NSSF’s Lawsuit Against Connecticut’s SB 1160 Dismissed

Chief District Court Judge Janet Hall dismissed the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s lawsuit which sought an injunction against Connecticut’s new gun control law on Monday. Hall, a Clinton appointee, dismissed the case under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Procedure which states that a plaintiff must have standing to bring a case. She agreed with the State of Connecticut’s claim that the NSSF did not have standing to challenge SB 1160.

The case which was brought in July of this year sought to have Connecticut’s draconian gun control law – SB 1160 – invalidated because the state did not follow its own legislative rules when it claimed an “emergency certification” exemption. Normally a bill in Connecticut must be available to be read by state legislators for two legislative days before it can be voted upon. An exemption can be granted in emergency situations if the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tem certify in writing the necessity for the emergency exemption along with the supporting facts. In this case while they did certify the emergency they failed to state any facts to support their certification. (See items 18 through 33 in the plaintiff’s complaint.)

Judge Hall states that the NSSF would have standing to challenge the gun control law’s impact on its members but not to challenge the defects in the legislative process that led to the bill being passed. She found that the NSSF’s complaint was a “generally available grievance against government” which other courts have found not to confer standing.

pecuniary injury
proper party to
challenge gun control legislation. That injury, however,
not make

or any
member of the public
only incidentally
procedurally defective

into a proper party to challenge
in legislative process.

Judge Hall goes on to say:

the pecuniary injury asserted as the basis for NSSF‟s standing is
unrelated to
the rights of democratic participation in the legislative process that NSSF
seeks to vindicate, the court lacks the authority to adjudicate the
claims put forward in
. Accordingly,
the case must be dismissed
for lack of standing.

She concludes by granting the state’s motion to dismiss and by stating that based upon the NSSF’s written and oral pleadings that they “would be unable to replead to satisfy the standing requirement.”

The NSSF is reportedly studying the decision and weighing its options.

NSSF Sues Connecticut Officials In Federal Court

The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed suit today in US District Court for the District of Connecticut alleging that Connecticut leaders led by Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT) misused the emergency certification exception in order to pass gun control. The lawsuit contends the use of the emergency certification exception was invalid as it violated both Connecticut state statutes and the Connecticut Constitution. Moreover, they contend the action violated due process protections under both the Connecticut and the US Constitution. They are seeking to have SB 1160 declared void and unconstitutional and to enjoin the state and its officers from enforcing the provisions of SB 1160.

The NSSF is represented in this case by the Renzulli Law Firm and their own General Counsel Lawrence Keane.

The release from the NSSF regarding the case is below along with links to the complaint.

Firearms Industry Files Suit Alleging Process Used to Pass Gun Regulations Violated Connecticut Statutes and Constitution

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today filed suit in federal court for the District of Connecticut alleging that Gov. Dannel Malloy and the leadership of the Connecticut General Assembly misused the so-called “emergency certification” exception to circumvent the safeguards of the normal legislative process and in violation of Connecticut statutory law in order to pass Senate Bill 1160, a package of strict gun-control regulations.

The suit further alleges that enactment of the new law violates fundamental due process rights guaranteed by both the Connecticut and United States Constitutions. NSSF is asking the court to declare the law invalid and issue an injunction prohibiting its enforcement.

“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. 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,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel, NSSF. “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.”

The filing can be accessed at http://www.nssf.org/share/PDF/NSSFComplaint-FILED_070813.pdf.

The Connecticut Law Tribune recently editorialized on this topic. That editorial can be accessed at http://ctlawtribune.com/PubArticleCT.jsp?id=1202608974608