And The 2014 Legislative Session Is Over

Unlike last year, this session ended without any overtly anti-gun bills passing. CCDL still needs to analyze some of the last-minute amendments to other bills, as well as everything they slipped into the 300+ page “implementer” bill, but it’s obvious nobody wants to raise the gun issue in an election year.
They think we forgot last year. They think we forgot SB1160, and who supported it. They think we forgot the other 125+ antigun bills they proposed.
We didn’t forget.

Other Bills

Speaking of gun bills, there have been other bills introduced this session that we’re following, but for various reasons are somewhat outside our scope for now. We track them because bills often change as they move along but right now they are either not directly gun-rights related, not defined enough for us to determine if we should be for or against them, or are most likely not going to get to the point of a public hearing even without our help. Here are some examples of “other” bills we’re following this session:

Bill Number Title
HB-5072 AN ACT PROVIDING FUNDING FOR THE STATE-WIDE FIREARMS TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE.
HB-5214 AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL FIREARM PERMITTING.
HB-5217 AN ACT CONCERNING USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.
SB-71 AN ACT CONCERNING ON-LINE EDUCATION OPTIONS FOR BOATING AND HUNTING SAFETY.
SB-241 AN ACT CONCERNING YOUTH HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES, REVISING CERTAIN HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE FEES AND REQUIRING REGISTRATION BY HUNTING AND FISHING GUIDE SERVICES.

HB5217 – The unmanned aircraft one is kinda interesting. Basically right now it makes it a crime to commit a crime with an armed drone. Yea, it makes something already illegal more illegal.

HB5214 – We’re following this one closely. This is one that could be good or bad, depending on how it develops, but is supposedly dead on arrival. Of course we won’t believe that until after the legislative session has ended, so we’ll continue to follow it for you.

You’ll see several are hunting and sportsman related bills. While many CCDL members are also involved in hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, they are not really gun rights issues. We follow these because there is always the chance they could become firearm related down the road.

By the way, if sportsman’s issues other then gun rights also concern you, I would urge you to join the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen.
(Full disclosure, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen is also a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against CT’s unconstitutional gun laws, and they are helping to raise money to fund it.)
I admit their website is very out of date, but they do have an up to date email list, which you can join here.
While the email list is free, I would encourage you to become a paid member if you can. The Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen has the only full time paid lobbyist dedicated to fighting for sportsman’s rights (that often includes gun rights) in Hartford. That means they have someone (2 people) who’s paid job it is to represent your interests in Hartford every single day. Back before CCDL existed, They were often the only ones, along with a few dedicated activists, defending your right to bear arms in CT. If general sportsman’s rights concern you like firearm rights do, check them out.

First Anti-Gun Bill Of The Session

Well, despite assurances from just about everyone in the State Legislature from the Governor on down that there would be no gun-control bills this session, it looks like we have one only 2 weeks in.

H.B. No. 5295 (RAISED) VETERANS’ AFFAIRS . ‘AN ACT CONCERNING PROHIBITED ACTIVITY ON PROPERTY CONTROLLED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS’
to make it a crime to carry a firearm or other deadly weapon on the property of the Veterans’ Home or other Department of Veterans’ Affairs property.

REF. VETERANS’ AFFAIRS

Remember this is only a raised bill. It will go to a committee that will decide if it should move forward or not. If you would like to contact the members of the committee, here is their contact info. If you happen to live in a committee member’s district, make sure you tell them that when you contact them. Remember to be polite when you voice your concerns.

Veterans’ Affairs Committee


The Right To Carry in State Forests and Parks

Help Return The Right To Carry in State Forests and Parks in Connecticut

Governor Malloy is asking for a wide variety of input from the public on current regulations that affect Connecticut citizens in numerous ways.
It is currently a violation of state regulations to carry a firearm for personal protection in state parks and state forests. Pistol Permit holders go through training, background checks and pay a lot of money to obtain these permits. Since the Governor is asking for change recommendations, please take this opportunity by using the instructions below.
  • Fill out your Name, Email Address and Town.
  • field Regulations Agency drop-down, Select “Energy and Environmental Protection, Dept of”
  • field Regulation Subject Matter: enter handguns in State Forests/Parks
  • field Regulation Section Number: Enter 23-4-1(c) and 26-66-2
  • In the Comments enter the following text:
Please modify the State Agencies Regulations to allow individuals with valid Permits to Carry Pistols and Revolvers to carry a handgun for self defense while in CT State Parks and Forests. Specifically:- Remove the prohibition on the ‘carrying of firearms’ in Section 23-4-1(c) of the Connecticut Agencies Regulations
– Add an exemption to 26-66-2 to allow the carrying of pistols and revolvers (including handguns using center-fire ammunition) for the purposes of self defense.
———————————————————
Finally Click Submit
Thank you for taking the time to make a difference!

Preban “Assault Weapons”

One of the biggest questions we’ve seen about the new CT gun laws concerns so-called pre-ban assault weapons. These are firearms that were manufactured before September 13, 1994. The new law appears to specifically exempt them from the new ban/registration, as long as they were legal under the previous Connecticut Assault Weapon Ban. This was the topic of much discussion at this month’s presentation on the new firearm laws. Many discussions have also been had among gun owners and even FFLs about this, with some dealers refusing to touch prebans, and others openly advertising them for sale.

A few weeks ago I emailed the CT DESPP Special Licensing and Firearms unit about this, and the reply was these preban firearms are in fact currently exempt from registration and are legal to buy/sell. Since an email doesn’t carry much weight, a CCDL member who owns such a preban paid an attorney to get this in writing from the CT Commissioner of Public Safety. Remember, this is not legal advice, and if you own or are considering buying one of these firearms I would recommend you discuss this with your own lawyer. I also suggest you have good written proof as to the date of manufacture. Also remember that the Commissioner doesn’t write the laws, nor is he a judge or jury. He only tells the State Police how to interpret the law. That can always change, and has changed in the past. For now, here is the letter from Attorney David Clough to Commissioner of Public Safety Reuben Bradford. Following that is the reply
letter from Commissioner Bradford that states these preban firearms are exempt from registration and transfer restrictions.

You may also download pdf files of the two letters here:
Clough2Reuben.pdf
Clough-David-PA-13-220.pdf

Presentation on the New Gun Laws

At the October general meeting we had a special presentation from Attorneys Greg Miller, Doug Dubitsky, and Jeffery Crown on the new laws. The presentation focused on a number of frequently asked questions and some of the more confusing aspects of the new gun laws.

Here is the the latest version (updated 10/17/2013) of the presentation Attorney Miller put together. As promised it includes some additional information he received from Det. Barbara Matson of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection during a presentation she gave on Wednesday.

If you need a copy of any of the forms or affidavits mentioned in the presentation, please see the previous post on forms.

Additionally, you can find OLR reports on both PA 13-3 and the modifications made in PA 13-220:

Forms

Lots of people are asking about all the various new forms that they need to fill out and submit, so here they are in one place. All are in pdf format.

Firearms Record Request

Assault Weapon Registration

Assault Weapon Sworn Affidavit

Large Capacity Magazine Declaration (with affidavit)

Ammunition Certificate Application (can not be mailed in; must be submitted in person at DESPP, Middletown, CT)

Pistol Permit/Eligibility Certificate Application

New Ammo Laws Take Effect Tomorrow

Reminder, the ammunition permit requirements of SB1160/Public Act 13-3 go into effect tomorrow, October 1, 2013. After today you will be required to show a permit to purchase ammunition or magazines (10 round or lower, of course) in the state of Connecticut. If you already have your Pistol Permit, Certificate of Eligibility, or the new Long Gun Permit, you will be able to use those to purchase ammunition or magazines. If you don’t have one of those, you must obtain one of them or you may apply for an Ammunition Permit. The cost is $35 for 5yrs, and you may download the application from the state website here (pdf).
Even though the application implies it can be mailed in, you MUST submit the initial application in person at the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit located at 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, Connecticut
06457-2389. Your photo for the permit will be taken at that time. I was also told you are not supposed to sign the application until you are in their presence (which is not mentioned anywhere on the application).

You will not be able to legally purchase ammunition or magazines in CT until you have one of the above permits.

CCDL is working hard to overturn this and all the other unconstitutional CT gun laws. You can help us by donating to our Litigation Fund.

Updated on 10/1/2013 to add that you must apply for the initial permit in person.

Sampson & Markley Pledge to Protect Gun Owners Rights – DESPP Clarifies New Law

HARTFORD – Throughout the debate on gun legislation in Connecticut State Rep. Rob Sampson (R-80) and State Senator Joe Markley (R-16) emerged as staunch defenders of gun owners rights. They both voted against the bill (PA 13-3) and in the few months after the bill’s passing have raised questions and concerns regarding the ambiguous wording of the gun legislation.

To make clear parts of the new law and to gather facts and deadlines for their constituents Senator Markley and Rep. Sampson requested clarification in writing from Reuben Bradford Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

“A concern I shared with Senator Markley was that this new legislation could cause some legal gun owners to find themselves accidentally out of compliance with the new laws,” Rep. Sampson said. “Clarification on what responsible gun owners need to do to properly observe these laws was needed, and we received some of that assistance from Commissioner Bradford’s response.”

“Rep. Sampson and I were concerned that if a person did not want to provide their Social Security number, they shouldn’t have to,” said Sen. Markley. “It is a violation of privacy, not to mention Federal law, and we did not see why this information was asked for in the first place.”

In his response letter to the legislators, Commissioner Bradford provided some clarification including:

  • Social security numbers that are requested on some forms are all optional and not required. The forms themselves are in the process of being changed to reflect this.
  • The form to declare large capacity magazines will have its reference to applicant changed. This will occur to show there is no need to apply for permission, but only declare possession of large capacity magazines. Declarations must occur by January 1, 2014.
  • Certificates of possession for assault weapons require that the full name, address, date of birth and thumbprint of the owner is presented as well as any other information deemed appropriate by the department.

Through the work of Rep. Sampson and Senator Markley, the objections held by legal gun owners were aired with DESPP, which has created a frequently asked question section on their website.
http://www.ct.gov/despp/lib/despp/slfu/faqs_06192013.pdf

Both Sen. Markley and Rep. Sampson are committed to holding all agencies involved in this new gun legislation accountable. They thanked the Commissioner for his commitment in helping law abiding residents of Connecticut understand the provisions of the new law.

To see the exchange of letters click here. (pdf)

Carry On, Legally

Tuesday, July 30th, come ask your questions about the new laws. This is not a CCDL sponsored forum, but the legislators themselves put this together. Remember, these are the good guys who voted against the new laws. They don’t like them any more than you do, they’re just trying to help us understand them.
If Southington is not near you, please contact your legislators and see if they can schedule something similar.
Carry On!

Southington Municipal Center – Public Assembly Room
200 North Main St, Southington, CT
July 30, 2013 6:00pm – 7:00pm