no historical foundation for such a ban, and the complaint actually details the historical development of firearms including repeating rifles developed and manufactured in Connecticut and elsewhere. The lawsuit also mentions incidents in which modern semiautomatic rifles were used by private citizens to stop violent crimes.