Press Release – CCDL Seek Emergency Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction Against “Assault Weapon” Ban



Contact: Holly Sullivan
860-785-5322 –

SEYMOUR, CT – On Friday February 3, 2023, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (“CCDL”) in conjunction with the Second Amendment Foundation (“SAF”), filed an Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction in federal court in response to a recent ruling by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) published on January 31, 2023. ATF’s new rule suddenly reclassifies certain “other” firearms (firearms that are neither rifles, shotguns, nor pistols) as being “rifles.” This technical change pushes “others” within the definition of “assault weapon” under Connecticut’s ban.

ATF’s new rule impacts tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who are otherwise law-abiding, but who have now found themselves facing possible felony prosecution through no fault of their own. While residents of other states are able to register these firearms with the ATF, or change the short barrels for longer ones to make them legal, the ATF has stated that it will not permit any such registrations from Connecticut residents due to Connecticut’s “assault weapon” ban. Nor will changing out the barrels avoid redesignation as banned “assault weapons” under Connecticut law. As such, many thousands of Connecticut residents who were previously authorized by the Connecticut State Police’s Special Licensing and Firearms Unit to purchase these firearms, find themselves without the legal options had by residents of most other states.

The Plaintiffs filed this motion for emergency relief in the existing federal action of Grant, et al. v. Lamont, et al., 3:22-cv-01223-JBA, which was originally filed September 29, 2022. In the lawsuit, CCDL and SAF are accompanied by three individual plaintiffs: Jenny Hamilton, a mom, business owner and domestic violence victim, as well as Eddie Grant and Michael Stiefel, former corrections officers who each served our state proudly for over twenty years.

“These three plaintiffs, along with tens of thousands of other good, law-abiding Connecticut residents, suddenly find themselves facing possible felony charges, all of which could have disastrous implications for them, their families, their careers, and their standing in the community. Until Tuesday, the firearms at issue were entirely lawful, owned by people who may now face detrimental personal damage due to state laws that are not only unclear and virtually impossible to comply with, but also in blatant and direct violation of the Connecticut and U.S. Constitutions,” says Holly Sullivan, President of the CCDL. “As such, we are imploring the federal court to step in to protect these otherwise lawful gunowners from being arrested under the new application of Connecticut’s egregious ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ which are simply commonly owned modern sporting arms.”

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization of more than 43,000 members, committed to protecting the inalienable constitutional right of all citizens to keep and bear arms through legislative and grassroots advocacy, education, research, publishing, legal action and programs. The Second Amendment Foundation, Inc. is national organization comprised of more than 700,000 members. For nearly 50 years, the SAF has been a pioneer in innovative defense of the right to keep and bear arms, through its publications, public education and legal action.
Attorney Doug Dubitsky, Attorney Craig Fishbein and Attorney Cameron Atkinson are representing the Plaintiffs in this federal civil rights action challenging Connecticut’s ban on modern sporting arms.

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