BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Connecticut Citizens Defense League have filed suit in Federal District Court challenging the State of Connecticut’s prohibition on ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds, or loading more than ten cartridges into a so-called “high capacity magazine.”
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Connecticut residents Susan Ross and Domenic Basile. Plaintiffs are represented by noted civil rights attorney David Jensen of New York.
Named as defendants are Connecticut State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas; Commissioner James C. Rovella of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., all in their official capacities. The case is known as Ross v. Mellekas.
The lawsuit alleges state violations of the Second and Fourteenth amendments. Since 2013, Connecticut statute has prohibited individuals from having magazines containing more than ten rounds of ammunition. Violations of the statute can be prosecuted as Class D felonies.
Ross owns a pistol with an original-capacity magazine that can hold 17 cartridges and Basile has pistols that hold 15 rounds in their magazines. Both are licensed to carry for personal and family protection, yet they justifiably worry that they could be prosecuted for carrying fully-loaded defensive sidearms under the state law.
“This law does nothing more than penalize law-abiding citizens while criminalizing components of handguns they own that were previously legal,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This is a text book example of turning honest citizens into criminals by the mere stroke of a pen by the governor.
“Original capacity magazines are not dangerous or unusual,” he continued. “They’re in common use all over the country. But the Connecticut law makes it illegal to use such magazines, which amounts to a deprivation of rights under federal law. Neither SAF nor our partners at CCDL could stand by and allow that to happen.”
“In their rush to ‘do something’ in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook,” Jensen said, “politicians in Connecticut enacted a slew of restrictions that severely limit the right of self-defense, while doing nothing to prevent future tragedies from occurring. Nothing is more emblematic of this than the State’s requirement that lawful gun owners load their legally owned magazines to less than their full capacity as a means of supposedly inhibiting future mass murders. We are pleased to help get this ridiculous restriction off the books.”