Lawsuit Against State’s Gun Control Law Dismissed

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A federal lawsuit by the National Shooting Sports Foundation seeking to overturn the gun control law state legislators passed this year in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School was dismissed Monday.

Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall ruled that the firearms trade group lacked the standing to challenge the law.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General George Jepsen said he agrees with the court’s decision.

“The measures enacted by the General Assembly in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy are entirely appropriate and lawful — both procedurally and substantively,” Jaclyn M. Falkowski said. “We will continue to vigorously defend them against legal challenges, including against any appeal that may be filed of this decision.”

Mike Bazinet, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the group had not reviewed the decision.

The trade group, based in Newtown about 3 miles from Sandy Hook school, represents every major gun manufacturer and 8,000 smaller firearms-related businesses. It has more than 200 members in Connecticut, both businesses and individuals.

The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school nearly a year ago, in which 20 children and six women were killed, led to a strict and far-reaching gun control law in Connecticut.

The legislation passed in April bans the sale of more than 100 types of military-style rifles, penalizes gun owners who don’t register with the state police by Jan. 1, and limits large-capacity magazines to 10 bullets.

The foundation sued Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and lawmakers, charging that the law was adopted improperly as an emergency certification and did not pass both houses before it was signed by the governor, among other violations.

The defendants moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the foundation lacked the standing to bring the claims. Hall agreed, writing that the foundation’s claimed financial injury did not make it a proper party to challenge any defects in the legislative process.

Lawsuits challenging the law filed by other gun groups are pending — one in federal court and one in state court.

By Hilda Muñoz, Hartford Courant

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