Gun rights advocates file lawsuit challenging state's ban on assault weapons
Gun advocates are challenging Connecticut's ban on assault weapons.
The Connecticut Civilian Defense League and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a civil rights suit this week against Gov. Ned Lamont and other Connecticut officials in an attempt to wipe that ban off the books.
Connecticut statutes list over 150 specific banned firearms, including the AR-10 and AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.
The lawsuit claims the law violates the Second Amendment, as well as the equal protection clause under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong pledged to fight the lawsuit Friday.
"We're talking about weapons that you don't need to protect yourself at home, that you don't need for hunting. The only reason you need these weapons and the stopping power of these weapons, that's the language people use, the stopping power of these weapons is to stop people and to kill them," said Tong.
CCDL President Holly Sullivan says guns like the AR-15 aren't assault weapons - she calls them "modern sporting firearms."
"Semiautomatic firearms, which means one trigger pull, one cartridge is ejected. These are not military grade weapons, these have not been used in war, in any modern warfare," said Sullivan.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law in June requiring applicants for concealed carry permits to show proper cause. Gun rights advocates say the case kicked open the door for more challenges.
The CCDL lawsuit also is challenging a 2019 law imposing harsher minimum sentences for felonies committed with firearms.
Connecticut first imposed an assault weapons ban in 1993. The law and definitions expanded in 2013 after the Sandy Hook shooting.