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Challenge to Connecticut’s New Gun Law

NEW LONDON, Ct. (CN) - Connecticut's new gun laws, passed in response to the Newtown school massacre, violate the rights of disabled people who want to carry AR-15s, rifles with pistol grips and large-capacity magazines, a man claims in court.

Scott A. Ennis sued Gov. Dannel Malloy in New London Superior Court.

Also suing is the group Disabled Americans For Firearm Rights, which Ennis says he founded and manages.

Malloy signed Bill 1160 aka Public Act 13-3, An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety, on April 4 - 14 weeks after the massacre of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Among other things, the law prohibits some forms of guns in Connecticut. Semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15-style rifle, used in the Newtown massacre, are prohibited from sale.

The law also bans the sale of ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds.

Ennis, who has hemophilia A, "a bleeding disorder that has caused him severe joint damage," claims the AR-15 and similar weapons are convenient for people with disabilities.

"The AR-15, due to its ease of handling, low recoil, adjustable features, and customizability, is particularly suited for disabled persons in order to engage in lawful use of firearms, including hunting, recreational and competitive shooting, and personal self-defense," the complaint states.

Ennis claims the adjustable nature of the rifle makes it easy for disabled people to use.

"Disabled persons including the plaintiffs and members of DAFR require adjustable or customizable firearms built on the AR-15 platform, or other semiautomatic weapons with certain of the prohibited features, such as pistol grips, forward grips, and folding or telescoping stocks, in order to safely and effectively exercise their fundamental right to bear arms, including participating in shooting sports, hunting, and lawful self-defense from criminal attack," the complaint states. "The provisions of the Act unfairly and arbitrarily deny these fundamental rights to the plaintiffs."

Ennis also challenges the prohibition of sales of high-capacity magazines."This provision is vague, ambiguous, and unfairly and arbitrarily deprives law-abiding disabled citizens ... of their fundamental rights to bear arms, including participation in shooting sports, hunting, and lawful self defense, in that 'large capacity magazines' are convenient and necessary for disabled persons such as the plaintiffs to participate in these lawful activities," the complaint states.

Ennis seeks declaratory judgment that the legislation "in whole or in part, violates the plaintiffs' rights to keep and bear arms, not to be denied the equal protection of the laws, and to be free of discrimination based on physical disability," and a restraining order and injunction.

He is represented by Scott Camassar, with Stephen Reck LLC in North Stonington.


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