Public Safety and Security Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5263

Title:

AN ACT AUTHORIZING RENEWAL OF STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER BY MAIL.

Vote Date:

3/8/2011

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/10/2011

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Rep. Sawyer, 55th District

Rep. Rigby, 63rd District

REASONS FOR BILL:

To allow Connecticut residents holding state pistol permits to renew those permits by mail. This would bring the law into conformity with the law regarding out-of-state permit holders, who are allowed to renew their permits by mail.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

Adopted Proposed Substitute Amendment A that would require the included photo be notarized or have a date stamp.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

James M. Thomas, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety testified in opposition to the bill in its proposed form. He stated that permit renewals should be conducted in person, in order to confirm the applicant's identity, verify the applicant's status, and view a current photograph of the applicant. He noted that driver license renewals are conducted in person and that the public safety interest “is at least similar, if not greater, in regard to renewal of permits to carry.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Representative John B. Rigby, 63rd District testified in support of this bill in its proposed form. He stated that it is an unfair burden to require Connecticut residents to appear in person for pistol permit renewals, since out-of-state permit holders are allowed to renew them by mail. He cites long travel distances, long wait times, lost wages and lost productivity as problems currently faced by Connecticut residents who miss work to renew pistol permits.

Robert T. Crook, Director, Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen testified in support of this bill in its proposed form. He stated that a mail renewal program “would standardize all Special Licensing and Firearms Unit renewal procedures,” since “the ONLY renewal procedure” on the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the CT State Police “requiring personal presence is the State Pistol Permit to Carry Pistols or Revolvers.” He notes also that mail renewals would lower processing costs, reduce travel and lost work time, and add convenience for Connecticut's citizens.

Jeff Tang, Membership Coordinator, Connecticut Citizen's Defense League testified in support of this bill in its proposed form. He stated that there is “no need for the physical presence of the permit holder” in the renewal process, and that this bill would reduce traffic congestion and fuel waste, make State services more accessible to citizens, reduce costs, and allow personnel to work more efficiently on the actual paperwork.

Peter Kuck testified in support of this bill in its proposed form. He stated that the bill “removes the ability of the Department of Public Safety from adding requirements to the process not supported by law,” in addition to lowering processing costs and adding convenience for citizens.

Virginia Benedetto, Technology Coordinator, Connecticut Citizen's Defense League testified in support of this bill in its proposed form. She stated that this bill could save the state money and “any confusion in the renewal process.”

E. Jonathan Hardy, CT Gun Safety, and member of the Connecticut Citizen's Defense League testified in support of this bill in its proposed form. He stated that this bill “can save a lot of travel, time and expense with the current system.”

Scott Wilson, Sr., President, Connecticut Citizen's Defense League testified in support of this bill in its proposed form.

James M. Hoover, Captain, USAF (Retired) testified in support of this bill in its proposed form.

William R. Hicks, Ph.D., Captain, USA (Retired), and member of the Connecticut Citizen's Defense League testified in support of this bill in its proposed form.

John Beidler, Southington, CT testified in support of this bill in its proposed form.

Amy Stegall, Stafford, CT testified in support of this bill in its proposed form.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None stated.

Reported by: Mike Demicco

Date: March 21, 2011