Legislative Session Wrap Up

The following is a guest post by CCDL’s Legislative Coordinator, Ray Bevis.
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The 2016 Connecticut General Assembly adjourned late Wednesday night. This session CCDL tracked 11 firearm-related bills. Of those 11 bills, three passed and are awaiting the governor’s signature before officially becoming law. We would like to thank all the members who took the time to contact legislators and especially the members who attended the public hearings this year. This is an imperative part of preserving our Second Amendment rights here in Connecticut.

The three bills that passed this session are:

A complete list of ALL bills passed this session can be found here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/lbp/lobp.htm

What do these bills mean to us?
H.B. No. 5054 AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Effective October 1, 2016)

  • Shortens the deadline by which a person must transfer, deliver, or surrender his or her firearms, ammunition and permits, if they becomes ineligible to possess them as a result of becoming subject to a civil restraining order, civil protection order, criminal protective order, or foreign order of protection involving force, to 24 hours. It extends these requirements to ex parte orders (i.e., those issued without a prior hearing).
  • Gives people who must surrender their firearms, ammunition and permits the option of surrendering them to a municipal police department on the DESPP commissioner’s behalf, instead of just to the DESPP commissioner. It requires the police department, as is currently the case for the DESPP commissioner, to exercise due care when receiving and holding the firearms.
  • The police must destroy any firearms or ammunition that have not been transferred back by the end of one year.
  • Currently, a person subject to an order of protection who violates the firearms and ammunition transfer, delivery, or surrender requirement is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm or ammunition as applicable. The bill extends these penalties to people who commit such violations while subject to an ex parte order. By law, criminal possession of a firearm or ammunition is a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison with a two-year mandatory minimum.
  • Requires the DESPP commissioner, in conjunction with the chief state’s attorney and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, to develop a protocol to ensure that people who become ineligible to possess firearms transfer, deliver, or surrender them as appropriate. The bill requires the commissioner to update the protocol to appropriately apply to the bill’s provisions.
  • The DESPP commissioner must not issue a gun permit, handgun eligibility certificate, or long gun eligibility certificate to anyone subject to an ex parte order. By law, the commissioner may revoke a permit or certificate for any event that would have disqualified the holder from being issued such a credential.
  • Under the bill, DESPP must reinstate a gun or ammunition credential it revoked based on an ex parte order, if the order expires and the respondent, who is not otherwise disqualified, notifies DESPP and it verifies the expiration.

H.B. No. 20 AN ACT CONCERNING CARRYING A FIREARM WHILE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL (Effective October 1, 2016)

  • This bill lowers, from .10% to .08%, the blood alcohol content (BAC) level that triggers a presumptive violation of the law’s prohibition on carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

S.B. No. 455 AN ACT CONCERNING WEAPONS IN VEHICLES (Effective October 1, 2016)

  • This bill codifies case-law by exempting, from the existing ban on carrying certain weapons in a vehicle, someone having a dirk knife or police baton in a vehicle while lawfully moving his or her household goods or effects from one place to another or from one residence to another. (State v. Deciccio)

What should you do now?
If your legislator voted to protect your rights, send them a “Thank You” note or email. Offer to volunteer on their campaign.

If your legislator voted against your rights, send them a cordial note or email stating they will not have your vote in November and you will make sure to ask everyone you know in their district NOT to vote for them.

The best way to protect our rights is to get the right people elected.

Don’t know how your Senator/Representative voted? You can find the tally sheets for H.B. 5054 at:
https://www.cga.ct.gov/…/V…/s/2016SV-00288-R00HB05054-SV.htm (Senate)
https://www.cga.ct.gov/…/V…/h/2016HV-00154-R00HB05054-HV.htm (House)

Don’t know who your legislator is? Find out at:
https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

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Note: since the legislature failed to pass a budget this session (the one bill they were required to pass), a special session will be called. The session is supposed to only address the budget, but it’s not uncommon for legislators to try and slip in pet bills that failed to pass during the regular session. CCDL will continue to follow the goings-on in Hartford, and will will notify our membership of any anti-gun wording in the budget.

New Gun Bills for 3/11/2016

S.B. No. 454 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING AUTOMATIC ERASURE OF CRIMINAL RECORDS’, to ensure that criminal records subject to erasure are automatically erased and to provide notifications of such erasure.
REF. JUDICIARY

S.B. No. 455 (RAISED) JUDICIARY. ‘AN ACT CONCERNING WEAPONS IN VEHICLES’, to address an issue presented in State v. Jason William DeCiccio, 315 Conn. 79 (Conn. 2014).
REF. JUDICIARY

*NOTE: SB455 in its current form makes no changes as far as gun rights are concerned. We’re following it to make sure it stays that way.