Gov. Ned Lamont and state Police inspect more than hundred guns seized from one individual Credit: Lisa Backus photo

A federal court judge has denied a second attempt to prevent Connecticut from enforcing prohibitions on certain guns and large capacity magazines through a Monday ruling in one of two lawsuits challenging state law in the aftermath of a recent Supreme Court decision. 

Judge Janet Bond Arterton rejected a request from the Connecticut Citizens Defense League to issue a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban, which was adopted in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 

Arterton denied a similar request from the National Association for Gun Rights earlier this month. Both lawsuits seek to challenge Connecticut’s gun law in the wake of the high court’s 2021 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen, which required that regulations be “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” 

In her ruling against the NAGR motion for an injunction, Arterton found that the group had failed to demonstrate the weapons were commonly used for self defense and were not likely to show the law was inconsistent with the nation’s historic regulation of firearms. 

On Monday, the judge wrote that the same was true for the CCDL motion. 

“Plaintiffs offer no new evidence that undermines or refutes the Court’s prior analysis of this Nation’s history, or its ultimate holding,” Arterton wrote. “Thus, the Court will not repeat the same historical analysis to hold that even if Plaintiffs had demonstrated that assault weapons in the Challenged Statutes were commonly used for self-defense, they cannot show a likelihood of success on the merits because bans on certain semiautomatic weapons are consistent with and justified by this nation’s history and tradition of firearm regulation.”

The judge has not dismissed either complaint but has ruled that Connecticut law will remain in place as they make their way through the court system. 

In a phone interview Wednesday, Doug Dubitsky, a Republican state representative from Chaplin and attorney representing the gun rights group, called Arterton’s ruling disappointing. 

“Obviously, we disagree with her decision,” Dubitsky said. “We think she used the wrong standard. She did not follow the precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. We’re pretty confident that, were those issues put before either of those courts, we would get a different decision.” 

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Tong called the lawsuits challenging the state assault weapons ban “meritless,” in a statement Wednesday. 

“Strong, commonsense gun safety laws, including the most recent amendments passed this year that this suit targets, save lives,” Tong said. “Our assault weapons ban saves lives. We’re not going to let these weapons of war back into our schools, our houses of worship, our grocery stories, or on our streets. Not on my watch.”