SOUTHBURY, CT (WFSB) - A U.S. District Court has issued a preliminary injunction against Connecticut's governor public safety commissioner after it found a violation against the Second Amendment.
Federal District Court Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer issued the order Monday that within one week, Gov. Ned Lamont must modifying the portions of his March 17 executive order that suspended the law requiring state and local law enforcement accept applications, including taking the requisite fingerprints, from Connecticut residents seeking new firearm permits.
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, or CCDL, announced the injunction on Tuesday morning against Lamont and Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella.
As a result of the executive order, the CCDL said law enforcement throughout the state refused to accept new firearms permit applications, thereby unconstitutionally suspending the process to obtain a permit to purchase and possess firearms for self-defense.
It said Lamont ignored a letter from April 7, 2020 that sought the reinstatement of the application process. The CCDL said it had no choice but to file May 9, 2020 action to obtain relief for its members from the federal court.
In his 26 page decision, Meyer ruled that order, and law enforcement’s implementation of it, “plainly burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment.” Further, that “they categorically foreclose a person who does not already have a permit or certification from acquiring a handgun if the person’s fingerprints are not already on file. One cannot exercise the right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense if one is prevented from acquiring a handgun in the first place.”
According to the CCDL, the state argued Lamont and Rovella did not violate the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights because the “temporary” suspension was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the federal court should not intervene.
Meyer dispelled that argument and wrote “If the governor and the commissioner were to issue a gag order barring plaintiffs from exercising their First Amendment free speech rights for the balance of the COVID-19 crisis, plaintiffs would surely suffer injury despite the ‘temporary’ nature of the crisis.”
Meyer imposed a preliminary injunction against Lamont and Rovella, and ordered that by June 15, the governor must modify the executive order and restore the fingerprinting and firearm permit application process. The order also said that Rovella must resume fingerprinting “for applicants seeking permits to acquire, carry, or possess firearms that are subject to protection under the Second Amendment.”