2nd Amendment advocates rally at Capitol
HARTFORD — A modest crowd of Second Amendment supporters gathered at the state Capitol Saturday to urge against calls for stricter gun control at the national level that would be on par with Connecticut’s laws.
The rally came just two weeks to the day after Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Gov. Ned Lamont, held a gathering at the Capitol to call for stricter federal gun laws modeled after their home state.
Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said the rally Saturday was put together quickly in response.
“I was a little bit incensed at our politicians here in Connecticut trying to tell the rest of the country that Connecticut is leading the way with gun control and that it would be a good idea for other states or the federal government to pass gun control based on Connecticut’s policies,” Wilson said. “I think that in 2013, when we passed a ban against firearms that are commonly owned and held and possessed ... I think that was misguided. I know that there was a rush in 2013 for lawmakers to want to do something, but I don’t think those laws made anybody safer.”
Connecticut’s senators have lead the push by Democrats to get Congress to pass expanded background checks and tighter federal gun laws such as bans on large capacity magazines and assault weapons based on similar laws in Connecticut. Blumenthal is also working on legislation with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to introduce legislation based on Connecticut’s “red flag law,” which passed in the 1999.
“We want to make sure the free states know that if they pass these types of laws, they’re never going to go away,” Wilson said, arguing he does not believe that limiting magazine capacity and banning certain weapons increases safety. “Once they’re passed, once they’re signed by the governors of those states or by a president, they’re never going to go away, they’re never going to stop.”
The CCDL rally, organized in conjunction with the Connecticut Libertarian party, featured keynote speaker Maj Toure, founder of Black Guns Matter, an organization that advocates the right to keep and bear arms. Toure also spoke Friday night at the University of New Haven.
Toure, who came from Philadelphia to speak at the event, called on the crowd of about 250 people to engage with people of color in urban areas to educate them about their right to own firearms.
“We, as freedom loving patriots, are failing at involving urban America from different ethnicities,” Toure said of the gun rights movement. “We are failing ... the reality is we have not effectively engaged urban America.”
CCDL has co-filed an amicus brief with the National Rifle Association in support of gunmaker Remington, which was sued by families of some of the victims in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Remington has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Connecticut ruling that reinstated a part of a lawsuit against Remington.
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