September 20, 2007
REPORTS OF LOST OR STOLEN GUNS
By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst
You asked if police departments provide gun dealers with information they receive on lost or stolen firearms.
The Division of State Police does not provide gun dealers with information on firearms reported lost or stolen. As far as we have been able to determine, local police departments do not do so either.
Current law requires anyone whose lawfully possessed assault weapon is stolen to report the theft to law enforcement officials within 72 hours after he or she discovered or should have discovered the theft (CGS § 53-202g). Beginning October 1, 2007, a new law (1) requires such reports, within the same deadlines, for all lawfully possessed firearms (except an antique firearm) lost or stolen and (2) imposes penalties ranging from an infraction to a class C felony for failing to report within the deadline. Neither the current law nor the act requires police departments to report the data they collect to gun dealers.
LOST OR STOLEN FIREARM REPORTS
Public Act 07-163 requires the lawful owners of any firearm, instead of just assault weapons, stolen from them to file a police report within 72 hours after they discover or should have discovered the theft. It also requires them to report any lost firearm, including an assault weapon, within the same deadlines.
Prior law required the assault weapon owner to report the theft to any law enforcement authority. The act requires theft and loss reports for all firearms, including assault weapons, to be made to the local police department for the town in which the theft or loss occurred or, if the town does not have a police department, the State Police troop having jurisdiction. It requires the department or troop to immediately forward a copy of the report to the DPS commissioner.
A first-time unintentional failure to report within the deadline is an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $90; a subsequent unintentional failure is a class D felony. Any intentional failure to report is a class C felony.
The act takes effect October 1, 2007.