Public Hearing Alert

This Tuesday, February 14th, the Appropriations Committee will hold a state agency budget presentation with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). The meeting is scheduled for 1:00pm in room 2C of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford. Most likely questions about the proposed permit fee hikes will be asked of DESPP Commissioner Dora Schriro at this time.

The meeting is open to the public, and CCDL is asking members to attend. We need to show legislators that gun owners are outraged at Governor Malloy’s budget proposal to raise pistol permit application and permit fees so only the rich will be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. We’re asking members to wear their CCDL shirts and hats to the meeting to show the legislators we’re paying attention.

Oral testimony is not required at this particular hearing, but members are still encouraged to submit written testimony. This hearing is related to the appropriations of the general funds, but it’s key to show the state that CCDL members are staying vigilant.

The afternoon part of this meeting will start at 1:00 P.M., and DESPP is scheduled to be the second speaker. This will be followed by a Public Budget Hearing at 4:30 P.M.

Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to APPtestimony@cga.ct.gov
The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the agenda. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement.

We’ve included some sample testimony you can use. Sample Letter

The Legislative Office Building is located at 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.

Links:

Driving Directions

Entry to the LOB for Members of the Public (PDF)

A Guide for Testifying at Hearings

Frequently Asked Questions

Help Needed – Olympic Competition Pistols in Jeopardy

Action Needed (Deadline January 13th):
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) has proposed regulatory language regarding pistols commonly used for Olympic competition. The purpose of the regulation is to identify and designate certain pistols as being designed of use in Olympic competition. Without such a designation, these pistols are considered to be “assault weapons” by the State, and regulated and restricted as such under Public Acts 13-3 and 13-220.

CCDL is asking our members to submit a brief comment for the purpose of helping potential Olympians legally obtain certain firearms that are required for training and competition.

Currently there are two issues with proposed regulatory language that would likely affect would-be Olympians. The language in question is here:

53-202b-5(a)

6. The name of the organization for which the purchaser competes in target shooting events at the Olympic Games;

9. A requirement that the applicant attach evidence of participation, or an intent to participate, in target shooting practice and events sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and USA Shooting, or any subsequent corresponding governing board for internal shooting competition in the United States.

How You Can Help:
The DESPP currently has an open period for the public to comment on these proposed regulations.
Please click on this link to the comment page: https://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Search/Comment?TrackingNumber=PR2016-020

  • Fill out your Name, Email Address and Town.
  • In the Comments section, copy and paste all of following text in full and press Submit:

As referenced in proposed language Sec. 53-202b-5(a) 6
This section would simply create one more obstacle for target shooters who wish to train and possibly participate in national and international sanctioned competitions to have access to the required type of firearm. Please delete this section from proposed regulatory addition.

As referenced in proposed language: Sec. 53-202b-5(a) 9
Please modify the State Agencies Regulations to allow that persons who wish to train with Olympic Match Pistols not be required to produce evidence of participation by either the International Olympic Committee, USA Shooting or other entities. A personal affidavit signed by an interested party should be sufficient. This should be deemed logical, on the premise that without access to these types of pistols in the first place, a person cannot suitably train and obtain the skills needed to qualify for such national or international competitions.

Press Release – Proposed Olympic Pistol Regulations

01/03/2016
For Immediate Release:

(Groton, CT) – The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest gun rights organization) is opposed to some of the regulatory recommendations from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that pertain to Olympic Competition Pistols. The firearms in question fell under the State’s definition of assault weapons when amended language was passed under Public Act 13-3 and 13-220.

CCDL notes that there are just 10 days to enter public comments to try to get DESPP to factor in their objections to the regulatory changes.

Statement from CCDL President Scott Wilson:

“There are two parts of the proposed language changes that would likely impact would-be Olympic target shooters. First off, Sec. 53-202b-5(a) 6 is an unnecessary burden that creates another obstacle for an Olympic hopeful to obtain these very expensive and calibrated pieces of equipment. These types of guns are never used to commit violent crimes”.

“The second more troubling issue with the language is Sec. 53-202b-5(a) 9. This language essentially states that unless you are already sanctioned by the Olympic Committee or some other national or international committee, you cannot get the approval to possess one of these firearms. How does one train to become an Olympic-level competitor without access to the equipment needed in the first place? It’s a dreadful Catch 22”.

Wilson also stated:

“It is important to point out that these firearms would still be regulated by all other state and federal law. We feel applying “assault weapon” definitions to these extremely rare and specialized types of firearms is pointless”.

–End–

About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to over 25,000 members from across the state.
Thanks to this large supportive base, the CCDL has become a fixture at the state capitol, and well-recognized by committees that see firearms related bills.
As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information on the CCDL please visit: http://www.ccdl.us

Troop E (Montville) Permit office Closed For Renovation

TROOP E PERMITTING OFFICE CLOSED WHILE UNDER RENOVATION
Residents may report to Troop C in Tolland

Due to renovations at the Permitting Office located at State Police Troop E in Montville, effective immediately, the office will be closed to the public.

During the week of April 14, 2014, to April 17, 2014, residents may go to Troop C located at 1320 Tolland Stage Road, in Tolland (860) 896-3271, for permitting.

It is anticipated that the Troop E office will re-open in May upon the completion of the renovations. For updates on the reopening/new schedule please refer to our website www.ct.gov/despp

For questions, residents may contact the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit at (860) 685-8494.

Long Gun Permits

Just a reminder, on April 1, 2014 the last major part of Connecticut’s unconstitutional new gun laws takes effect. Starting April 1st, you will no longer be able to buy a rifle or shotgun with just a hunting license or 14 day waiting period. You will be required to have ONE of the following:
  ‣ valid Pistol Permit
  ‣ valid Eligibility Certificate to Purchase Pistols or Revolvers
  ‣ valid Eligibility Certificate to Purchase Long Guns

You will also now have to complete an Application to Purchase Firearms (DPS-67-C), a Sale or Transfer of All Firearms form (DPS-3-C) in quadruplicate, and call DESPP for an authorization number. Just like you do now for a handgun. Remember, just like with handguns, the seller must retain the DPS-67-C for 20 years, and copies of the DPS-3-C must be given to the buyer, DESPP’s Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, and the buyer’s local police department. The seller and the buyer must retain the DSP-3-C for 5 years.

If you don’t have one of the above 3 permits, you can get a Long Gun Eligibility Certificate Application Packet by calling the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit at 860-685-8290. You may also download a screen-fillable pdf of the application itself here. The cost for the application is $35.00 for a 5 year term. An additional $50.00 for the State Fingerprints and $15.00 for the Federal Fingerprints are also associated with the application. State law § 29-37q requires that not later than 60 days after receipt of the national criminal history records check from the FBI that the application be approved or notification of denial be made.

The Long Gun Eligibility Certificate will also allow you to buy ammunition, but it does not allow you to purchase handguns, or carry handguns in public.

sample Long Gun Eligibility Certificate

DESPP Letter

A story has been going around the last few days supposedly about a confiscation letter (reprinted below) from the state going out to gun owners. CCDL was first sent a copy of that letter in early January. At that time, we were unable to find a single gun owner who had actually received the letter, so we kept it on the back burner. Well, a few days ago for some reason that letter turned up again, and this time it went viral. Some websites claim to have audio of State Police Spokesman Lt. Paul Vance admitting the letter is legit. Now, I don’t know if the letter is real or not. What I do know is that it is now almost 2 months past the deadline to register so called “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines”, and we still don’t know of a single legitimate gun owner who has received this letter. Every story has started with “I have a friend who knows somebody……”.

We also have it from reliable sources that although DESPP did indeed draft a letter like this (they would not say if this was the actual text or not), as of right now it has not (yet) been sent to a single gun owner. We do know that people who submitted wrong or incomplete registrations are being contacted and given the chance to correct the mistakes.

So basically, at best the stories going around are inaccurate and/or misleading at this time. Perhaps the reason this letter went viral is we all know that sooner or later (most likely later, like after the November elections) a letter like this will go out. We have a letter from DESPP Commissioner Dora B. Schriro that says as much (also reprinted below). If/when anyone DOES actually get one of these letters, be sure to let us know.

Last Day

If you plan on registering your so-called assault weapons and magazines that hold over 10 rounds, today is the deadline.

If you are going to Middletown to hand them in personally, expect limited parking and VERY long lines. Also they will be closing early because it’s New Years Eve. I’ve heard both 3pm and 4pm close times mentioned. It is unknown what may happen if you are still in line at that time.

If you are mailing your forms in, they MUST be postmarked before midnight tonight. Most Post Offices will also be closing early because of the holiday. Most will be closing the lobby at 12 noon. That will also be the last collection time from the mailboxes there, no matter what time is stated on the box. Some locations may stay open later, but you should assume they won’t.

If you still need any forms, you may download them here:
http://ccdl.us/blog/2013/10/10/forms/

If you have any questions, look here first:
http://ccdl.us/blog/2013/12/23/registration-faq/

If you need forms notarized or don’t have a printer, Woodbridge Firearms Trading Post will be open from 10am until 4pm today, and they will have a Notary Public on hand, as well as copies of all forms needed. There is a post office (that closes at noon) nearby.

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

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)