HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Malloy is still waiting to see if his proposed gun ban for those on the ‘terror watch’ list is going to fly with the federal government. But it is definitely not going to fly with legal experts and some lawmakers that see big problems with it.
In the day since Gov.Malloy announced his plans to issue an Executive Order banning Connecticut gun permits to people on the federal governments’ terror watch list, there has been a mountain of unanswered questions, and the strong possibility it will face court challenges.
While everyone agrees that keeping people with terrorist ties or sympathies off airplanes and away from firearms is an important goal, there is much doubt about the government watch lists.
The ACLU of Connecticut saying they have “…severe reservations about the reliability and constitutionality of government watch lists..” and that the list system is “notorious for including innocent people.”
Quinnipiac Constitutional Law expert William Dunlap says Malloy’s authority to make this move will likely be challenged in the State Courts, “It’s certainly going to wind up in federal court as they challenge the ‘due process’ and ‘2nd Amendment’ implications of denying guns to people who may be entirely innocent.”
He could also be challenged in the Legislature. “Without even going to the legislature I don’t think it’s the politically proper thing to do and I don’t think it would withstand legal scrutiny,” said Sen. Joe Markley (R-Southington.) Sen. Scott Franz (R-Greenwich) added, “We have to do things ‘by the book.’ We have to do things by the Constitution and we have to make sure that there are techniques in place to correct problems.”
The Governor says the gun permit appeal process covers all that, “We have lots of people who appeal the denial of a permit in Connecticut. I don’t know if it’s most but currently many of those appeals are granted.”
It also came to light today that Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law in New Jersey to actually do what Gov. Malloy is proposing, but it’s not clear if it was ever enforced.