Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

HB 6200 – Show Your Papers Bill Being Lied About

Connecticut Carry Fights Back Against Hysterical Propaganda

Hartford CT, March 20, 2017:

There is a lot of talk right now in the media, on social media, amongst friends and around dinner tables about the topic of open carry and showing your permit when confronted by law enforcers. If you believe the fear, uncertainty, doubt and outright lies being sold by anti-rights groups, media and politicians, you would think that this is some kind of issue revolving around the right to bear arms. You might be led to believe that people who choose to bear arms as a lifestyle want some kind of special treatment. But you would be wrong. And it isn’t completely your fault either. You are being lied to and intentionally misinformed.

Anti-rights groups are trying to sell a lie that includes people with fishing permits needing to show their fishing permit upon request. There is nothing in law in Connecticut that requires any such thing absent reasonable articulable suspicion. A better analogy would be that operating a motor vehicle in Connecticut requires that operators maintain and possess their operator license.  In 2017, as of this date, there have been approximately 53 fatal accidents within the state, with a percentage of these fatal accidents being caused by drivers operating under suspension, revocation or under the influence. Seeing the public safety issue present with these drivers, why can’t Law Enforcement Officers pull over, detain and search anyone that they see on the road to check and make sure that they have a license and that they are not under the influence? Because you have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure as recognized in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1, Section 7 of the Connecticut constitution.

And that is the actual issue here. No one is arguing about whether or not a police officer has the power to demand a pistol permit from someone carrying a firearm that is suspected of a crime. The argument is whether or not the mere carrying of a firearm either provides that suspicion or overrides the requirement for reasonable articulable suspicion. And that argument has been settled already; this is settled law.

HB 6200 is not a Second Amendment issue. HB 6200 is a Fourth Amendment issue. Our position is consistent with and has been repeatedly upheld in courts across the country. Terry v. Ohio was one of the major cases that really laid down the Reasonable Articulable Suspicion requirement when a citizen is being detained by a law enforcement officer. Even more recently, Florida v. J.L. also really narrowed this argument down and established that the requirements for reasonable articulable suspicion set forth in Terry v. Ohio do not suddenly disappear when a firearm is involved.

The media, politicians and anti-rights groups who have been spreading these lies and falsehoods should all be ashamed of themselves for not performing their due diligence with the facts surrounding this issue.  

This bill is not about safety, as there have been zero actual public safety incidents regarding open carry. Instead, this is a flanking move to attack and chill all personal rights by attacking the right to be free against unreasonable searches and seizures.

 “The collectivist propaganda machine is alive and well here in Connecticut, where anti-rights groups, media sources and politicians alike sell outright lies to the people of Connecticut without fear of reprisal or rebuttal. Connecticut Carry seeks to end that machine and bring truth back to discussions around the right to bear arms.” Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess

 

 



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Malloy Declares Price Gouging War Against Firearms Permitees

Connecticut Carry Fires Back With Common Sense

Hartford CT, February 11, 2017

After Governor Dannel Malloy’s announcement this week that he would seek to increase Pistol Permit fees to ridiculous highs, pricing the human right to self-defense out of existence for many in Connecticut, we are firing back. We are going to show this Governor how common sense and leadership should work, instead of Governor Malloy’s continual mismanagement of state funds and his outright bigoted hatred towards those who possess the means to defend themselves in Connecticut.

It is a lost cause to debate such things with a bigot like Dannel Malloy. Malloy doesn’t care about fixing spending in Hartford, but only about penalizing gun owners further for his personal victim disarmament goals. We are reaching out to legislators with real ideas that can save municipalities money, save the state money, increase state revenue and make people who apply for a Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers satisfied with their access to legal means of personal safety and self-protection. And this can all be done right now, instead of taking 5 years to pan out like the Governor’s proposal.

We propose the following:

1.       Remove pistol permitting responsibilities entirely from municipalities. Currently, the municipalities have a majority of the burden in the application process, and that work is entirely useless in terms of public safety.

2.       All permits would be issued directly, the same day at the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU) at DESPP headquarters in Middletown, Connecticut for a flat application fee of $100 which includes the $16.75 IAFIS query fee. No state background check fee (currently $50) is authorized by law anyway, and this is a good time to eliminate that illegal fee.

3.       SLFU already conducts the same IAFIS checks and their own instant in-house state conviction history database search imediately when an application is submitted. IAFIS is guaranteed to return fingerprint results in less than two hours. Pistol permit issuance times are thus decreased from months to a few hours, reducing employee processing expense, time and effort.

4.       Remove any and all ‘suitability’ requirements from the Connecticut General Statutes, which are catch-alls that allow local issuing authorities to deny people their right to armed self-defense on arbitrary and capricious grounds, which are often overturned on appeal at the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.

Utilizing this simple plan, the legislature could work with Connecticut Carry to remove waste all over the state in municipal and state departments, saving countless amounts of money, retaining the same or increased levels of public safety, and keeping the public safe by expediting their ability to defend themselves.

Connecticut Carry will present this overall plan to legislators in the coming week, and offer our services to help craft the actual legislative package that can be directly presented to fix all of these problems and benefit the state’s treasury in a time of financial crisis caused by Dannel Malloy and his administration.



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Response to Soto v Bushmaster Appeal

The real motives behind the lawsuit are becoming clear

Hartford, CT, November 16, 2016:

In a much-anticipated legal move, an appeal has been filed in the case of Soto et al. v. Bushmaster Firearms International LLC et al. The appeal seeks to have the Connecticut Supreme Court override a ruling by Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) prohibits this kind of frivolous lawsuit.

Connecticut Carry has largely stayed quiet on this case, as we believe organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that represent the industry are better suited to the task, but we are increasingly being asked for comments on the case as the Connecticut organization that advocates for legal armed self-defense that has been on the leading edge of legal battles here in Connecticut. 

Before we make any comments on this case, those comments need to be pre-faced: We have feel nothing but sorrow and empathy for the families of Newtown, Connecticut that went through such horrific loss during the mass murder that occurred in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

There is a line, however, that the rest of the citizens of Connecticut, and across the nation do not want to see crossed. And that is where their rights are placed in jeopardy because of the actions of a single mentally deranged human being. We are individuals with rights, and no matter what emotional charge is brought to bear through a collective, we maintain and defend those rights.

In the case of Soto et al. v. Bushmaster Firearms International LLC et al, we believe the families of the victims are being pushed by political interests to make legal assaults against business owners inside and outside of Connecticut that are protected under long-standing and established laws. There are two likely explanations for such attacks: to use the courts as a de-facto penalty with the cost of those businesses defending themselves being a financial penalty. But the more likely end goal of this lawsuit is to lose, allowing members of congress to use emotionally-charged arguments to try and change basic legal protections like the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). We expect those arguments will fail, especially on a Federal level.

 

"While the PLCAA does provide a legal shield against lawsuits like this, PLCAA simply codified common law and tort principles that pre-dates PLCAA for quite some time.  PLCAA may be a “new” law in the collective consciousness, the principles contained within the Act are in line with historical precedence of common sense tort law." – Raymond Johansen, Director of Education, Connecticut Carry

“The trial court properly applied the law Congress wrote.  We believe in the rule of law, and soundly reject any attempts at influencing the judiciary to engage in social activism where fundamental rights are concerned.  This case was brought to politicize an inanimate object and to impermissibly restrict the free interstate trade in legal products.  This suit was an unconscionable act of "lawfare" targeted towards a good and law-abiding segment of society, and it had to fail.” – Matt Tyszka, Director of Legislative Affairs, Connecticut Carry

"The families of the victims are being used for political ends, and there is an obvious concern over whether or not they are aware of it. Shame on collectivist pimps like Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Christopher Murphy and others that would use this tragedy and the families of the victims to promote their disarmament goals."  - Rich Burgess, President, Connecticut Carry



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Gun Owners Teach Established Politicians a Lesson

Gun Ban Hillary Defeated

North Branford CT, November 12, 2016:

Gun owners across the country, fed up with the all-out assault on their individual rights by collectivists like former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, showed their power during the 2016 presidential election by stopping Hillary Clinton’s presidential run cold. With over 100 million gun owners nationwide, and gun ownership having at least the same requirements as voting in most places, it was a huge mistake for a candidate to be openly hostile to their rights.

The rhetoric and group blame tactics utilized in the election helped to waken and galvanize a giant voting base in this country, and that very likely cost Hillary Clinton the election. This election should serve as a reminder to politicians that when it comes to our right to armed self-defense, we do not forgive and we do not forget. Showing the population that you are against the right to armed self-defense will bring an early end to your political career.

Here in Connecticut, the effect will be felt in the near future as many Democrat politicians that had been riding national coattails have just watched their Federal political aspirations go up in smoke. Connecticut Carry knows that this is the time to push hardest against these politicians here in Connecticut. We will target each politician in Connecticut that continues to be against our right to armed self-defense and work to remove them from office.

To this end, Connecticut Carry is seeking volunteers from across Connecticut that wish to assist us in our work. For information: Contact info@ctcarry.com

 

“Firearms owners across this great country have said "ENOUGH!" We soundly punished the elites who proudly proclaimed their disgust for Constitutional rights while simultaneously practicing a dual standard of laws for their inner circle and for us.  We didn't necessarily vote for individuals, we voted for the return of Constitutional supremacy and equality under the law for all.”

Matt Tyszka, Director of Legislative Affairs, Connecticut Carry

 

“This election will be dissected for years to come.  Many reasons, this will go down in the history books, studied ad nauseam to find out why.  Where I sit, this isn’t a referendum for Donald Trump, President Elect, but rather a referendum and protest against an ever-growing Federal government hostile to the individual, and personal liberties. 

For many, the right to own, possess, transport and carry firearms as a lifestyle choice is a litmus test for where a political or bureaucrat stands on other issues regarding personal liberty and freedom.  The current and preceding administrations have been hostile to all manners of personal liberty – whether it be the punishment for exercising or refusing to participate in voluntary commerce, the use of personal and private tax information as a political weapon against opponents or the use of the tax code to force commerce with private companies; the rights of the peaceable to possess arms are in direct conflict with an ever growing, hostile State and the parallels cannot be ignored.

Tens of millions voted for a change – a change from the establishment and breaking away from the anointed political class who felt “entitled” to the highest office in the developed world.  Will Trump’s administration be supportive of gun rights and protect the individual liberties that we hold dear?  Time will tell, but his administration will be a sight better than what would have been the alternative.”

Ray Johansen, Director of Education, Connecticut Carry

 

“Citizens across the nation have rallied together and stood up for the right to armed self-defense. A proven anti-rights collectivist has been stopped from gaining the highest office in the land, and many more kept out of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate. While it remains to be seen how the elected administration will treat our rights, we have at least sent a strong message.”

Rich Burgess, President, Connecticut Carry

 



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Arm Your Family’s Protector

Buy a gun for Father’s day

North Branford, CT, June 18, 2016

Governor Malloy has called on Federal Firearms Licensees (gun stores) to close up shop for Father’s day. While this may make sense in a warped collectivist world where firearms are only used for bad, Connecticut Carry has a different message for the residents of Connecticut who ensure the safety of themselves and their family with firearms.

Connecticut Carry urges all Gun Stores in Connecticut to stay open for Father’s Day, and for all the citizens of Connecticut to go spend money at those stores. Let’s work together to make Father’s Day 2016 into the best sales day on record for firearms, accessories and ammunition.

Father’s day is about honoring Fathers and the work and sacrifice they make on behalf of their families. What better way to honor your spouse, Father, son or other loved one that works hard to protect your family and keep you safe than to take them to the gun store and buy them a new firearm, accessory, ammunition or a gift card for the same?

Connecticut residents need to stand up against Governor Malloy’s crackpot grandstanding and show him that we choose the right to bear arms. We will not be disarmed by the State of Connecticut to be left for dead when the next mass murderer chooses another soft target, made soft by out of control government edicts.

Shame on Governor Malloy for this publicity stunt and his continued attempts to keep the tools of armed self-defense out of the hands of the people who need them.

To help you find a gun store open tomorrow, here is a list:

  • Harris Outdoors - Old Saybrook (open until noon)
  • Greyson Guns - Orange (open until 6pm)
  • Delta Arsenal - Wallingford (open 10am - 5pm)
  • Connecticut Firearms and Tactical - Orange (open 10am - 5pm)
  • Newington Gun Exchange - Newington (open 11am - 4pm)
  • Cabelas - East Hartford (open 10-3 to purchase guns)
  • Bass Pro Shop - Bridgeport (open till 7pm, handgun sales till 3pm)
  • Connecticut Sporting Arms - North Branford (open 12-3pm)

If we missed your store, and you are open on Father’s day, you can feel free to post an ad on our Facebook page this weekend, and we will share it. For free.

 



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Connecticut Carry Director Ed Peruta’s Response to 9th Circuit Decision

Comments about Peruta v San Diego En Banc Decision

Rocky Hill, CT, June 15, 2016

“The decision in Peruta v. San Diego could not have come at a better time, 5 months prior to a National Election of a new President of these United States.

As the lead named plaintiff in Peruta v. San Diego, I was not surprised at the decision and find myself losing faith in the process of resolving disputes through the judicial system.

As a 67 year old adult male, I was required to learn how to read and comprehend during my younger years while attending public schools, only to find myself being told that the words currently found in the Second Amendment do not mean what they say.

The Second Amendment and right of self-defense with a firearm, is a basic human right possessed by all law abiding, non-prohibited individuals, regardless of race, religion, political party, sex or sexual preference.

The issue of second amendment rights is now a topic of discussion on the national stage by those candidates seeking to become the next President of the United States.

Each of the current known presidential candidates whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent will be seeking the office with the authority nominate people to and shape the future makeup of the United States Supreme Court for years if not decades to come.

It is without question that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in rendering the NEW Peruta v. San Diego case demonstrated the fact that they lost faith in, (and acted upon), their belief that the process where cases and issues are heard and determined by three judge panels is not a reliable place to resolve issues of great importance. This belief is found in the fact that two decisions on the same topic can be polar opposites of each other.

The untimely request to become involved by the California Attorney General together with the ANONYMOUS request to convene and hear the case de novo by an en banc panel of, (in this case), eleven judges was nothing more than a political move of such a magnitude that it may ignite the emotions of every firearm owner in the country in ways that cannot be expressed in this post.

The current Ninth Circuit decision and status of Second Amendment Rights in the western states, does nothing more than evidence that fact that three judge panels cannot be trusted to render valid legally correct decisions on issues with national ramification.

Personally I am beginning to understand the issues and emotions that were going through the minds of our forefathers, in the months leading up to, (and following), the events in Lexington, Massachusetts on the morning of April 19th 1775.

One only has to conduct a Google search for "Key individuals in the American Revolution" to find the names and deeds of patriots who must now be rolling in their graves.

Fortunately I currently possess two carry permits for self-defense issued by Connecticut and Florida, (I did not renew my Utah permit), which are recognized through reciprocal agreements between a majority of the states or provision where no permits are required.

For the record, I was NOT asked by any state other than California to submit a reason to obtain a permit to carry a firearm. Connecticut and Florida took my applications, conducted a fingerprint based criminal history background check and issued the permits.

In my younger years, I believed to some degree that I was invincible and had the capability of defending myself from most aggressors and individuals looking to do me harm.

That all changed when I began to reside in a motor home and traveled across county between Connecticut, Florida and California in the fall and spring of each year.

Self-defense and my survival also began to become an issue during the periods that I, (often alone), responded to major breaking news events, (fires, accidents and homicides), in urban areas where most people would fear to tread during the day let alone at night or early morning hours.

The other factor which changed my lifestyle was the first of three heart attacks which gave me reason to believe that I would never again have the physical strength to defend myself if confronted by an aggressor intent of doing me harm or worse.

One way or the other, this issue will arrive at a final conclusion, where honest, law abiding, non-prohibited individuals will accept or reject the Ninth Circuit Court's understanding of Second Amendment rights and the individual right of self-defense and legal possession of a "Concealed Firearm".

Ultimately, the American people have to decide whether they want to take back their government from an elite class of individuals who are protected by bodyguards, governed and disciplined from a separate, gentler playbook and insulated from the economic vagaries that the rest of us face daily.

I would like to close by thanking the countless thousands of people who have supported and followed this case, and request that each one of you make a pro constitution decision while in the voting booth this November.

In the meantime, my support and voice will go to electing Donald Trump, the best candidate to shake up the system and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN in my lifetime.”

-          Ed Peruta – Director of Legal Affairs, Connecticut Carry

Inquiries about the case should be made through Michel and Associates, P.C.: http://michellawyers.com/

Ed Peruta can be reached through Attorney Rachel M. Baird: http://rachelbairdlaw.com/



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Orlando Club Massacre Steels Resolve in Connecticut

Connecticut Recommits to the Fight to Retain the Right to Armed Self Defense

Connecticut, June 13, 2016

In the wake of a horrible incident in Orlando, Florida, Connecticut Carry is once again reminded of the importance of its mission statement and Article 1, Section 15 of the Connecticut Constitution:

“Every citizen has the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” - Article 1, Section 15 – Connecticut Constitution

We are also reminded of our own battles here in Connecticut to ensure that Connecticut residents are not disarmed by the State of Connecticut when going about their lives.

Residents of and visitors to Florida are restricted from defending themselves in an establishment that serves alcohol, the type of establishment that recently saw a massacre of innocent people in Orlando. Disarming people only enables this kind of bloodshed. Disarming the peaceable does not prevent violence. In this case, it is apparent that a rogue law disarmed the good and innocent people having a nice night out at the club.  This law denied their innate and basic human right to armed self-defense. In contrast, that same law had zero apparent impact on the homicidal fanatic that decided to commit such an atrocity. Violating the law against firearms in an establishment that serves alcohol, he then proceeded to commit first degree murder against at least 50 people, and attempted murder against at least 50 more.

The only thing that will ever stop such a soulless and evil human being is a human being, or human beings, who have become resolute in their right to armed self-defense that then practice that right at the correct time.

Here at Connecticut Carry, our hearts go out to the victims and the families of the victims in Orlando, as we once again reaffirm and renew our fight to resist the State of Connecticut's attempts to disarm our good people. We employed that resistance during this legislative session, through the legislative process. This session, one of the bills we resisted was SB 20, which was a bill that reduced the legal Blood-Alcohol limit while carrying a self-defense firearm to .08 instead of the historical .10. That is a rather significant encroachment for anyone that wants to go out and have a good time, enjoying alcohol, but also wants to be able to defend themselves. An arbitrary number means the difference between 'legal' and 'illegal', but only if you are in possession of the means to defend yourself.

The Orlando massacre showcases another example of how the Connecticut legislature is working to make Connecticut residents less safe under the guise of ‘public safety’.

“Just because you want to go out and imbibe alcohol, does not mean that you should somehow lose your right to defend yourself or find yourself a helpless victim of a mass murderer. The lost and injured individuals in Orlando deserved better, and the residents of Connecticut deserve better. Shame on anyone that would disarm a person that has not infringed upon the rights of another person.” - Rich Burgess – President, Connecticut Carry



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Manual of How to Harass Law Abiding Citizens

State’s Attorneys Release ‘How to Manual’ of Harassment

Rocky Hill CT, February 8, 2016:

On February 5th, Senior Assistant State's Attorney Timothy Sugrue published a memorandum to the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office detailing first what everyone in Connecticut should already know: The unconcealed carry of a firearm with a valid Permit to Carry Pistols or Revolvers is 100% lawful, and that police cannot stop a person carrying a firearm unconcealed (Open Carry) to demand their permit absent Reasonable Articulable Suspicion of a crime.

That is detailed on page one of the memorandum. But the memorandum goes on for 5 more pages describing how police in Connecticut can still get away with harassing and detaining citizens not breaking the law. Instead of doing what the State’s Attorney’s office should have done long ago, and clarifying the issue as we have requested, they went on to add to the confusion that police departments experience. Clarifying the issue only needed the first page’s response, nothing else. But this document was not created to clarify, it was created as a handbook for harassment.

And so, the illegal harassment and detainments of law abiding citizens carrying firearms in a manner prescribed by the law will likely continue by departments that are politically motivated to do so. 

“The State’s Attorney’s Office has made it clear that they will put their collectivist politics over the need for them to perform their job as advocates of the law. Mentioning mass shootings and the fear-based political climates that their collectivist ilk have manufactured to describe how police should interact with law abiding members of the population is the height of propaganda.” – Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Governor’s Bill HB 5054 Repeats Anti-Due Process Nonsense

Response to Malloy’s Continued Attack On Due Process

Hartford CT, February 6, 2016:

Governor Dannel Malloy has once again announced that, through his emotional puppet Lt. Gov. Wyman, he will pursue legislation that would erode the right to due process in Connecticut, as well as the rights of the citizens of Connecticut to armed defense. His first effort towards this end for this legislative session will be HB 5450.

Evident in the last legislative session, Malloy and Wyman’s proposal was to prohibit possession and confiscate the means to armed defense from anyone accused of any number of alleged ‘crimes’ in domestic violence situations without any due process; whether it be before a judge, jury or with any public transparency. This would also cast a broad net to sneakily and permanently confiscate the weapons and magazines that Malloy and the legislature sought to ban in the 2013 Gun Ban, as once they are transferred from the owner, they cannot be transferred back to the owner.

In the last legislative session in 2015, we watched as Governor Malloy, Lieutenant Governor Wyman and complicit members of the legislature were ‘educated’ on how Temporary (Ex Parte) Restraining Orders are supposed to work, how things currently work, and why what they want to achieve is not only unconstitutional, but dangerous. Unfortunately, ‘educated’ is likely the wrong word to use, as it appears that the teachings were largely over their heads, or were aimed at people that had already made up their mind to be malicious and hurt the innocent people of Connecticut.

A major issue that we have noticed with these bills is that the politicians supporting them usually have no actual knowledge about the topics they are trying to address. In 2015, this was apparent as legislator after legislator got reprimanded in public testimony for their lack of understanding of the Risk Warrant Statute (CGS 29-38c) which already addresses the problems described by Malloy and Wyman, while still allowing for due process. And it has been in place for 16 years.

“Governor Malloy has made it clear that he expects to confiscate arms and property from Connecticut residents without oversight, means of appeal or basic due process. His proposals to confiscate arms from people in Connecticut with nothing more than an accusation in the form of a Temporary Restraining Order is very dangerous and disturbing. Connecticut Carry will do everything within its purview to stop Malloy from implementing these plans.” – Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess

 

“Because the Risk Warrant statute already addresses removing firearms from people determined to be a threat to themselves or others, and provides for due process protections of their rights, modifying the procedures for restraining orders would be unnecessary and harmful to lawful, non-dangerous citizens of Connecticut.” – Connecticut Carry Director Matthew Tyszka



Contact: Rich Burgess
Connecticut Carry
203.208.9577
rich@ctcarry.com
Connecticut Carry

Press Release

Media and State Confuse the Open Carry Issue

A simple concept becomes clouded and treacherous

Bridgeport Connecticut, January 18, 2016

A common refrain anytime the state or local police in Connecticut screw up and arrest, detain or harass law-abiding citizens is that ‘the law is confusing’. There is no better example of this at play than in cases involving unconcealed (open) carry of handguns in Connecticut. Time and time again, we see police officers, paid and sworn to know and uphold the law, who have no idea what the law is. Or worse, they don’t care what the law is and will make up their own laws in the absence of laws that they want on the books.

This week, a great example of that police ignorance and arrogance popped up in Bridgeport, Connecticut. A man standing in a Subway restaurant trying to order his meal was stopped and detained by the Bridgeport police department. The police officer, later joined by his equally ignorant, but more aggressive Sergeant, harass the man and coerce the employees at the restaurant to ask the patron to leave. The police did indicate that the man was not doing anything illegal, that the call for service did not originate from the restaurant that he was attempting to patronize, and then, that they let him leave the restaurant without arrest.

In other articles and press releases in our archives, we have previously explained that, in the past, many police departments, including Bridgeport, have seen nothing illegal in their actions, actions motivated by their ignorance of or disregard for the specific language of Connecticut laws. In the past, Torrington confirmed that our educational message about the precise language and correct interpretation of the laws has been received by them. Wethersfield has confirmed the same.

The Connecticut State Police have also acknowledged this, but then clouded the issue with a poorly worded ‘Training Memo’. This training memo goes on to say:

If an individual purposefully refuses to produce such a permit, or properly identify themselves, then they may be subject to arrest for Interfering with an Officer, CGS 53a-167a, if the elements of that crime are present. – State Police Training Memo

Some State’s Attorneys have purportedly made comments to media organizations that a person's reluctance to automatically melt into subservient compliance and immediately whip out an ID somehow justifies an arrest, simply because a person, especially a law-abiding citizen, is not thrilled with the idea of being put on the spot or if the person refuses to show a permit while carrying openly. However, despite the wording of this memo, where it clearly dances around the issue and explains that you still have to have the other elements that constitute ‘Interfering with and Officer’, that memo was issued in 2013. Now, this is 2016.

Media has also played a role in obfuscating the "open carry" issue by stating that the laws were somehow confusing, even though the prevailing Connecticut Laws are startlingly clear on this issue. Various misleading statements have also clouded the recent Bridgeport incident by claiming that there was a caller from the Subway restaurant. Another claim was that "open carry" is somehow a new law, or interviewees were citing the state police memo, or local police, or quoting attorneys that have not read the law. All media should be more responsible by actually performing full research and then reporting only based on complete research.

In 2015, PA 15-216 was passed to address these issues. Before the Public Act, police implicitly needed Reasonable Articulable Suspicion of a crime to detain and demand identification from someone carrying unconcealed per Terry v Ohio and Hiibel v. Nevada. After the Public Act, we now have state law that explicitly demands that police have Reasonable Articulable Suspicion of a crime to detain and demand identification from someone carrying unconcealed.

Such holder shall present his or her permit upon the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable suspicion of a crime for purposes of verification of the validity of the permit or identification of the holder, provided such holder is carrying a pistol or revolver that is observed by such law enforcement officer. – PA 15-216

Another video, purportedly from the same day, shows another Bridgeport police officer apparently following the man into other stores and harassing him. When State or local police interpret what happened in Bridgeport as being a lawful use of police force it demonstrates that they are derelict in their duty. Any attempt to arrest, penalize or further harass someone in this kind of situation will be met with defense from the citizens of Connecticut.

The police behavior of harassing citizens who are carrying firearms legally, in the cited videos, is out of line for the Bridgeport Police Department, but sadly, not completely unpredictable. In fact, earlier the same month, that same police department settled with Michael Rearden to the tune of $30k for putting Mr. Rearden in a cage for 6 hours when he was observed carrying lawfully in a vehicle. In Mr. Rearden’s case, he showed his permit upon the first request. In the Subway Restaurant incident, the man refused to show his pistol permit since the police refused to establish their Reasonable Articulable Suspicion per PA 15-216. This is not the first time that police in Connecticut have failed to correctly apply Connecticut Law in their duties as police officers when it comes to this issue, nor is it the first time that they have been accurately informed of the law.

Connecticut Carry has been contacted by multiple police departments since the incident, as well as media outlets. Connecticut Carry has, and will continue to disperse proper information based on laws, case law, court decisions, and real data, to the media, police departments, and state agencies, per our mission statement.

In fact, Connecticut Carry has offered free training and seminars to any police department that will agree to attend training on these, or other issues. After all, educating our police serves to help everyone in this state, and makes Connecticut a safer place for our citizens and for our police.

Please join our organization: http://ctcarry.com/Join

Please donate to our organization: http://ctcarry.com/Donate

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“The idea that we are still hearing about misinformed and malicious police and state agencies in Connecticut is an indictment against the entire anti-rights executive branch of Connecticut government that has a duty to train their employees. It cannot get any simpler or clearer: There is no law stipulating how you carry your handgun if you have a Pistol Permit. There is no lawful way for a police officer to demand your permit unless he has Reasonable Articulable Suspicion. Case closed.” – Rich Burgess, President, Connecticut Carry

 



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