Is Gun Bill Constitutional? Many Different Views Across The Political Spectrum

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, Hartford, Newtown Date:

Is Connecticut\’s newly enacted gun law constitutional?

Lawyers and citizens have a wide variety of views – and it seems that the advocates all think they are right.

It turns out that a judge – or judges in this case – will likely have the final say.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s top criminal justice adviser, former state Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, says the law is \”definitely constitutional.\’\’

On the other side of the debate, WTIC-AM radio talk show host Jim Vicevich said he has no doubts that the courts will reject the new law.

\”This bill will be overturned,\’\’ Vicevich declared Friday. \”It is unconstitutional.\’\’

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76 thoughts on “Is Gun Bill Constitutional? Many Different Views Across The Political Spectrum

  1. Lawrence

    Um… Mike Lawlor versus JIM VICEVICH on the law?

    A law professor and former Judiciary Committee chairman versus a bloviating right-wing talk radio host? (and TIC is now a mere 8th in the Hartford Arbitron ratings!!!)

    Why did you even bother to post this?

    1. Doug

      But the top AM radio station.But what’s up with WDRC AM.Brad Davis and company are almost invisable.

    2. The Conn-servative

      Yup,Mike Lawlor. The same Mike Lawlor who has released 8,000 prisoners early,with two murders attributed to it. The same Mike Lawlor who has assaulted the Christian religion and 2nd amendment while serving as state rep and in Malloys admin.The same who supported the state income tax in ’91,etc….
      But you need not mention any of this when you hate a “bloviating right-wing talk radio host”.

      1. Connecticut is Circling the Drain

        I will refuse to register or hand in any of my guns. I will practice civil disobedience. My ammo is sacred and my rights shall not be infringed upon.

          1. kim

            I know I will eventually find my willy when I eventually find where I put my magnifying glass.

          2. Betrayed Democrat

            I think bill’s obsession with Kim is sexual. It must be love. Whatever it is, it isn’t healthy. But then, it’s Bill

    3. A Great Day

      Mike Lawlor is brilliant. It is so reassuring that Governor Malloy put him in a position of great authority. He has great ability and moral justice in his soul. Of course the redneck tea baggers hate him for their homophobia. WTIC is so 1985 people get with the times!


      Do you really think the problems of this state will be solved by the likes of the former Judiciary Committee chairman….he’s part of the problem and can’t be part of the solution…

    5. truth

      Lawrence: politicians always tell the truth. And lawyers always tell the truth. Hands down, Mike Lawlor is right

      sarcasm intended

  2. Brian C. Duffy

    Michael Lawlor: Law Professor and Politician

    Jim Vicevich: Economist and Broadcaster

    I wouldn’t take investment advice from Lawlor.

    I wouldn’t take legal advice from Vicevich.

    2nd Amendment expertise: Advantage Lawlor

    1. Henry Salo

      Yes, how many lawyers do know the Constitution? Cases in point, Chicago and D.C. Those laws were overturned. Plus those laws were written by lawyers who thought they knew the Constitution.

  3. kuma138

    if you think this bill is constitutional then you may want to consider quitting your crack habit.

  4. Quinte West

    The Political Hack versus the Media Flack…geez.. thanks Chris! Top notch, insightful reporting… simply riveting.

  5. Doug

    Vicevich you have to be kidding.More like the traveling whore looking for an audience then doing everything he can to pander to it’s worst characteristics.

  6. Doug

    Some gun loving slobs calls in from Hooterville, says the law is unconstitutional and that becomes Vicevish’s polition.

  7. Brian

    For what they’re offering, you’d be a fool to register your clips or for that matter the newly defined assault weapons. Go underground and bury your stuff, bide your time and when you retire out of state you’ll be FREE again. The less big brother knows about you, the better.

    1. me too

      Hey Brian:

      I thought all of you fur trappers were law-abiding? No?

      So it was just malarky? Wow. A bunch of formerly law-abiding pretenders now made to go felons.

      Can’t wait to see you behind bars.

      1. mm2bart

        Kudos to you Brian, “me too”, you have it wrong, if you follow or obey unjust laws then you might as well throw your rights out the window.

        1. me too

          mm: remember one thing there, all I have ever heard is that you gun guys were law-abiding. which, by your remarks then, is a bold face lie.

          I don’t care. I’m just calling a spade a spade.

          1. Brian

            To: “me too”. Who’s the real criminals? The people who disobey the law, or the ones who wrote it. We have laws with a $200 fine not to drive while on your cell phone. And not a day goes by where I see this LAW being broken. So, first offense with an LCM is $90 fine. Less than talking on your cell phone. Now does that make you mad?

  8. Joey

    Everyone should backup a bit and question how it got onto the senate floor.

    The bill SB 1160 was passed without public hearings. This can be done with Emergency Certification when appropriate.

    Emergency certification bill, or “e-cert,” which can be passed on the floor without going through committee first. The e-cert is generally reserved for use during times of crisis, such as natural disasters or when deadlines are approaching too quickly to delay action.

    I apologise, but I was not aware of ANY crisis, such as natural disasters. If there was ANY crisis, such as a natural disaster the news media missed it competely! There was a mass shooting in newtown over 100 days ago. This was not a wide spread recurring event. It is clearly a tactic to circumvent the domcratic process. Emergency Certification was challenged in the Senate. It may have been Senator Kissel. It’s just a matter of time before the citizens challenge Emergency Certification for this bill?

  9. David McCluskey

    E-Certs are not used only in crises – state budgets are often e-certed. The use of an e-cert for the gun bill is not unusual. Most bills in their final form have not had public hearings on all their parts. The gun bill is not unusual in this regard either. In addition, a strike-all amendment on a bill that went through all the required committees could have been used instead of an e-cert. That also has been done frequently.

    1. Joey

      “The use of an e-cert for the gun bill is not unusual.” is a fair statement. The real question here, is it “use of” or misuse of. Many see it as circumventing the domcratic process.

    2. Quinte West

      David–you just made the other posters point—” most bills in their FINAL FORM…..” where was the preliminary bill? What Committee? What was the House or Senate Number? When did the LCO put it in the Calendar? Where is a detailed OFA analysis?
      This was negotiated by a dozen people, some elected and some appointed, with no opportunity for the public to review the bill. It is disingenuous to compare it to a biennial budget that can be modified. This was rammed through by the condescending and brash Malloy inner circle. Like their boss, they are arrogant and egotistical enough to truly think that they know best on everything.
      There was no reason, other than political expediency, to not subject this legislation to public scrutiny. Both supporters and opponents should all have had a chance to see it before it was made law.

      1. Joey

        Well said!

        I feel a bit stupid here. It just hit me. For the last 3 months the pro gun group has been saying “you are just going to make law abiding gun owners criminals” In other words, if you don’t respect our rights we won’t respect your laws. It is sad that there is a “Emergency Certification” loophole.

      2. The Conn-servative

        The reason is was fast-forwarded thru the legislature was because of the scheduled visit by our Commander in Thief on Monday.
        On Monday,he will speak to his absent minded supporters and show them what leadership CT has done on “gun control”. The reason isn’t the reason, you know.Danny boy’s bagpipes have been broken lately so they ain’t calling. He needs this as a suck up to BO.This is classic page from the regressives playbook.

  10. Lars Arden

    We may see the onset of a boycott of this legislation. Gun owners can buy their ammo out of state and NOT register for the new TAX (listed as a large capacity magazine registration permit)or the registration of the “criminalized” long guns added to the banned guns list. What will the state do, arrest 400,000 to 500,000 non-complying gun owners? Go house to house gun raids? How many lives will the new law cost?

    1. Joey

      Enforcement, time will tell. Registration failed in Canada, but the media missed that story.

      The showboating politicians don’t know and don’t care if the legislation is effective, enforceable or constitutional. They only know it makes sombody feel good.

    2. bill m

      as usual democrats do not think anything thru. They only care about passing feel good laws just for the sake of saying they got something passed regardless of who’s rights are stepped on. I will never vote democrat again for many reasons.I once believed everything that was fed to me by legislators and was on the bad republican train, then MSNBC came out and totally changed my mind, my way of thinking. I saw thru the BS they threw at me every night, then this states Politics.What goes on in Washington the past ten years sealed my indoctrination into the Republican Party, and its a heck of alot better then having Liberals take away my rights, shortchange my way of living, and being basterdised for being a Christian.

  11. peter

    The liberals can have their utopia with high taxes, unfunded state pensions, life medical, no jobs and hand-outs for the ever growing welfare recipients. Let’s face it, all they’re good at is spending other people’s money. Conservatives have the financial backing, create new opportunities and jobs for the economy, not liberals. And when all the conservatives relocate out this communist state, the liberals will have another Detroit. Created and controlled by Democrats, with no one else’s money to feed their habits. Be care what you wish for.

  12. Joey

    Comming up next for Emergency Certification will be the bill to fund the the enforcement. It is going to take 6 months for the police departments to just read and interpret this.

  13. Richard

    Where’s the list of relevant SCOTUS decisions on each proposal in the bill. If its unconstitutional I haven’t seen anything convincing yet.

  14. Kim

    I don’t want to be a felon and I do intend to register all of my guns. Including my squirt guns.

    1. Betrayed Democrat

      Looks like Bill is in love with Kim – he just can’t get him out of his mind. Good to see him come out of the closet, finally

      1. wildbill

        Is it wrong for billy to be in love with Kim? Are you against same-sex relationships, betrayed?

        This is the 21st century – it’s time to catch up and get with the program.

  15. Chien DeBerger

    It is quite apparent that most of the comments are from people who did not hear Mr. Vicevich’s lengthy explanations why the bill is unconstitutional.

    He referenced three court cases, two from the Supreme Court, Miller vs. U.S. and Heller vs. D.C. In particular, the court addressed the term weapons in “common use.” In the Heller case decision, Justice Scalia specifically mentioned the AR platform sporting rifle as a firearm in common use by the citizenry. Hence, the banning or making illegal possession of those firearms, or my off duty gun which can hold 12 rounds, but I am restricted to 10 rounds in the magazine.

    Mr. Vicevich was not spouting off of the top of his head, but from Constitutional attorneys he knows and spoke with. One being his sister Barbara, who quite frankly when placed up against Lawlor, would whip him as the little person he is.

    The stick in this is that there has to be harm shown, so yes, maybe one of us law abiding citizens turned felon will have to be arrested and convicted for this case to be heard.

    As a police officer is this state for over 33 years, these laws have done nothing to prevent the next Sandy Hook. But please sheeple, just look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Baa-a-a-a-a-a.” “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” – Edward R. Murrow

    I have learned in my time as a police officer, that when seconds count, police are minutes away! For those of you believing government is your savior, GOOD LUCK!

    1. Joey

      As a police officer in this state for over 33 years, what are your thoughts about enforcement and the possibillity of people ignoring registration like the people in Canada did?

      1. Chien DeBerger

        I have heard enough statements of CSP troopers planning on not enforcing it. Some of these areas are unenforceable, but that has never stopped our legislators before, trust me. They don’t care about the enforcement part. Here is some of the problems. The legislation has exempted “off-duty” police officers in some section but not in others. Now does the exemption extend to my personal weapon when off duty or just my department issued weapon? Does the “off-duty” status exemption include out of state officer carrying under H.R. 218? Does “off-duty” extend to retired residents and non-resident officers carrying under H.R. 218 the Law Enforcement officer’s Safety Act? All questions are not covered and these questions I have posed to the Office of the Attorney General.

        Frankly I am hoping for a big change in 2014 and 2016 so that we have some legislators with testicles who will repeal this mess!

        1. Alla Tunji - Brother of Babba

          No police are going to ignore the law or they will be fired. Which will then create job openings and that will be good for the unemployed.

          There will be no reversals in 2014 or 2016 or 2020. If anything, we need more control of semi automatic handguns.

          You guys probably developed your interest for arms while serving in the armed forces. But we are heading in the direction of a gun free society.

          Get with the program gentlemen. We have been oppressed by self serving lobby groups like the NRA for too long.

          I have read repeatedly that you folks are law abiding. Now I hear that gun owners are not going to comply. Which means that they were liars all along. So now, if anyone does not comply to the law, this will make them criminals.

          Do you guys intend to become criminals? Just wondering.

          1. Alla Tunji - Brother of Babba

            And here is how I see this thing playing out. If current gun laws reach the Supreme Court, Roberts may just not want to be on the wrong side of history just as he ruled in Obamacare. Then again, Kennedy is the swing vote. We democrats intend on keeping the presidency for 8 more years after Obama. One of the aging Justices will by them leave the Court for one reason or another.

            All law subject to interpretation, be it conservative or liberal. So it will remain the domain of the majority to determine whether we progress or regress. My guess is that the gun reform laws are sustained.

          2. Joey

            You say “But we are heading in the direction of a gun free society.”

            I’ve read headlines like:

            HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy continued his surprise overseas mission on Wednesday, visiting service members stationed in Afghanistan as part of a Department of Defense program for governors. (tax dollars at work!)

            If Govenor Molloy had to go to Afghanistan and tell our troups, Sorry, Colts closed, no more guns, not many big rocks here, just throw sand in their eyes, he would be retuning home in the same plane with ALL of our troups.

            Please, try to look at the BIG picture. Count the number of countries where our military has been deployed. Do they go there unarmed? WHY are they there? Some feel we are there because their government is treating them unfairly.

            Some of us want our government to protect us and some accept the responsibilty to protect themselves. Guns at times are the last resort. In the miltary and police, the higher command dictate the type of gun to be used and when. In selfdefence you make that choice. If the govenment feels it should make that choice for us, they need, purchase and distribute guns and ammunition to those who chose to protect themselves.

            Sandy Hook was tragic. Please do not forget the 58,195 names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall and forget that they gave their lives to defend our FREEDOMS.

          3. me too

            Joey: You were respectful with your comments and i will be respectful with mine.

            What I would like you to do is to observe how other societies function of cease to function based on their gun index.

            England had a gun violence problem and they banned guns. Same with Australia. There is a plethora of guns in South Africa and the country has become so dangerous that those who can afford it leave behind gated communities.

            The British are no less free and neither are the Aussies. The majority of American are speaking and demanding changes to a horrible pre-existing condition. You may dispute me on this but, well, this is what diversity is all about. you bring in enough votes and you get your way. We are bringing more votes and we are making long overdue changes. this is the hardest kind of change to make. No matter what I could say to you, you will not accept any data and any wise thoughts on this divisive issue. Law enforcement already knows that a full 60% of guns recovered from crimes in CT were originally purchased legally. Which means they were stolen of straw purchased.

            We are demanding a stop to this. if you want to shoot off weapons all day long, perhaps we could sanction gun ranges which the range owns all the firearms and you go and rent time and the type of gun and shoot all day long. But no take home.

          4. me too

            Joey: You mentioned about fighting in wars. Well first of all, more then 55,000 men wasted their lives fighting a war in Viet Nam based on lies. Nothing was gained. it was all in vein. Only the war profiteers made out. They didn’t die protecting our freedom. Some of them might have been deceived that they were doing that. some of them forced to go by draft. and if they didn’t, they could go to jail or Sweden or Canada and seek asylum. But they not one died for your freedoms. Shame on our government for causing this monstrous calamity.

            Gun manufacturers can have plenty of business making arms for the military and police. If there are so much more capacity now that they have been flooding the marketplace with this killing machines, then they will need to reduce capacity. That is the way the marketplace works.

            I hope i have enlightening you a bit. But I suspect that I haven’t.

            Enjoy the rest of your day.

          5. me too

            And Joey,
            really, when I said “gun free society,” I didn’t truely mean it. you may keep your shotguns at home for protection. I haven’t a problem with that. I do have a great problem with the kinds of easy mass killing produced by the kinds of weapons now being produced. My apologies to you but this is going to end. perhaps in 100 years, the supply will have diminished so greatly that the few that remain will be placed in museums for future generations to marvel at.

          6. Henry Salo

            Then who’s going to enforce it? The police can’t go to every house or pull every car to make sure this law is enforced. That is in violation of Amendment IV and Amendment V, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution Even the sheriffs in Colorado are not going to enforce the new assault weapons ban in that state.

          7. me too

            henry: enough silly questions for one day. if you didn’t know it by now, we are a nation of laws. if you don’t like the deal, boot your butt down to mexico and have fun in a lawless state.

      2. betrayed democrat

        more wild bill having conversations with himself under several new names, here. The usual claptrap not worth reading. Move on, folks

      1. Chien DeBerger

        In the discussion below the article; Dave Hanover makes good points so I am just pasting his reply because he hits the bullseye on what the issue really is
        “No other “fundamental right” as SCOTUS called 2A, is subjected to a standard of scrutiny less than “strict”.

        The dicta form SCOTUS about “longstanding regulations” doesn’t necessarily exempt anything from review on age and “widespread” standards alone. Rather, it is likely to be ruled that the right must be revoked by a court, like any other “fundamental right”.
        This really isn’t that complicated.
        In the final analysis, the lower courts, are not “confused” as the author asserts, but engaging in inappropriate judicial activism. They will have to be held by the hand and instructed like simpletons to follow the law as they should.”

  16. saxon9075

    As usual “Legislate in haste, repent at leisure”. The law as passed does not exempt certain private entities, like non state colleges and universities, hospitals, armored car companies, other private security from the 10 round magazine ban. they have already petitioned for the law to be amended.

    Why couldn’t there be hearings? I thought the legislature did hold hearings at least there were many people on CTN talking about guns. What was that commission Gov Malloy appointed? Just another waste of taxpayer funds?

    1. Joey

      The bill SB 1160 was passed without public hearings. This can be done with Emergency Certification when appropriate.

      Emergency certification bill, or “e-cert,” which can be passed on the floor without going through committee first. The e-cert is generally reserved for use during times of crisis, such as natural disasters or when deadlines are approaching too quickly to delay action.

      It is clearly a tactic to circumvent the domcratic process. Emergency Certification was challenged in the Senate. It may have been Senator Kissel. It’s just a matter of time before the citizens challenge Emergency Certification for this bill?

    2. Jeb

      They did hold hearings. Unfortunately they didn’t have any intention of listening. They knew what the wanted to do long before Sandy Hook gave them the perfect crisis.

      1. Joey

        I agree,
        Technically hearings were for bill 1076. They listening to overwhelming oppostion and ignored it. They made a choice for people rather than representing the voice of the people the repesent. They ignored Democracy 101. The sad thing is they think nobody noticed.

        1. me too

          Joey; I strongly encourage you to become involved in the political process for 2014. I will be doing the same but for different reasons.

  17. Henry Salo

    A long ago, at Walmart in Putnam, Ct. and certain Walmarts in other parts of Ct., they were selling BB handguns and pellet handguns and these stores required on buyers with a Ct. Pistol Permit were the only ones to buy them. People without permits were rejected. The sign was at the display case selling them. I never saw that requirement after that.


    There’s not an elected official in the the state of Connecticut that cares about the Constitution… the question is moot…

  19. Joey

    me too:

    With respect, I have been to Africa and slept in peace behide the gates. I traveled throught areas where an armed guard was not optional it was required . In short time, I learned the other parts of the world are very different. People in africa have lived there for thousands of years and many are content with their way of life. They have no need for the american way of life. They don’t understand why Americans feel they need to live like Americans. Who are we to decide for them!

    We keep sending our armed milltary into foreign countries. Is it to defend the poor souls who have no guns to defend themselves? Many don’t come home alive. Our President, Govenors and Mayors have media opportunities consoling the families when the bodies come home.

    Yes everywhere you go it is different. I have chosen to live here, not England, not Austraila. You can say, everything is still OK over there why not accept their values. I can say, accept what Canada did and suspend gun registration, it works for them.

    I’ll say it one more time. Please do not forget the 58,195 names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall and forget that they gave their lives to defend our FREEDOMS.

    1. me too

      Joey. Have you walked that wall – in person? if so, when.

      I have. and it is not a cherry place to be. but that shouldn’t distract from the fact that there are over 55,000 families who have one less family member. You cry for every one when you walk that wall and it doesn’t matter which side you were on back then. the reasons are no longer important.

      but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t die in vein. they did. if you think events in our times (gun laws…) are hard now, you haven’t seen anything until you lived through the Viet Nam period in this country.

  20. Otto Phil

    The public and Newtown should look at the social structure and family lifestyles in their community. Is there a American problem with insiders vs. outsiders? Is the violents part of a social value war. Was the family and surrounding community to blame due to the pushing a pass through mentality to “style” over substance? These are the questions and issues the public should focus.

  21. Otto Phil

    The question is; How many “Lanza” families are there in towns like Newtown, Rigdefield, Madison, Simsbury, New Cannan, Darian, Westport? The word on the street is many afluent families have embraced the gun culture and is driven by mothers more so than fathers. More and more the pseudo rich are increasingly paranoid and walling themselves in their communities, houses, cars, private security and producing children with emotion disorders, distorted orientation, and extreme difficulty coping in life. Many turn to alternative lifestyles and further distance themselves with reality.

  22. Howard Riehl

    The singular problem here is, thousands of law-abiding CT citizens are being punished for the sick actions of one person: Adam Lanza. One affects Many. Flip it around; would you rather have one Adam Lanza or 50 armed law-abiding citizens? Because that is what you will have, the law-abiding will have no weapons and the criminals will have many. I never understood what the NRA meant when they said “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” now I understand, do you?

    This law has to be declared unconstitutional under Heller and Miller. Though ambiguous decisions, the Second Amendment still uses the word “Infringe.” If this new law isn’t the very definition of “Infringe” than I don’t know what is.

    If this law is not overturned or at least brought into Constitutional compliance, than I fear we are in for much, much worse. Once one Constitutional Right falls, what’s to stop others?

    Hey Rush Limbaugh–you can have a mic, you can broadcast, no violation of your First Amendment right, but you can’t broadcast out of your local broadcast area. A reasonable restriction of the First Amendment, no?

    Our CT lawmakers did not listen to the People. There may have been hearings, but there was no listening. This must change. If we don’t vote out all anti-Constitutional politicians in the next vote, WE become the problem! Call you representatives, email them, fax them, do it every day, make sure they get the message. Join your state NRA affiliate, get involved–if you’re not part of the Solution, YOU are the problem!
    Contact the NRA-ILA and find the names of your local affiliates. Get involved or suffer the consequences.

  23. saxon9075

    Otto Phil has a point. Look at the Skakel family. They felt rich and privileged and almost gort away with murder and a coverup. (this is not libel but is fact, as was decided by a court of law until that decision is overturned, if it is.)

    I see more and more gated communities being built. (Remember Travon Martin died in one.)The wealthy are being protected by virtual private police forces. Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was the governor chose not to use CHP protection but hired (with his own money) security from the infamous Blackwater.

    When the law abiding are disarmed and the criminals are not, they will clamor for the Government to protect them with ever increasing limits on civil liberties. (see Mayor Bloomberg’s/NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy)

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