After the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012 that killed 26 people, including 20 children, the Connecticut legislature exploited people’s horror to pass sweeping new gun control laws, including a provision which made it illegal for a gun to be loaded with more than 10 rounds. Connecticut gun owners are now fighting back, saying that this is unconstitutional.
Last week, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, and two private Connecticut gun owners filed a lawsuit in US District Court challenging the provision against Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo Jr., state police Colonel Stavros Mellekas, and Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella.
The suit says that the ban violates the Second Amendment’s protection of the right of the people to keep and bear arms and that having more rounds on hand means a better ability for an individual to protect himself and those around him.
Holly Sullivan of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League pointed out that criminals will not abide by the same restrictions that law-abiding gun owners are being forced to follow, leaving them at greater risk.
Connecticut’s Attorney General, William Tong, responded by saying, “Common sense gun violence prevention measures are clearly constitutional. Reasonable limits on high capacity magazines save lives.”
When the law went into effect, not only was the sale of magazines which can hold more than 10 rounds prohibited, but gun owners who already possessed them were required to notify the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Although allowed to keep them, they were still prohibited from loading more than 10 rounds into them.
“This law does nothing more than penalize law-abiding citizens while criminalizing components of handguns they own that were previously legal,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in a statement.
Opponents of the law point out that not only does it give unlawful shooters an unfair advantage, but that some types of firearms are not available with magazines of fewer than 10 rounds. They maintain that the ability to have more rounds available makes a person safer in a dangerous situation.