According to the complaint, the bill was mistakenly given an “emergency certification” exception, allowing it to forgo the normal legislative review process, which includes input from the public, committee hearings.
“There was no emergency and so there’s no statement of facts as to why this is an emergency,” Lawrence G. Keane, the foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, told The Associated Press. “There was truly no emergency other than a political one.”
Additionally, Keane claimed that the law violates the fundamental due process rights guaranteed by both the Connecticut and U.S. Constitutions.
“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. The governor then signed the package into law the next day,” said Keane in a NSSF press release.
“All of this is in violation of guarantees citizens are supposed to have under Connecticut State Statutes and protections in our State and U.S. Constitutions for which our forefathers fought,” he continued.
Keane is asking the court to rule that the law is invalid and to issue an injunction so that many of the new requirements that have already taken effect — the expanded ban on so-called ‘assault weapons,’ the ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo, the universal background check mandate — are no longer enforced.
“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, manufacturers, retailers and sportsmen’s organizations,” he concluded.
A spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen declined to comment on Monday afternoon regarding the lawsuit, saying his office hadn’t yet received the complaint, according to the AP.
The NSSF lawsuit is the third lawsuit to be filed challenging the constitutionality of SB 1160. A Connecticut-based gun group filed a lawsuit in March arguing that, among other things, the expanded AWB and the magazine ban violate their Second Amendment rights and a member of the Disabled Americans for Firearm Rights filed one saying that the law makes it more difficult for disabled persons to protect themselves.
Though, truth be told, all three lawsuits face and uphill battle. Sure, SB 1160 was conceived under dubious conditions and it does infringe on one’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but the bill still cleared both chambers with bipartisan support: 26-10 in the Senate and 105-44 in the House.
So, even if a federal court declared the law invalid because of improper legislative proceedings, the makeup of the Connecticut General Assembly and the leadership of Malloy all but ensure that more gun control laws would be drafted and approved. In short, the state government needs a complete overhaul if gun owners stand a chance at reversing course.