A federal judge rejected on Thursday a request that temporarily blocked Connecticut’s landmark gun control law passed in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. The request was made until the conclusion of a lawsuit filed by a gun rights organization against the statute.
U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton ruled in New Haven that the National Association for Gun Rights had not proven that the state’s prohibition on certain assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, or LCMs violated the 2nd Amendment right of bear arms, or that these weapons were commonly purchased and used for self defense.
Connecticut officials have “submitted persuasive evidence” that assault and LCM weapons are sought after more for their military characteristics than self-defense. These characteristics also make them disproportionately dangerous for the public due to their increased lethality. And they are used more in crimes and mass killings than for self defense.
The judge also stated that the “Nation has a longstanding tradition and history of regulating aspects of weapons or ways of carrying that correlate to rising firearm violence.”
The National Association for Gun Rights based in Loveland Colorado criticized the decision and promised an appeal.
In a press release, it stated that “we’re used to seeing judicial acrobatics designed to rationalize the Second Amendment to oblivion.” This is an outrageous insult to both law-abiding gun owner and the Constitution.
After a gunman using an AR-15 style rifle shot and killed 20 children, six teachers, and a Sandy Hook School in Newtown in 2012, the 2013 law was passed. The 2013 law was passed after a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 20 children and six educators at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Previous court attempts to overturn law failed. In September, the association and a Connecticut firearm owner sued the state after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that expanded gun rights. This ruling led to a number of court rulings invalidating long-standing restrictions on guns.
The National Association for Gun Rights stated that Arterton refused to follow the clear guidelines of this ruling, and “twisted the Supreme Court words to continue a decade long practice of trampling down the Second Amendment as an inferior right.”
Arterton’s decision means Connecticut’s laws will remain in force while the lawsuit is in court.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong whose office is defending this law said that the statute was constitutional and broadly supported by the general public.
Tong stated in a press release that “we will not allow lobbyists for the gun industry from outside of our state to come and compromise the safety and security of our children and our communities.”
Gun rights advocates have used the Supreme Court’s ruling from last year to challenge other Connecticut gun laws. This includes a law passed this year that bans open carry of firearms. Gun rights activists are also challenging the 2013 law in a separate lawsuit.