June 13, 2016
Fairfield CT – Early Sunday morning, a gunman armed with an assault rifle and handgun opened fire in the Pulse Orlando Night Club & Ultra Lounge, a popular LGBT bar in Orlando. The carnage ended with 50 dead and 53 hospitalized with injuries.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the victims and with the entire community of Orlando, another community like our own Newtown neighbors who have had to bear the full brunt of our Congressional inaction in the face of the horrific epidemic of mass shootings and everyday gun violence in our country.
Over the coming hours and days we will learn more about the shooter and his possible motives. What we do know is that, once again, an angry young man, perhaps one who should have been on the Terror Watch list, had easy access to powerful weapons and used those guns to kill dozens of innocent people.
It was the worst mass shooting in our history and again we have to ask ourselves how our Congress can continue to make excuses for taking no action to establish every reasonable policy to limit gun violence in America, or even to admit that the problem of easy, unlimited access to guns in our country is their responsibility to fix.
We urge you to take action now by signing this petition to renew the federal ban on assault weapons. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-assault-weapons-now-4?source=s.fwd&r_by=236 .
These weapons were designed for military police use and do not belong in the hands of dangerous civilians.
The goal is to receive one million signatures. In the first fifteen hours, over 150,000 have already signed. Let’s reach the goal and then go on to next steps.
January 5, 2016
CT Against Gun Violence applauds President Obama’s Executive Actions to expand background checks
Southport, CT – CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV) applauds the executive actions to reduce gun deaths and injuries issued today by President Obama. In the face of willful disregard for American lives by Congress, the President was forced to take actions that are supported by more than 90 percent of the nation. There is no justifiable reason for allowing firearms to be sold to anyone without a background check. By clarifying what it means to “be engaged in the business” of selling guns, Brady background checks will now be required for millions of gun purchases made every year at gun shows and over the Internet.
Says Marty Isaac, President of CAGV, “We commend President Obama for his bold actions to address the public health crisis of gun violence. While Connecticut has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, weak laws in other states undermine them. I have no doubt the President’s actions will make communities in CT and across the country safer.”
With the politically courageous leadership of Governor Malloy, CT has led the nation in passing strong gun laws. The Governor’s leadership is matched only by the passion and commitment of the gun violence prevention movement in CT. Ron Pinciaro, Executive Director of CAGV called attention to the role of CT-based GVP activists in securing today’s victory, saying, “It’s thanks to the tireless and sustained efforts of our gun safety advocates over the past three years since Sandy Hook that we’ve reached the tipping point for moving forward on common-sense measures to reduce gun violence.”
A key strategy of CAGV is ensuring that CT’s gun safety laws are administered effectively. CAGV welcomes the attention and resources that will be put into improving the background check process and NICS, the federal database of persons prohibited from buying guns. The measures ordered by the President will make background checks even more effective. CAGV will continue to work with the Malloy administration and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to enhance and maintain the accuracy and completeness of CT’s prohibited persons databases.
A common position of the gun lobby when opposing stronger gun laws is that existing laws are sufficient; all that is needed is better enforcement. Says Jonathan Perloe, Director of Communications for CAGV, “The response of the gun lobby to these measures will be a good test of its commitment to reducing gun violence. The NRA has consistently called for better enforcement of existing gun laws. That’s exactly what President Obama did today with his executive actions.”
December 2, 2015
San Bernardino Mass Shooting
While we are in shock as another mass shooting unfolds in America, we can no longer say that we are surprised. Latest reports are that 26 persons have been shot, with twelve killed, by a mass shooter, or shooters, at the Inland Regional Training Center in San Bernardino, CA.
We cannot accept this any longer as normal. Thoughts and prayers for the victims are necessary, but are not enough – especially coming from legislators who refuse to act.
According to the Mass Shooting Tracker Web site, this is the 355th mass shooting this year. And yet the only response coming from these lawmakers is to do nothing. They are happy to spend billions of dollars trying to keep dangerous people from crossing our borders while doing nothing to keep even more dangerous people from having easy access to firearms.
October 19, 2015
Another Major Victory for CT Gun Laws
Residents of Connecticut have just been handed a major victory by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Today it declared that the 2013 gun safety laws passed after the Sandy Hook shooting do not violate the Second Amendment.
A U.S. District Court ruled similarly in January 2014, but gun rights groups held their ground by appealing to the Second Circuit.
The appellate court upheld the decision, stating “Connecticut laws prohibiting possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large‐capacity magazines do not violate the Second Amendment, and that the challenged individual provisions are not void for vagueness.”
This is a major victory for Connecticut and CAGV’s mission to protect our common-sense gun laws. That’s exactly what the Court said in its opinion, writing, “Because the prohibitions are substantially related to the important governmental interests of public safety and crime reduction, they pass constitutional muster.”
We congratulate state Attorney General George Jepsen and his office, in particular Assistant AG Maura Murphy Osborne, for their diligence and devotion to the defense of the legislation that was adopted and passed by the Connecticut General Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
We are also proud that CAGV, with your support, worked with the AG’s office to lend our expertise and joined the amicus brief prepared by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
You can read the court’s decision here.
October 2, 2015
CAGV’s Response to Roseburg, Oregon Shooting
Our deepest sympathy is with the families of those whose lives were taken, those who were injured, and the entire community of Roseburg, Oregon in the aftermath of the senseless shooting that took place there.
But as President Obama said in his remarks, “our thoughts and prayers are with them” is not enough.
Saying that schools being “soft targets” is the problem is silly and is not enough.
Saying, as the local police chief in Roseburg did, that “I refuse to name the shooter” is not enough.
Nothing will be enough until we get the Congress, and state legislatures, to take legislative action until this problem is solved. Because there are actually people who think that we should do nothing about this.
So we must have people who believe as we do, especially those gun owners who believe as we do, stand up to those legislators who believe we should do nothing and replace them if they won’t vote for smart gun laws that keep people safe.
It’s time to stop the fiction that we are helpless about the routine massacres of innocent students and little children.
This does not happen in other advanced, industrialized countries. It only happens routinely here.
President Obama said last night, “Each time this happens, I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws.”
In CT, we are fortunate to have our entire Congressional delegation on Board. Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and Congress persons Esty, Himes, DeLauro, Larson, and Courtney. They work hard every day to try to convince their colleagues to establish common sense gun reforms. We must support them as they do this.
And here at the state level, we still have work to do. Make sure your State Senator and Representative are willing to strengthen our gun laws. If not, support someone who will.
Those are the routes to the solution of this travesty. Doing nothing is abhorrent.
September 17, 2015
CT Against Gun Violence Supports Petition to Cancel Department of Justice Grant to National Shooting Sports Foundation
Southport, CT – CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV) joins the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Newtown Action Alliance in calling on the Department of Justice to cancel its grant to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), “the trade association for America’s firearms industry.”
NSSF announced that it has received a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund its Project ChildSafe program that distributes gun locks through local law enforcement agencies, gun retailers and other organizations.[i] CAGV supports all efforts, including non-legislative initiatives, to foster responsible gun ownership and reduce gun deaths and injuries.
However, says CAGV Executive Director Ron Pinciaro, “There is no place for the federal government to use taxpayer dollars to fund the NSSF, an organization that consistently opposes common-sense gun safety laws.”
To cite just one example, in 2011 in Connecticut NSSF launched a campaign to oppose legislation that would ban high capacity magazines. [ii] The NSSF Director of Government Relations sent testimony to the CT Joint Committee on Judiciary, writing “there is no rational basis upon which to justify” the ban. [iii] That was just one year before the Sandy Hook School shooter released more than 150 rounds in less than five minutes with his high capacity magazines[iv], killing 26 children and educators.
In fact, evidence and logic demonstrate that limiting magazine capacity could help save lives. NSSF’s opposition shows they are not truly interested in reducing gun violence.
Through the end of 2012 at least half of mass shootings involved high capacity magazines.[v] It was only when the Tuscon, AZ shooter who killed six and seriously injured Rep. Gabby Giffords stopped to change his 33-round magazine that a bystander was able to wrestle him to the ground to end the massacre[vi].
A Washington Post study of Virginia data during the 1994 federal assault weapon ban found that the use of high capacity magazines recovered in crimes dropped, and then increased again once the ban expired[vii]. Garen Wintemute, head of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California at Davis told the Washington Post that the analysis offered “about as clear an example as we could ask for of evidence that the ban was working.”[viii]
Beyond opposing the bill on the grounds that it would “accomplish nothing,” the NSSF argued that “Connecticut tax payers will be forced to foot the bill” for enforcement.[ix] However, apparently seeing no contradiction, the NSSF has sought and accepted more than $90 million of taxpayer dollars since 2000 to fund Project ChildSafe.[x]
CAGV Board President Marty Isaac states “Money is fungible. While promoting the use of gun locks is noble, taxpayer dollars should not go to an organization that uses its funds to block legislation that reduces gun deaths.”
Says Jonathan Perloe, CAGV Communications Director “NSSF is an organization that through words and actions demonstrates that it is at least as interested in loosely regulated gun sales as it is in promoting gun safety.”
[i] DOJ Awards $2.4 Million Grant to NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, NSSF press release, Sep 10, 2015
[ii] At least four communications were posted on the NSSF website urging people to oppose CT Senate bill SB 1094
[iii] Jake McGuigan letter to Joint Committee on Judiciary, NSSF website, Mar 23,2011
[iv] Newtown gunman spent more than 150 rounds, killed victims within 5 minutes, Fox News, Mar 28, 2013
[v] “A Killing Machine”: Half of All Mass Shooters Used High-Capacity Magazines, Mother Jones, Jan 30, 2013
[vi] Heroes of Tucson Shooting: ‘Something Had to Be Done’, ABC News, Jan 10, 2011
[vii] Data indicate drop in high-capacity magazines during federal gun ban, The Washington Post, Jan 10, 2013
[ix] Connecticut Bill Introduced to Ban Possession of All Magazines Over 10 Rounds, NSSF Blog, Mar 1, 2011
[x] Loesch: Obama slashed funding for gun safety program, Tampa Bay Times Pundit Fact, Sep 8, 2014.
June 19, 2015
Our hearts go out to the victims of the recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
Although we don’t have all the facts yet, here’s what we know.
Nine people, including South Carolina pastor and state senator Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, have been killed in a shooting that occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The suspect, 21 year-old Dylann Storm Roof, was arrested in North Carolina after an extensive manhunt.
Roof was arrested on felony drug charges in a shopping mall in Columbia, SC in February of this year, and was also banned from the mall. He was arrested again two months later for trespassing when he was caught in the parking lot. Although police have not confirmed what gun was used in the shooting, Roof received a .45 caliber gun from his father for his 21st birthday in April.
So again, we are faced with yet another of the far too many mass shootings that are bringing such sorrow to our towns and cities and communities in America.These massacres cause us to worry that places once considered sanctuaries, like schools and churches, can no longer be secure in that way.
We cannot continue to allow guns to fall into the hands of dangerous people and feel that we are guiltless about routine massacres of innocent men, women, and children.
It’s clearly time to do more; so what can we do? In Connecticut, our laws allow police to investigate and remove guns from people who are reported to be a danger to others or themselves. Had he been in Connecticut, people who knew him and perceived him as a danger could have reported that information to police who in turn have the right here to investigate the complaint and request a warrant to remove any firearms in his possession.
An additional policy solution, that could prevent such a tragedy from occurring here in Connecticut, would be to adjust the suitability requirement for qualifying for a permit to carry firearms. Right now, in addition to background checks, age requirements, firearm training, and other qualifications for acquiring a permit to carry a firearm outside of the home or place of business, Connecticut also allows the local police chief to determine if the applicant is “suitable” to carry a firearm. If we extend this suitability standard to apply to troubling events subsequent to a permit issuance, there is a good chance that police chiefs, knowledgeable about the activities of people of concern in their jurisdiction, could prevent more dangerous people, like Dyllan Storm Roof, from possessing weapons.
Roof didn’t do anything that would have allowed the police to remove his gun(s) prior to the shooting under current law in South Carolina. However, if the suitability requirement is expanded here, police would be able to remove guns from people like Roof, who are clearly dangerous.
August 5, 2014
At CT Against Gun Violence, we are greatly saddened to learn of the death yesterday of James Brady.
After Jim was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan, he and his wife Sarah courageously decided to dedicate their lives to the issue of gun violence prevention.
The results speak for themselves. Many lives have been saved through the work of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Jim’s work will live on and Jim will always be remembered for it.
Our deepest regrets go out to Jim and his family.
January 31, 2014: U.S. Court Upholds Constitutionality of CT Gun Law
Hartford, CT –The United States District Court has upheld on January 30 the constitutionality of the Connecticut ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines established under Public Act 13-3, amended as 13-220, and signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy on April 5, 2013.
CAGV Executive Director Ron Pinciaro said, “We are heartened by Judge Covello’s ruling that has reaffirmed consistent rulings in other jurisdictions that banning military style assault weapons in the interest of public safety does not constitute an infringement of Second Amendment rights.”
Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV) has advocated for more than 20 years for common sense gun laws. It was joined after the Sandy Hook shooting by the grass roots group, March for Change, now a program of CAGV.
Ct is now ranked second among the states for the strength of its gun laws and is among the states with the lowest per capita gun deaths in the nation.
The law, entitled An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety, passed the Connecticut General Assembly with bipartisan support.
The office of CT Attorney General George Jepsen provided the arguments in defense of the constitutionality of the law.
Major Reforms Following Newtown Tragedy Led to Increased Ranking
Fairfield, CT –Connecticut now has the second strongest gun reform measures in the nation based on a new scorecard issued today by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Connecticut was ranked only behind California in this year’s “2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter” produced by the organizations. Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Fairfield, CT –The national gun lobby has begun to file lawsuits against Connecticut’s new gun safety laws in an attempt to overturn the intent of the majority of the citizens of Connecticut. CAGV Executive Director Ron Pinciaro said, “There is nothing new about attempts by the gun industry to use the courts to try to overturn gun safety legislation that had the overwhelming support of the people. There have been more than 300 such attempts, with minimal success, since the Supreme Court decision in the Heller case in 2007.” Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Fairfield CT — CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV) stands in full support of Senate President Donald Williams in his call for a vote of the full membership on nothing less than Governor Malloy’s proposal for a comprehensive package of gun violence prevention measures. Senator Williams has indicated that the wait has lasted long enough for the Gun Safety Task Force to act, and it is time to move forward to a vote on the Governor’s package. We urge House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey to join with Senator Williams to break the deadlock. Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Governor Malloy has issued the administration’s proposals for the legislature to use as a starting point for reasonable gun violence prevention legislation. CAGV Executive Director Ron Pinciaro said, “While we fully support the common sense measures proposed by Governor Malloy, we also believe that our proposal on registration of handguns, with annual renewal and stipulation that the law abiding purchaser is still in possession of the handgun, will go a long way to help address the problem of legally purchased guns being diverted into the illegal market. This is a major contributing factor to urban crime. We also believe that limiting handgun purchases to one per month, as has been done in three states, will be an important hindrance to gun traffickers.” Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file
Click here to download or view this press release as a PDF file