The Connecticut Citizens Defense League’s co-founder and president, Scott Wilson, has announced he will not seek reelection after 10 years at the post.
Wilson helped found in 2009 what is now the state’s largest gun rights organization, turning its online meetings into a full-fledged group.
“At that time, I had made a statement which very simply was, ‘I think we need a gun rights organization in the state, and I think I can get us pointed in the right direction if people will trust me,’” Wilson said.
The organization has grown to more than 30,000 members statewide, he said. CCDL played a prominent role in advocating against the 2012 gun control proposals the state later passed after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Wilson said that some of CCDL’s strongest moments came “in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook, being able to hold the organization together, stand with each other in spite of tremendous gun control proposals that have arisen since then and being able to try to reason with our legislators.”
CCDL members are a regular presence at the Capitol on days when gun legislation is up for debate. Their members pile into the designated public comment rooms, often waiting hours to speak before lawmakers.
“This was an organization that was built for gun owners to advocate for themselves,” Wilson said. “Just being able to build this organization, to serve gun owners in the state of Connecticut and now being able to hand it off to another president is something that really does make me proud.”
Wilson will remain on the organization’s executive committee but said he looks forward to having more time to spend with his granddaughter. CCDL will elect a new president in December.