Pro-Gun Group Celebrates Inaction on Bill Protecting Domestic Abuse Victims; But is it Premature?

Connecticut’s largest pro-gun group was no doubt popping the champagne bottles when the 2015 session of the General Assembly came to a close Wednesday night. The bill to allow police to remove guns from people who are the subject of a restraining order did in fact stall in the state Senate as time ran out on the session. But it might see the light of day in the upcoming special session.

Scott Wilson, head of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said in a statement to members, “[The CCDL] is expressing its appreciation for the State Legislature’s decision to cease action on bills that would have seriously affected due process rights of gun owners.” Actually, it was the flurry of activity in the final hours of the session that lead to the inaction. It’s not as though a compromised wasn’t reached and didn’t have bipartisan support. It did and it does.

The bill would allow those applying for a restraining order and who are in fear for their lives to also request that the subject of the order be made to surrender their guns and permits.

The CCDL, which also opposed the post-Sandy Hook massacre gun control laws, thinks the bill was an infringement on the Second Amendment. “Persons who never threatened or harmed anyone would have automatically lost possession of their personal property for two years or longer if [the bill] had become law. We are talking about people potentially being punished who have never committed a crime, or been convicted of any wrongdoing. That is a harsh and unjust outcome to imagine.”

Sorry, Wild Bill. But if a person has a restraining order against them, it’s not unreasonable to make them turn over their guns until the situation is settled, in court or otherwise. The CCDL takes gun rights to the extreme and always has.

Gov. Dannel Malloy supports the bill. “I hope and I certainly will encourage the legislature to take up temporary restraining orders,” Malloy said, “I think there’s a desire to do that and pass it. I think it didn’t get raise dearly enough in the deliberative process to avoid what…would otherwise be referred to as the mash up of the last couple of days. Now that we no longer have that mash up I’m certainly hopeful that we will take steps to protect victims of domestic violence,” the Hartford Courant reported him as saying.

The restraining order bill could come up in the special session along with some others relating to crime and punishment. At the top of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s list is the “Second Chance Society” bill that overhauls drug laws and another is one regarding police accountability and body cameras.

Malloy is also hinting that the taxes on businesses and corporation in the new state budget may not be a done deal.