State Doesn't Fear Lawsuit That Claims New Gun Laws Are Unconstitutional

May 23, 2013

The administration of Governor Dannel Malloy says a federal lawsuit challenging the state's new gun laws won't make it far in court.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. A group of gun rights advocates is suing the state over the guns laws passed in response to the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.  Among other things, the law extends the state's assault weapons ban and bans large-capacity magazines.  The plaintiffs say the law is unconstitutional and call it a "hasty response to the tragic mass shootings in Newtown." But Mike Lawlor disagrees. He's the governor's undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning. "Over the last 25 years or so, Connecticut has passed a whole series of reasonable gun control laws and, each and every time, the NRA and their supporters have gone to court and challenged them under constitutionality grounds.  And, each and every time, they've lost.  So, I mean, it's very predictable that they would do this, and it's very predictable that they'll be unsuccessful in court." Robert Crook is the executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, a plaintiff in the case.  He says the law is unconstitutional and dangerous, and he says the lawsuit has a good deal of support. "Oh, I think they're firmer in their resolve.  I don't think they're going to have a whole lot of problems raising money for this lawsuit." Crook says gun owners are also still confused about how the law will actually work. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.