The Second Amendment Foundation and Connecticut Citizens Defense League filed suit recently in Federal District Court, challenging Connecticut’s prohibition on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
SAF Sues Over Connecticut Magazine Ban
The groups filed the lawsuit on behalf of Connecticut residents Susan Ross and Domenic Basile. Noted civil rights attorney David Jensen, from New York, represents the plaintiffs.
The suit names Connecticut State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas, Dept. of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James C. Rovella and Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., as defendants. Each named person represents their individual official capacity. Dubbed Ross v. Mellekas, it challenges the ban on so-called high-capacity magazines.
The lawsuit alleges state violations of the Second and Fourteenth amendments. Since 2013, Connecticut statute has prohibited individuals from having magazines containing more than ten rounds of ammunition. Violations of the statute prosecute as Class D felonies.
Ross owns a pistol with an original-capacity magazine that can hold 17 cartridges and Basile has pistols that hold 15 rounds in their magazines. Both carry, with a license, for personal and family protection. The plaintiffs also worry they could face prosecution for carrying fully-loaded defensive sidearms under the state law.
Defending the 2nd Amendment
“This law does nothing more than penalize law-abiding citizens while criminalizing components of handguns they own that were previously legal,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, in a press release. “This is a text book example of turning honest citizens into criminals by the mere stroke of a pen by the governor.
“Original capacity magazines are not dangerous or unusual,” he continued. “They’re in common use all over the country. But the Connecticut law makes it illegal to use such magazines, which amounts to a deprivation of rights under federal law. Neither SAF nor our partners at CCDL could stand by and allow that to happen.”
“In their rush to ‘do something’ in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook,” Jensen said of the Connecticut magazine ban, “politicians in Connecticut enacted a slew of restrictions that severely limit the right of self-defense, while doing nothing to prevent future tragedies from occurring.”