Judge Alfred Covello in the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut has ruled the state’s new gun laws as constitutional. The lawsuit had been filed last May in federal court in challenge of new gun control regulations. The bipartisan law had been passed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Covello’s ruling observed, “Connecticut’s General Assembly made its legislative judgment concerning assault weapon and LCM possession after the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School … The decision to prohibit their possession was premised on the belief that it would have an appreciable impact on public safety and crime prevention. The evidence suggests that there is a substantial governmental interest in restricting both assault weapons and LCMs.”
The court refuted the argument that the language of the statute was unconstitutionally vague, and the ruling set out point by point why it was not vague in the light of the law and the Constitution. The court also found that the exemptions and the limits imposed by the statute had a rational basis, and that plaintiffs cannot state an “equal protection” claim because the challenged provisions do not treat similarly situated persons differently.
While dealing with the arguments of the plaintiffs, the judge was not devoid of humor. He observed, “Remarkably, Plaintiffs allege that they are similarly situated to police officers, Connecticut State Police troopers, armored car drivers, nuclear facility security personnel and members of the United States Military in the threats they face and their need to train on and use military grade weaponry.”
Covello went on to comment, “Plaintiff’s bald assertions of being similar to those individuals are nothing short of absurd, and they have not presented a shred of evidence or analysis to support their conclusory and self-serving assumptions.”
Though the judge observed that certain portions of the statute could have been better phrased, he found those portions of the statute were not “impermissibly vague in all of their applications.”