Gun Groups Sue Connecticut Over New Weapons Restrictions

Gun sellers and owners and firearms advocacy groups sued the state of Connecticut in federal court seeking to block enforcement of weapons restrictions enacted after last year’s deadly school shooting.

The plaintiffs, who include an 80-year-old widow, a rabbi whose synagogue was burglarized, the Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, said in their complaint that the new limits on magazines and assault weapons violate the U.S. Constitution. The suit, filed today in Bridgeport, seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions preventing the state from enforcing the measures.

The law “was rushed through the legislature without through debate or meaningful public examination,” according to the complaint. “The act irrationally bans pistols, rifles, shotguns and magazines that are commonly used for lawful purposes by countless law-abiding citizens in Connecticut and throughout the United States.”

Lawmakers in Colorado, New York, Connecticut and Maryland passed laws limiting firearm ownership after 20 children and six educators were shot to death Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Lawsuits challenging the new laws have also been filed in Colorado and New York.

“We’ve known for some time that groups opposed to the new gun violence prevention law would be filing suit against it,” Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, said in a statement. “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.”

The case is Shew v. Malloy, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut (Bridgeport).

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York State Supreme Court at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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