Please Contact Judiciary Committee Members

The Judiciary Committee has held public hearings on four gun related bills so far. Over the next 10 days is the time to call, write, email, and/or visit these legislators and voice your opposition to the following bills:

  • SB0650 – AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS
  • HB6962 – AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARM SAFETY
  • HB6848 – AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
  • HB7028 – AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPT OF CORRECTION, ACCESS TO THE FIREARMS DATABASE BY PAROLE OFFICERS, AND PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT.

Sometime between now and April 13th, the Judiciary Committee will vote to find these bills favorable or not. A Joint Favorable Bill that passes a committee will move to the next step, and become closer to becoming law. A simple voicemail message, letter, postcard, email, or visit can go along way. Now is also a great opportunity to start a dialog with your Representative and Senator and let them know that you are concerned and oppose these bills that are currently in the Judiciary Committee. They can influence other legislators. The committee information and members can be found online at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/jud/
You can also download a list of the Committee members contact information here: CCDL_Judiciary_Contact_List (pdf)

Now is also a great opportunity to start a dialog with your Representative and Senator and let them know that you are concerned and oppose these bills that are currently in the Judiciary Committee, they can influence other legislators. Your legislators can be found online here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

These things will only take a few minutes of your time this chilly March weekend. Imagine these legislators walking into their offices on Monday morning and finding hundreds of voice mails and emails from CCDL members concerned about the issues above. Wouldn’t that be great? Make it happen!

Hearing Today

Reminder, today is a public hearing on another anti-gun bill. Please attend today if at all possible. Even if you are afraid to speak, you can attend as a show of solidarity. If you can not attend, there is still time to submit written testimony via email. All the info can be found here.

If you are attending, please keep a few things in mind.

  • No firearms or weapons of any kind allowed inside the building. This includes those credit card knives and keychain knives you may forget you have. There will be metal detectors at the door.
  • Because of the metal detectors, expect there to be a line getting in. The line may be long, so get there early to sign up to testify. You need to be in room 2500 before 9:30am to sign up.
  • Dress appropriately. Business casual or better. Show respect for the American legislative process, even though you oppose what some legislators are trying to do. No signs or props please.
  • Parking in and around the LOB can be limited. Get there as early as possible for the best parking. Parking info and directions to the LOB can be found here.
  • When you get there, look for other people with the CCDL logo. We’ll have people there to help you and answer any questions. We’ll also have small logo stickers you can wear. Make sure you get one and wear it when it can be seen. It quickly shows the legislators how many people support our positions.
  • There is a cafeteria where you can buy breakfast and lunch. After you sign in, you will usually find CCDL members there killing time before the hearing. Stop in and say hi!

Even if you can’t make it, you will still be able to watch the hearing live on the internet. You should be able to watch it at the following link starting at 10:30am. http://ct-n.com/CTNplayer.asp?livestream=1

Public Hearing This Friday

Raised Bill H.B. No. 7028, the new “show me your papers” bill I told you about last week is already scheduled for a public hearing this Friday, March 20th (details below). Please attend this hearing if at all possible. Even if you are afraid to speak, you can attend as a show of solidarity. If you can not attend, there is still time to submit written testimony via email. All the info can be found at the end of this post.

If you are attending, please keep a few things in mind.

  • No firearms or weapons of any kind allowed inside the building. This includes those credit card knives and keychain knives you may forget you have. There will be metal detectors at the door.
  • Because of the metal detectors, expect there to be a line getting in. The line may be long, so get there early to sign up to testify. You need to be in room 2500 before 9:30am to sign up.
  • Dress appropriately. Business casual or better. Show respect for the American legislative process, even though you oppose what some legislators are trying to do. No signs or props please.
  • Parking in and around the LOB can be limited. Get there as early as possible for the best parking. Parking info and directions to the LOB can be found here.
  • When you get there, look for other people with the CCDL logo. We’ll try to have people there to help you and answer any questions. We’ll also have small logo stickers you can wear. Make sure you get one and wear it when it can be seen. It quickly shows the legislators how many people support our positions.
  • There is a cafeteria where you can buy breakfast and lunch. After you sign in, you will usually find CCDL members there killing time before the hearing. Stop in and say hi!
  • There will be other bills being heard, on other topics, with other people there to testify on them. They may have no opinion about the bills you are there for. Make sure they leave with a good impression of us.

Even if you can’t make it, CT-N.com usually streams the hearings on their website. We’ll post a link here on the blog as soon as they post their schedule.

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015

The Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. in Room 2C of the LOB.  Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system.  Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:00 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB.  Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.  Please submit 50 copies of written testimony to Committee staff any day prior to the hearing but no later than 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB.  Written testimony submitted by a person(s) or organization(s) which exceeds five (5) single-sided pages per bill or resolution will only be posted on the Judiciary Committee’s website at the discretion of the Judiciary Committee chairs.  Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.  Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format toJUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov.  Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related Bills.  The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials.  Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.  The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement.  Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.  All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information.  As such, it may be made available on the Judiciary Committee’s website and indexed by internet search engines.

SUBJECT MATTER:   Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

H.B. No. 7028 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ACCESS TO THE FIREARMS DATABASE BY PAROLE OFFICERS, AND PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT.

Show Me Your Papers, Mach Schnell!

New gun bill today. I call this the “show me your papers, mach schnell!” bill.

H.B. No. 7028 (RAISED) JUDICIARY . ‘AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ACCESS TO THE FIREARMS DATABASE BY PAROLE OFFICERS, AND PRESENTATION OF A CARRY PERMIT’, to make technical changes to the Department of Correction statutes, to permit parole officers access to the firearms database and to require the holder of a pistol carry permit to present such permit upon request of a law enforcement officer.
REF. JUDICIARY

Here’s the troubling part.

Sec. 24. Subsection (b) of section 29-35 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2015):

(b) The holder of a permit issued pursuant to section 29-28 shall carry such permit upon one’s person while carrying such pistol or revolver. Such holder shall present his or her permit upon the request of a law enforcement officer for purposes of verification of the validity of the permit or identification of the holder.

Connecticut does not have any “stop and identify” law. (Motor vehicle laws are different. You consent to being stopped while driving when you get your driver’s license). The US Supreme Court has generally upheld that police may not stop a person and ask for identification without a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is about to be committed.
This proposed bill changes that, and treats certain people like second-class citizens simply because they have a legally owned object on their person.

Now, lots of people are going to say “If you aren’t breaking the law, what’s the big deal?” The big deal is law-abiding gun owners would be stripped of a Fourth Amendment protection every other person in Connecticut enjoys; the right to simply go about your business without being stopped to have your identification checked and verified. To me, that’s a big deal. Of course, if you actually ARE a criminal, you would be exempt from this bill. That’s because the Supreme Court has also ruled that criminals have a 5th Amendment right protecting them from self-incrimination. See Haynes v. United States for one example.

It’s important to remember that right now this is just a raised bill. That means it’s just an idea that the legislators on the Judiciary Committee are discussing to see if it has merit. The vast majority of raised bills never go beyond this point. The next step would be a public hearing, and if it gets that far you can be sure we’ll let you know.

Public hearing is scheduled for March 20, 2015. More info can be found here.

To see ALL the gun bills for this legislative session, click here.