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Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Proposes Gun Legislation

The group that represents towns at the state capitol has several recommendations on gun control that it issued Wednesday.

As schools, the state and federal government grapple with the issue of gun control following the shootings in Newtown, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Wednesday issued a list of legislative initiatives that it would like to see, including a ban on assault weapons.

“The CCM membership recognizes that the reduction of gun violence in our country requires a federal-state-local partnership that addresses firearm regulation, mental health, and school security issues.  CCM supports the enactment of a new, comprehensive, federal ban on assault weapons.  In addition, CCM supports the following state legislative initiatives to reduce gun violence that, at the same time, respect the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United State Constitution.”

1. Expand the state definition of an assault weapon to conform to current California law (attachment 1), which includes limiting the magazine capacity of rifles and handguns to no more than 10 bullets. (Current state law lists approximately 57 specific firearms as an assault weapon.  Additionally, any semi-automatic firearm not listed but meets particular criteria (attachment 2) is also considered an assault weapon.  Current state law does not restrict magazine capacity.)

2. Require a rifle permit for the purchase of any long gun, unless the owner is already in possession of an up-to-date handgun permit.  A hunting license will no longer allow the background check and waiting period to be waived. (Current state law only requires a permit for handguns.  To purchase a long gun, only a 14-day waiting period is required for a background check.  If an individual has a pistol permit or hunting license, the background check and waiting period are waived.)

3. Allow municipal CEOs to designate a Chief of Police, Resident State Trooper, or the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners as the issuing authority for firearm permits.(Current state law specifically lists the chief of police, or, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town as the issuing authority for pistol permits.)

4. Allow municipal CEOs that deny permit applications, but such applications are subsequently overturned by the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, the ability to appeal said decisions before the Superior Court.  Permit applicants are already afforded such appeal rights. (Current state law does not allow local officials to appeal a Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners decision.)

5. Consider expanding the list of offenses that would prohibit an individual from obtaining a firearm permit. (CGS §29-28 (attachment 3) specifically lists the requirements and offenses that prohibit an individual from obtaining a firearm permit.)

6. Improve the enforcement of existing state law:

  • a. Require registration of all firearms (exempt antique firearms as defined in statute) and allow individuals a one-year, no-fee, grace period to complete such registration; 
  • b. Require the State to utilize existing firearm registration data by providing electronic access to a registered firearms database.  Such database would be available to law enforcement only;
  • c. Increase the capacity of the Connecticut State Forensics Laboratory to provide timely processing of firearm and ballistic data to local officials. (It can now take 6-8 months to get this information); and
  • d. Create a statewide Gun Offender Registry that would require individuals convicted of gun crimes to register with the State every six months (or when they change address) for a duration of five years.  Registering will be required at the time of conviction, or after their jail sentence has been served.  Registry would be available to law enforcement only. (Current state law requires all firearm sales to be recorded and a copy be sent to DESPP and local law enforcement.  Connecticut does not maintain a Gun Offender Registry.)

7. No firearm permit shall be issued if:

  • a. An individual has a serious mental disorder or illness that has been diagnosed, or determined in a court proceeding;
  • b. A mental health facility or licensed psychotherapists has reported, as they would now be required, to local law enforcement, DESPP and DMHAS any individual that has been determined to be a danger to themselves or others, or communicates a serious threat of physical violence against others; and
  • c. They have ever been confined in a psychiatric hospital by the probate court or found not guilty of a crime by reason of a mental disease, unless a licensed mental health official affirms that they are now mentally fit. (Current state law requires DMHAS to report data on an individual that has been confined to a psychiatric hospital by the Probate Court within the 12 months preceding the request for a permit, or an individual discharged from custody in the proceeding 20 years after a finding of not guilty of a crime by reason of a mental illness.)

8. Require an updated background check to be completed on all firearm permit renewals. (Current state law does not require an updated background check to be completed.)

9. Require a firearm permit for the purchase of ammunition. (Current state law does not regulate who may purchase ammunition.)

10. Regulate online purchase and delivery of ammunition by banning the use of rights-of-way for the transportation of ammunition. (Current state law does not regulate online sale or home delivery of ammunition.)

11. Prohibit individuals from purchasing more than one weapon within a 30-day period.  Thus eliminating bulk purchases of firearms, as recommended by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (Current state law does not limit the amount of firearms an individual may purchase.)

12. Require gun/trigger locks to be provided with each firearm purchased. (Current state law does not require gun/trigger locks to be provided with each firearm purchase.)

13. Outlaw the possession and purchasing of body armor (exempt law enforcement and active military), defined in Connecticut law as being any material designed to be worn on the body and to provide bullet penetration resistance. (Current state law restricts the sale and possession of body armor for anyone convicted of specific felonies or serious juvenile offenses.)

Jerome Krasnow January 18, 2013 at 01:57 PM
As a non-gun user, I support the efforts to make life safer for the public. However, if item 13, banning body armor, leaves the general public potentially unprotected. Criminals will illigally obtain them, and law abinding citizens will be left vulnerable.
kathi sanborn January 18, 2013 at 02:53 PM
I support all of the above. I don't find any reason for the need for assault weapons of any kind. After reading this it is amazing to me that some of these laws have not been in place already.
ginnie January 18, 2013 at 05:12 PM
I am ok with all of the above, except: - limiting the magazine capacity of handguns (self-defense against multiple criminals requires this.) - registration of existing firearms (invasion of privacy - there are state representatives who want the names and addresses of gun-owners published. This is dispicable and I don't trust the state to keep this info private.)
ginnie January 18, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Outside of universal background checks, I find most of the new gun-control laws being contemplated are an assault against law-abiding gun owners. It is unfair to punish innocent people for the acts of madmen and criminals. And no matter what laws are enacted, criminals will not abide and leave all good people defenseless. This is an dumb emotional effort by clueless bullies.
James Bond January 18, 2013 at 08:39 PM
So doing nothing is your solution?
Patrick Henry January 18, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Nothing herein does anything but make us sheep who are more reliant or on the government for protection or susceptible to future government abuses. Don't think it could happen 800 years of relatively peaceful living in Poland didn't end so well for my family members.and their friends....the ones who survived had guns and new how to use them.
Patrick Henry January 18, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Everything proposed leaves the public un protected unless you think dialing 911 is protection. Nothing proposed stops a guy from stealing a gun and killing. We are being asked to sacrifice our rights in the hope this stops another attack which it can't because the attack happened after the theft of a gun which this doesn't even address. its a gun grab next they will stop issuing permits for guns and then confiscate them.
Patrick Henry January 18, 2013 at 09:40 PM
No you toughen the sentences and yes you hang people for murder not soft life in jail oh and don't publish the names of the morons killing people and how about banning violent movies and video games sales to those under 21. While your at it high some cops and assign them to guard our treasure first our kids!
Patrick Henry January 18, 2013 at 09:42 PM
So I guess if someone finds no reason for your right to an abortion banning those is ok too? Their other's rights you don't get a say lady!
John East Lyme January 19, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Yet more laws to punish the law abiding citizen and doing nothing to stop the criminals. These mayors should be more worried about the crime in their rotten cities, then what type of rifle I have or how many bullets it holds. Just what we need big government chipping away at our rights. Today its ten round, tomorrow it will be like NY and only seven, next, no guns at all. Wake up, the government wont be happy till we rely on them for everything, even protecting or families or ourselves. Connecticut has the 5th strictest gun laws in the country, how much more do they want to take.
James Bond January 19, 2013 at 03:35 PM
So doing nothing is your solution?
John East Lyme January 19, 2013 at 11:23 PM
Well James what are your meaningful suggestions? Do you have any understanding of firearms? I have yet to see one of these proposed laws that would have prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Unfortunately there are very sick people out there. I really don't how to prevent madmen from doing these random acts. I do think that if they want to hurt people they will. Gun or not. So really all the laws they are trying to pass only penalize the law abiding gun owners. If a criminal wants to get a gun that hold 30 rounds in a magazine, they will, there are millions of them out there. Now I'm sure Connecticut politicians will try to reintroduce the bill they tried to pass two years ago. Confiscation of any gun magazine that hold more then ten bullets. Yes that's confiscation. Does that sound like a world you want to live in? Lets not also forget that most firearms, rifles and pistols, come with magazines that are greater then 10 rounds standard. They're not high capacity. The state wants gun owners to turn all those in, hundreds of thousands of them, for what they feel are safer ten round ones. This is a ridiculous step, because it only takes a second or two to change a magazine in a gun. None of this is new to most gun owners, but unfortunately our fate is in the hands of overzealous politicians that have no understanding of firearms and have to look like they are cracking down on guns. So once again Mr Bond, whats your suggestion?
James Bond January 20, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Limit clip sizes and the type of ammo (armor piercing)that can be bought is a start. After all doing nothing is simply repeating the same mistake,expecting a different outcome. Staus qou is no longer an option.Is there no place where compromise can exist?
John East Lyme January 20, 2013 at 06:50 PM
First of all there not called clips, there magazines, clips are something entirely separate. You can ban those they do nothing. As for the magazines, when you say limit, whats your plan. Are the ones that came standard with the gun now illegal? Will they be grandfathered in, or will the state make us surrender them without compensation? Remember there are already hundreds of thousands of them in Connecticut. Whats your plan other then "limit" them. Specifics. I like how anti gun people have to use scary terms for firearms "assault weapons and armor piercing". Armor piercing round are actually lead bullets with a copper jacket and a steal core center. In Connecticut most police armor is only rated for handgun calibers, so actually most rifles will penetrate their armor. So if it will make you sleep better at night, you could get rid of those. But I have yet to hear from anyone come up with ideas on how to prevent these mass shooting. They need to look at the root causes.
James Bond January 20, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Sorry about the clip vs magazine difference,point well taken.But let me con- gratulate you on being the first,lets say pro-gun person,that would limit something.The copper jacket and steel core bullets.My biggest complaint on here is the attitude that nothing should be done when it comes to guns and there respective ammo.I believe we all pretty much agree that guns in and of themselves are not the problem.What bothers me that very few of the pro gun posters refuse to even discuss guns and their part in the overall problem.I see it like a Math equation; mental health issues+lack of training+back groung checks+early prison release+types of weapons and ammo available=the reduction of gun violence.I've never advocated here or anywhere for banning all weapons,but limiting some of these weapons and their ammo must be in the discussion. Those that post what's your solution are at least recognizing there is a problem or a solution wouldn't be necessary. Balt.over N.E and S.F.over Atl.
John East Lyme January 20, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Hear are some solutions that most gun owners would get behind. The steal core rounds not that big of a deal. Shooters do need to be able to get ammo from online. Some calibers are hard to locate, and some people shoot a lot. I mean thousands of rounds a month. In CT semi auto rifles that take removable mags should require the pistol permit to obtain. Ammo sales should require pistol permit to obtain. Lift the so called CT assault weapons ban, it does nothing. It bans guns on the way they look. Black guns are scary. There are plenty of guns for sale in CT with the same functionality. Make criminals who use guns with filed numbers mandatory 10 years. Tell the state to stop pleading out gun cases. You commit a crime with the gun, you do mandatory minimums. Ban magazines over 30 rounds. Allow only two guns per month per person, although the state should have a new collectors category, that would preempt them from the two previous laws. Sounds like a lot of new laws, which I hate, but I would rather have my firearms and have to jump through a few hoops then just outright banning them.

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