Connecticut’s Gun-Control Law Triggers New Challenge Under Heller

The Supreme Court has still not dismissed a New York gun case where New York City officials passed, in my view, a clearly unconstitutional gun control measure. Then, after proclaiming that they would defend the law to the Supreme Court, they tried desperately to withdraw the case after review was granted. That creates a serious question of mootness in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. However, they may have pushed this game too far with the Court, which clearly did not like being played by politicians using the courts for grandstanding. Yet, there is a case out of Connecticut that could prove equally, if not more, important in defining the edges of the Second Amendment.

​​​​​​​A lawsuit has been filed to challenge part of a 2013 state gun control law passed after the Sandy Hook school shooting. It is a complaint that shows how focus and restraint can make for a much stronger case. The complaint isolated the ban on people loading more than 10 rounds of ammunition into their firearms. The law allows people to have larger magazines but bars citizens from loading more than ten bullets.

The law will force the court to consider the real benefits and logic behind such laws. The vast majority of gun owners are law-bidding. The small number people committing Sandy Hook massacres are likely to violate the “ten bullets only” rule if they are prepared to commit mass murder. Moreover, even the use of small magazines only require fast swapping of such magazines – something most gun owners become apt at doing at gun ranges.

The 2013 Connecticut law defines “large capacity magazine” to mean any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Under the law, anyone who owns large capacity magazines before Jan. 1, 2014, are required to declare possession to the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and are prohibited from loading more than 10 rounds into the magazines.

I have written how these laws satisfy political needs but offer less practical protections. (here and here and here). The fact is that, despite recent claims on the presidential campaign trail, the range of action for gun control was dramatically reduced after Heller.

The Connecticut law is precisely what gun control advocates should fear the most — much like the ill-considered New York law. It will force a review of the edges of allowable regulation of Second Amendment rights on the basis of a state law that may prove difficult to fully defend.

107 thoughts on “Connecticut’s Gun-Control Law Triggers New Challenge Under Heller”

  1. The 2nd ammendment exist so that the people would have the means to protect and enforce the rest of the constitution.

  2. The Second Amendment is only hard to understand if you’re ignorant of how English works,or being deliberately obtuse. Its prefatory clause which has been wrongly taken to reserve the right to bear arms to the militia is clearly a dependent clause that describes the reason for the independent clause that follows it (the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed) without in any way circumscribing ot limiting it.

    Connecticut is trying to finesse a ban on “large magazines” by requiring their registration, and creating a deliberately ambiguous restriction – work your way down Connecticut’s list of those who own those large magazines, bring a few loose rounds of the appropriate ammunition with them, and while examining John Q. Citizen’s sinful magazine, discreetly insert an extra round – it’s all over but the Mirandizing.

    It’s a defective law that reeks of an intent to make law-abiding citizens into crimnals. The same logic which assumes that requiring voter ID shows intent to deny the franchise to certain groups compels an honest observer to call Connecticut’s newest gun law one of a thicket of ways to place honest gun owners in a complex maze of synthetic felonies once they exercise their Second Amendment rights.

  3. Journalists are the DUMMEST mofo’s in the world right now. Joe Biden is so full of crap that it stinks up the entire TV screen! Call him on it would you dum dum debate moderators?? You interupt Republicans ALL THE DAM TIME but you keep your stupid mouths shut when Democrats like Joe Biden tell lie after lie??? Please stop.

  4. Democrat debate tonight: could Joe Biden please stop shouting his angry answers thru squinted botoxed eyes to every single friggin question?

    1. Biden’s been ordained the winner of the primaries because he’s clearly unfit for the duties of the Presidency, and a shoo-in for a 25th Amendment removal.

      After that, the brokering at this year’s Democratic National Convention will determine the real Chosen One who’ll nobly step into the White House once Biden’s been formally found to be what he demonstrated he is on the campaign trail.

      Just when you think the DNC ‘s underestimated the intelligence of its dwindling voter base, they pull another marked card from their sleeve.

    1. Anonymous
      I am not only a Republican and Trump supporter but a Black conservative as well. That being said I must ask what do any of your rantings about Biden have to do with the gun control topic ? They were embarrassing. Hopefully other reader’s will Not associate Your comments with the rest of us. A bigger question is why did the Turkey organization allow this foolishness to be published ?

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