Connecticut Bar Association’s Support of 2013 Gun Ban is Deplorable
Connecticut Carry Calls for Public Denouncements of Proposal
New Britain CT, July 18, 2014
Connecticut Carry has been made aware that the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) has proposed to its members that the CBA wishes to file an Amicus, or ‘friend of the court’, Brief in the case of Shew v Malloy in support of the defendant, the State of Connecticut. Ironically, the section of the CBA which has brought this topic for this called “Human Rights and Responsibility”, with their mission being:
“This section focuses on the enforcement, protection, and development of legal protections, which safeguard the rights of individuals”
By proposing to support the 2013 Gun Ban in Connecticut, they have chosen to attack ‘the rights of individuals’ instead of safeguarding those rights. By choosing this stance, they also imply that the 2013 Gun Ban somehow supports ‘Human rights’, even though there is no more of a basic or important human right than the right to self-defense, which they advocate opposing with their proposal. They also inversely imply that the amici on the other side of the issue, including the International Law Enforcement Education and Trainers Association (ILEETA), Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF), Law Enforcement Action Network (LEAN), current and retired state and local law enforcement officers, and the Attorney Generals of 23 states are somehow against human rights by opposing the 2013 Gun Ban, a de-facto infringement on individual rights.
In response to this proposal, Attorney Rachel M. Baird of Torrington, CT wrote a scathing letter to the Connecticut Bar Association, which she is a member of. Attorney Scott D. Camassar of the law firm Stephen M. Reck, LLC and Attorney Martha Dean have joined in Attorney Baird’s criticism of the Connecticut Bar Association, bringing up very valid and critical points about the goals of the CBA and their understandings of what the CBA was supposed to stand for.
But, as Connecticut Carry is pointing out, this is not the Connecticut Bar Association’s first foray into advocating against the right to self-defense. In a letter dated 03/12/2013, the Connecticut Bar Association recommended that the legislature pass edicts that later became the basis for SB 1160, otherwise known as the 2013 Gun Ban. In their letter, they advocated on behalf of:
· Universal background checks (registration)
· The banning of ‘assault/military style weapons’ to civilians.
· The banning of the sale of ‘high capacity magazines’ to civilians.
In the letter, they also support Governor Malloy’s gun ban proposals of that time and call them ‘common sense’ which is a sardonic term used by other anti-rights groups to imply that individual rights are somehow not ‘common sense’. They go on to say that they ‘strongly endorse’ the Governor’s proposals, which became SB 1160 that we now live under.
The Connecticut Bar Association joined the world’s bulwark of human rights, China in their declaration about gun bans. By taking the same stance as the communist Chinese government took in "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011", which was released by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China in May of 2012, the Connecticut Bar Association has made their stance against individual rights and for collectivism clear.
Interestingly, Judge Covello, the Federal District Court judge that dismissed the Shew v Malloy case on summary judgment is a proud member of the Connecticut Bar Association, as declared in his judicial biography. Connecticut Carry must ask whether Judge Covello’s association with the Connecticut Bar Association tainted his decision-making in this case and whether this behavior on the part of an organization that he is a proud member of should mean that he recuse himself from all subsequent firearms-related cases.
The brief that is being proposed by the Connecticut Bar association is against the appeal of Judge Covello’s decision. This kind of conflict of interests is both unbecoming of a ‘professional organization’ like the bar association and it is unbecoming of a sitting Federal judge.
Connecticut Carry has posted a list of the members of the CBA’s “Human Rights and Responsibility” on our website. We urge our members and other concerned members of the public to review the list and strongly reconsider doing any business with anyone on the list. In addition, any member of the Connecticut Bar Association should not be considered a friend of individuals rights unless and until they make a public declaration against this proposal by the Connecticut Bar Association. If you are doing business with an attorney that has not publicly come out against this proposal, please make sure you let them know why you will no longer be able to do business with them.
Connecticut Carry to Attend the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting
Indianapolis, Indiana, April 25, 2014:
In keeping with our organizational focus on making sure we have the most educated resources both in Connecticut Carry and in Connecticut, Connecticut Carry will be attending the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting. Connecticut Carry Director Edward Peruta (of Peruta v San Diego) will be accompanying Connecticut Firearms Attorney Rachel M. Baird to the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis from April 25th - 27th. Individuals and organizations that will be at the convention and would like to arrange a meeting should get in contact with Connecticut Carry (email@example.com) to make arrangements.
About Attorney Rachel M. Baird (http://rachelbairdlaw.com):
Since opening her office in Torrington, Ms. Baird has represented individuals charged with crimes throughout Connecticut in its Part A (most serious crimes) and Part B state courts. She has also filed federal civil actions against companies, agencies, and towns.
In 2007, when M. Peter Kuck, the longest serving member of Connecticut's Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, retained Ms. Baird to file an action challenging on due process grounds the delay period between the revocation or denial of a handgun permit and an opportunity for hearing before the Board, Ms. Baird's practice was in civil rights, criminal defense, and general trial litigation. Shortly after she accepted Mr. Kuck's case, James F. Goldberg was arrested at a Chili's restaurant in Glastonbury for open carry of a handgun. Through these cases and others brought to her office, she became aware of the clarity lacking in Connecticut's firearms laws and its chilling effect on the lawful conduct of firearms owners. In 2008 another case followed, involving Connecticut's Risk Warrant statute which allows law enforcement to obtain a warrant to seize firearms when a person poses an imminent danger to himself or others. By statute (and the Fourth Amendment) the warrant precedes the seizure; in practice, however, law enforcement first takes the firearms by "voluntary consent" or for "safekeeping" and then, only after the unlawful seizure, obtains a warrant to "seize" the firearms from the department's evidence room. A Connecticut appellate court condoned this practice in a 2010 decision causing confusion among law enforcement and havoc in the courts that Ms. Baird often uses to challenge Risk Warrants on procedural grounds.
Ms. Baird represents individuals in criminal and civil courts throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts and has argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. She is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent veterans in agency proceedings. The National Rifle Association Civil Rights Defense Fund have funded three cases filed by Ms. Baird in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
In addition to her admission to the Connecticut Bar, Ms. Baird is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. She is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and the District of Massachusetts. In 2005, the Connecticut Bar Foundation selected Ms. Baird to the James W. Cooper Fellows program which requires "demonstrated superior legal ability and devotion to the welfare of the community, state, and nation, as well as to the advancement of the legal profession. "
About Connecticut Carry Director Ed Peruta (http://ctgunrights.com):
In addition to his work in Connecticut, including sitting on the board of directors for Connecticut Carry, Mr. Peruta is a plaintiff in the case of Peruta v. San Diego which arose from his failed application to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Peruta filed a federal cause of action alleging Second Amendment violations against the County in the denial of his permit application based on unconstitutional restrictions imposed on the right to carry outside the home.
On February 13, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a landmark decision that Mr. Peruta (and Californians) do not need to show 'good cause' in making application for permits, effectively forcing California counties to become "shall issue" instead of "may issue" jurisdictions.
The Battle for Rights Takes to Social Media
Connecticut Carry Engages Anti-rights Groups Online
North Branford CT, April 4, 2014:
Anti-rights groups have decided to try and protest the April 5th pro-rights rally in Hartford, Connecticut. In doing so, they have taken to calling pro-rights groups ‘the KKK’, ‘bullies’, ‘intimidating’, ‘threatening police’ and other vulgar lies. In response, Connecticut Carry has launched a counter-protest using the same medium, Thunderclap. The goal is to beat the anti-rights groups at their own social media game while taking the high road.
Using the anti-rights own social media tool against them, Connecticut Carry has engaged them by creating its own Thunderclap campaign which has, so far, completely out paced the anti-rights groups, almost 2 to 1. Our campaign almost instantly replaced the anti-rights campaign in terms of trending and stayed there for the course of the campaign. In a mad scramble to try and save face, the anti-rights groups have tried to accuse Connecticut Carry of somehow ‘cheating’ by engaging its national support base, despite Thunderclap being a national social media tool. Ironically, as Connecticut Carry supporters have pointed out, the anti-rights groups have been appealing to a national audience since they started their campaign. Of course, when these things were pointed out, posts were deleted to cover this up.
Of even more interest is who is supporting each group. With Connecticut Carry being supported mostly by individuals in a showing of grassroots support, the anti-rights groups have gone the opposite direction being supported mostly by national anti-rights groups and millionaire communist propagandists.
Instead of showing the overwhelming support that they claim to have, anti-rights groups have shown exactly what we have been accusing them of: Astroturfing.
“Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g. political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participant(s). It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations more credibility by withholding information about the source's financial connection.” – Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing)
This kind of tactic will never override the broad public opposition for their anti-rights bills, however. Liberty is both popular and contagious. That these groups would even dare to defy a concept like individual liberty is both absurd and outrageous. While the governor and legislature was able to hide this fact on April 4th 2013 by ignoring the massive public outcry against gun bills in favor of ‘emergency certification’, the same advantage does not currently exist. And this has the legislators, the governor and the anti-rights groups running scared. Already, we have seen several anti-rights legislators decide not to run again, and the anti-rights groups have announced ‘Super PACs’ to try and funnel more national anti-rights money into Connecticut. If these groups had the broad public support that they claim, they would not need these astroturfing options.
Regardless of their corporate sponsors, Connecticut Carry remains unwavering in its opposition to the 2013 Gun Ban. The coalition of 30 anti-rights groups still remain impotent, lacking in public support and they need to lie about gun owners to get anyone to pay attention to them.
President Rich Burgess had this to say of the battle:
“To date, this will be the anti-rights groups largest thunderclap, and we would like to say ‘You are welcome’ for giving them even a shred of attention. Usually people just ignore the indignant whine of anti-rights groups, but Connecticut and the nation are about to hear the roar of those who support liberty.”
People can view, join or share Connecticut Carry’s Thunderclap here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/10251-connecticut-chooses-liberty
To Officials of the State of Connecticut: Either Enforce or Repeal 2013 Anti-gun Laws.
It’s time for the State to enforce the tyranny they passed or repeal it entirely.
Rocky Hill CT, March 3, 2014:
A recent media tidal wave based on false reports and bad journalism has proven a few things about the 2013 Gun Ban: people from Connecticut and around the nation are tired of being threatened; are ready to make a stand; and the State of Connecticut does not have the stomach to enforce the edicts and laws with which they threaten gun owners.
For years, Undersecretary Michael Lawlor, the upper levels of the State Police, and Governor Dannel Malloy have sought to disarm those whom they fear. The laws they passed show that they fear constitutionally and lawfully armed citizens. Despite thousands of gun owners showing up at each legislative session expecting to be heard by their ‘representatives’, government officials seized upon public panic related to the Newtown Massacre, as a means to exert legislative and executive fiats intent upon disarming gun owners who have harmed no one. The Connecticut Executive and Legislative branches showed their cowardice when they installed metal detectors and armed guards at the entrances to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) only for firearms-related hearings.
Gun hating officials now have their laws on the books in Connecticut. They dreamed up those laws, in their tyrannical dystopias, but it was NOT the majority of the public that supported such laws. Despite all the severe legal language that the government passed, there is still no open discussion of enforcing those tyrannical laws, as they stand. Throughout the Legislature and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), there is only talk of "amnesty" and possibly boiling the frog at a slower rate.
It comes as no surprise that the talks of relaxing enforcement expectations go along with legislators trying to get past their re-election deadlines. If the anti-gun laws they passed are so good for everyone in this state, then why are elected officials requesting increased security, both at the LOB and at their private homes? The anti-gun legislators and officials are scared to implement their tyranny because they know that they did not have any sort of ‘consent of the governed’. Those officials violated their oaths of office, as the Executive and Legislative branches of our Connecticut government overstepped their moral and constitutional responsibilities by passing those laws: they acted and voted contrary to our Rights and against our Constitution.
Now, State officials look down the barrel of the laws that they created, and it is very probable that they now tremble as they rethink the extremity of their folly. Connecticut Carry calls on every State official, every Senator, and every Representative, to make the singular decision: Either enforce the laws as they are written and let us fight it out in court, or else repeal the 2013 Gun Ban in its entirety.
As many media sources have pointed out, there is very little compliance with the new edicts, and there is absolutely no way for the State to know who is obeying the law or not. State officials have made their bluff, and Undersecretary Lawlor has made his position clear, that the State will enforce the laws. We say: Bring it on. The officials of the State of Connecticut have threatened its citizens by fiat. They have roared on paper, but they have violated Principle. Now it's time for the State to man-up: either enforce its edicts or else stand-down and return to the former laws that did not so violently threaten the citizens of this state.
There is nothing that will so completely destroy faith in those edicts faster than the State-provoked chaos and violence that will be required to enforce the 2013 anti-gun laws. Connecticut residents should not have to live in perpetual fear of "the jack boot" coming down on them. Unenforced, frequently repeated threats fall on deaf ears. By passing laws that they cannot or choose not to enforce, State officials tell the public that this State is ignorant, immoral, blind, and impotent in its legal and decision making processes. The passage of such foolishly conceived, insufferable laws is an affront to every law-abiding citizen. Every official who supports such legal foolishness mocks our State and the Constitution they swore to uphold.
If the state does not have the stomach to enforce these laws, then the legislature has until May 7th, 2014 to completely repeal these immoral edicts and let the residents of Connecticut return to their rightfully owned property and former exercise of constitutional rights and practices without any threat of State violence.
“From Governor Malloy, to Undersecretary Lawlor to DESPP, Commissioner Schriro, and Lieutenant Cooke of the firearms unit, and including Lt. Paul Vance, the state needs to shit, or get off the pot. The fact is, the state does not have the balls to enforce these laws. The laws would not survive the public outcry and resistance that would occur.” - Connecticut Carry Director Ed Peruta
If officials of the State of Connecticut opt to get ‘froggy’ (jumping on citizens) and start to enforce the new laws (as officials have claimed a desire to do), Connecticut Carry stands ready to do whatever it takes and whatever it can do to represent and defend anyone impacted by the State’s violence.
“As citizens of Connecticut, we have a right to bear arms. With that right comes responsibility. The responsibility to stand in defense of ourselves and our fellow citizens is paramount.” – Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess
Peruta v San Diego
Connecticut’s Ties to the Big Win in California
Rocky Hill, CT, February 24, 2014:
Gun owners all over California, and throughout the nation, are rejoicing over the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning the previous rulings in Peruta v San Diego in favor of the right to bear arms. Peruta v San Diego is a landmark case that follows and expands upon the 2008 DC v Heller decision.
In Heller, SCOTUS (the U.S. Supreme Court) ruled that owning a firearm is a fundamental and individual right. Later, in McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the court affirmed that this right applied to all citizens of all states, under the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment. Peruta v San Diego makes clear that this right also applies outside the home, contrary to what many anti-rights activists have opined.
The Peruta decision makes clear that states and municipalities cannot deny their citizens the right to bear arms any more than they can deny their citizens the right to possess arms. In San Diego, citizens were denied their right to bear arms through the ‘good cause’ requirement of their concealed carry licenses. The ‘good cause’ requirement is an arbitrary and capricious requirement that gave local governments, in practice, the ability to deny the right to bear arms to all citizens except those that were politically connected or financially influential.
The man behind the San Diego case, Mr. Edward Peruta, is Connecticut Carry's own Director Edward Peruta. Mr. Peruta has been a longtime advocate against government corruption, and a supporter of equal rights, particularly in the field of gun rights. Connecticut Carry (a 501(c)(4) non-profit devoted to defending and promoting the right to bear arms) was formed in large part around Ed’s advocacy and wise guidance in the area of firearms laws. Now, the 9th Circuit has handed down a landmark decision upholding the right to bear arms in Mr. Peruta’s case, creating an affirmation that Mr. Peruta’s fight has never been in vain.
As Mr. Peruta pointed out, the California case and his efforts here in Connecticut are closely related:
“It was my prior knowledge of firearms laws and issues that got me to file suit in California. My experience with Attorney Rachel M. Baird prepared me to take action against San Diego in 2009. The rest is history.” – Edward Peruta
Connecticut Carry is fortunate and proud to have such a visionary and influential individual on our leadership team.
Inquiries about the case should be made through Michel and Associates, P.C.: http://michellawyers.com/
Ed Peruta can be reached through Attorney Rachel M. Baird: http://rachelbairdlaw.com/
A Case of Perverted Justice
State Continues Prosecution despite Trooper’s Forced Resignation
New London, CT, January 27, 2013:
In, yet, another flimsy case, brought and prosecuted by the State of Connecticut, the State is, once again, refusing to drop charges against a Connecticut citizen because of the fact that he owns firearms.
Mr. Morgan, a long time collector of firearms, owns quite an extensive collection of firearms, including machine guns. The charges against Mr. Morgan were based on allegations of a physical altercation that had nothing to do with firearms. The entire incident was apparently so negligible that the accusers took 15 hours to report the incident to police. Despite these facts, the judge and prosecutor have made Morgan's firearms a central aspect of the case. The state clearly aims to make sure that Mr. Morgan loses his firearms no matter whether he beats the charges or not.
The allegations and charges against Mr. Morgan are flimsy enough, but when compounded by the fact that the trooper who arrested him has since resigned under allegations that he falsified "hundreds" of reports or criminal complaints, this case takes on a whole new light. Upon a review of former Trooper Bergeron’s reports and statements in this case, it was found that the witness statements were written by Bergeron in his own handwriting. At least one page of the statement was not even signed by the witness, lending itself to further question speculation as to whether this was in fact the witness’s statement or Bergeron’s.
The allegedly disgraceful official behavior of former Trooper Bergeron was, in fact, so serious that when it was discussed with Mr. Morgan’s legal counsel, in a court hallway, a nolle of Mr. Morgan's charges was proposed by the State’s Attorney. Instead of the judge allowing or accepting the nolle, the judge insisted on prosecuting Mr. Morgan simply because Mr. Morgan owns firearms. The judge insisted that Mr. Morgan plead, and the judge refused to accept the State's Attorney's nolle offering.
“This whole case is a perfect example of perverted justice.” -- Connecticut Carry Director Edward Peruta
“The state has made it clear that they will engage in whatever dirty tricks and disgusting behavior necessary to wage a war against the citizens of Connecticut who wish to exercise their right to bear arms.” -- Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess
Court documents filed on January 23rd on this issue can be found here: http://ctcarry.com/Document?tag=563f2aac-e3d2-46e3-999a-7ca5ac2e169c
Toni Harp Demonstrates Elitist Hypocrisy with Security Detail Request
Requests Security that Citizens Can’t Even Buy
New Haven CT, January 17, 2014:
Toni Harp, incoming New Haven mayor, former Connecticut Senator, was reported to request a full-time security detail consisting of two well-armed New Haven police officers that will be driving the new mayor around. The hypocrisy in Senator Harp’s request for the security detail was not lost on Connecticut Carry President Richard Burgess:
“Toni Harp voted to take away, restrict and ban many effective self-defense tools from good, hard-working Connecticut citizens. That she now wishes to be surrounded at all times by two officers that are exempt from those laws says a lot about how she relates to her constituency and how she values herself compared to our families.”
Citizens of Connecticut have been restricted from buying effective self-defense tools including modern sporting rifles and regular capacity magazines ever since SB 1160 passed, a bill that Toni Harp was not shy about supporting. These tools are the same tools that the security detail around her will carry on a regular basis to defend her from the rampant crime that this law will continue to fuel in New Haven. A luxury that even those in Connecticut who can afford private security are not even allowed due to the new laws.
While Toni Harp is protected by two well-armed officers that could be protecting citizens, the citizens in Connecticut who have a pistol permit (1 out of 10 eligible citizens) will have to defend themselves and their families with limited capacity magazines and inferior tools. Indeed, studies show that tools like this are used in defensive roles around 2.5 million times a year nationally. Such tools are desired to defend against the frequent, and emboldened, mob attacks that occur in New Haven that have worsened since the ban.
Why does Toni Harp feel it necessary to have these tools around her for protection when she has spent her time denying those tools to the rest of the citizens of Connecticut? Are our families and loved ones’ lives worth less than Toni Harp’s?
President Burgess concluded:
“Clearly Toni Harp shares our belief that these tools are effective defensive tools. The difference is that she apparently believes that she is part of an elite class of people who are entitled to be defended by these tools while the rest of us are supposed to follow the law she voted for.”
Demanding an End to Outrageous Flip-Flopping by the State
People will soon be harmed by the State’s rushed and flawed laws and interpretations
Middletown CT, December 26, 2013:
In the final days left for Connecticut residents to interpret the laws and to make decisions on whether or not to register their firearms as possible ‘Assault Weapons’, Connecticut gun owners are left with conflicting interpretations from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP).
The Department of Emergency Services has been tasked with the sole authority to make declaratory rulings and legal interpretations about the statutes within their enforcement domain in the State of Connecticut since a 2009 court case affirmed that duty. On October 11, 2013, DESPP Commissioner Reuben Bradford sent a letter to an Attorney Clough out of Southbury stating in no uncertain terms:
Section 11 of Public Act 13-220 was intended to resolve an ambiguity in Public Act 13-3. The section clarifies that it is the intent of the legislature to exclude assault weapons manufactured before September 13, 1994 from transfer restrictions and registration requirements.
Connecticut Carry, exercising due diligence, also posted and referred people to a conflicting written opinion from our counsel, Attorney Rachel M. Baird of Torrington, Connecticut. Attorney Baird concluded that those ‘Assault Weapons’ that were manufactured before September 13, 1994 were excluded from the ban, unless they were named in the named part of the ban.
Now, with less than 6 days left until the looming registration deadline of January 1st, 2014, the word from certain gun dealers is that certain members of DESPP have privately made statements that DESPP plans to reverse the widely public interpretation by Commissioner Bradford, and now those same sources say DESPP is reversing that reversal.
Connecticut Carry makes education about laws a priority, but cannot offer proper guidance about these laws to try and help keep people out of felony trouble when the head of the DESPP, with his sizable legal team, apparently cannot decipher the statutes that are supposed to be easily interpreted by ‘the common man’. When the Connecticut General Assembly cannot update the official statutes on their website inside of the 8 months given in the law, and DESPP waits until the last minute to start wavering on their own legal interpretations, what chance do the residents of Connecticut have to figure these laws out either?
“With only a few days until the new laws turn law abiding people into felons, it is outrageous that DESPP would consider a flip-flop [about the October 11th decision of Reuben Bradford], particularly during the hectic Christmas season while so many people are away from home.” said Connecticut Carry Director Edward Peruta.
“It is not just outrageous, it should be criminal. They are going to be hurting a lot of people by injecting this level of confusion into the process this late in the game. There is no time left to change our education to the public now.” agreed Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess.
Because citizens of Connecticut are protected from their ignorance of the law when their ignorance is due to the interpretations by state agencies like the DESPP (CGS 53a-6), the Commissioner’s interpretation should stand as the applied and practiced law. Connecticut Carry plans to continue to educate and to assist in the defense of people, especially if the State of Connecticut intends to victimize people who have made their choices based on the Commissioner’s official interpretation.
Commissioner Bradford has the sole responsibility and ability to end this confusion. Connecticut Carry calls on Commissioner Bradford to immediately issue a declaration stating unequivocally that he will stand by his original interpretation and that people are safe to follow it.
Pistol Permit Confidentiality and What It Means To Connecticut
The Law Applies Equally
Hartford CT, December 20, 2013:
According to a recent Connecticut Superior Court ruling, the names and addresses of not only permit holders are exempt, but anyone applying for a pistol permit are. Despite arguments to the letter of the law by American News and Information Services, Inc, the FOIC and now Connecticut Superior Court Judge Prescott have decided that the law does not apply as written, but instead a loose interpretation of the law applies. This court decision is being appealed, with Connecticut Carry contributing towards the appeal to try and cement the boundaries of Pistol Permit confidentiality in case law.
Fortunately, most Connecticut Pistol Permit holders, the bread and butter of Connecticut Carry’s membership, will not be upset by this interpretation at all. In fact, Connecticut Carry is announcing a new public campaign aimed at enforcing these decisions to the letter of the interpretation. The wide reaching ramifications of these decisions will impact many municipalities, the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, the state police and gun owners in the state. Connecticut Carry aims to make sure that the confidentiality of permit holders is applied evenly across the state and according to the law as interpreted by the Freedom of Information Commission and the Connecticut Superior Court.
To start with, this means that the following restrictions will apply:
- The Board of Firearms Permit Examiners will need to immediately cease and desist in publishing the roster that they currently publish on their website.
- Hearings in front of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners will need to become private affairs where anyone not immediately involved in a case must not be present in the hearing.
- CT-N and other media sources will no longer be able to record and disseminate board hearings as they have been doing.
- The Connecticut State Police will need to cease and desist in releasing permit information as they have done in the past.
- Municipalities will no longer be able to perform ‘suitability investigations’ that include interviewing employers and neighbors like the City of New Haven has been doing for many years now.
- Police, both in the municipal and in the state capacity will no longer be able to disclose upon arrest that a person was in possession of a pistol permit at the time of their arrest.
- Police, both in the municipal and in the state capacity will no longer be able to disclose permit statuses over public radio communications, like they currently do.
- All state agencies will need to redact their releases to make sure that they are not disclosing a permit holder’s name or address information.
- Media will need to be sure that they are not an accomplice to the crime of releasing such confidential information and disobeying an FOIC ruling.
As representatives of Connecticut Pistol Permit Holders and the new classes of people that now fall under the same statutory language (‘Assault Weapons’ and ‘Large Capacity Magazines’), Connecticut Carry will be ensuring that these laws are enforced without any preference or exemptions for political classes who bear no exemption under the laws. There will be no quarter given to State Police Detectives and other personnel who knowingly violate these interpretations of the law, especially when their only purpose is to further denigrate permit holders. We have recommended Federal criminal charges in the past and we will not hesitate to pursue all legal means to make sure that future crimes by the state are prosecuted.
Any disclosure of a person’s name or address that is a Connecticut Pistol Permit Holder or Applicant is a violation of law right now according to the Connecticut Superior Court. Anyone disclosing this kind of confidential information in the future should expect to be the subject of legal actions on behalf of the citizens of Connecticut.
State Police Releasing Confidential Information in Board Hearings
Detective Barbara Mattson Illegally Exposes Permit Holders
Middletown, Connecticut, November 25, 2013:
During a Board of Firearms Permit Examiners meeting on November 14, 2013, Detective Barbara Mattson of the Connecticut State Police disclosed the name and the active permit status of at least one Connecticut State Pistol Permit holder on the public record. This disclosure, prohibited by CGS 29-28(d), is both illegal and irresponsible.
Detective Mattson can hardly feign ignorance to the illegal nature of her disclosure since the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection recently won an appeal to their refusal to disclose permit applicant information under the Freedom of Information Act. The state argued against the plain text of the statute that only exempts persons issued a pistol permit, and the court applied that confidentiality to all applicants as well.
Detective Mattson did not disclose an applicant’s information, nor did she disclose the information of someone in an appeal. She disclosed the permit status, by name of a third party permit holder. This type of disclosure potentially harms or endangers members of the public, and the state police are expected to follow these laws that they enforce on the rest of us.
Rachel M. Baird and Associate of Torrington, Connecticut, on behalf of Connecticut Carry and the Connecticut residents we represent, issued a very direct letter to state officials. The state officials, including the State Police, the Attorney General and the Board of Firearms Permit examiners were informed and warned of this illegal conduct by a senior State Trooper from the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. They have been asked to provide notice to all relevant agencies and personnel to make sure that they understand that the confidentiality of pistol permit holders must be upheld.
Important questions about these disclosures have also been asked, such as: What action does the state intend to take in response to a prohibited disclosure? When and where will the state deem it expedient to name permit holders in public?
How is the DESPP able to disregard the law for its own members but state in court that the same action is serious and prohibited by law and so serious that applicants for permits cannot be disclosed despite the contrary plain text of the law?