OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5245

AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER.

SUMMARY:

This bill identifies specific information and documents that an applicant for a temporary permit to carry handguns must submit to the local permit-issuing authority. It also (1) requires that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) application that applicants must complete under existing law be notarized and (2) prohibits the issuing authorities from modifying the application or supplementing it with additional forms. (Except for the limitation on the form, it is unclear if the bill limits other types of information or documentation the authority, under existing law, may request to find an applicant meets criteria and is a “suitable person” to get a gun permit. )

In addition to the required DESPP application, the bill requires applicants to submit:

1. two sets of fingerprints to be processed in accordance with the state law governing the collection of fingerprints for gun permit applications;

2. a certificate of successful completion of a handgun safety and use course, signed by an instructor certified by the National Rifle Association, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, a law enforcement agency, or a branch of the U. S. military service; and

3. for U. S. citizens, a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or valid U. S. passport; and for aliens, a permanent resident card.

Because aliens temporarily in the United States do not have a permanent resident card, the requirement to submit such a card as part of the permit application appears to disqualify them from getting a gun permit. By law, a legal alien is eligible for a gun permit, but an illegal alien is not (CGS 29-28).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Gun Permit Applications

With minor exceptions, state law bars anyone from carrying handguns (except antique handguns) anywhere in Connecticut without a gun permit. For Connecticut residents, getting an original gun permit is a two-step process. They must first apply to the local permit-issuing official (usually the police chief), who issues a temporary, 60-day state permit. The official forwards the application to the DESPP commissioner, who issues a five-year state permit. Out-of-state residents apply directly to the commissioner.

Permit-Issuing Criteria

The local official issuing a temporary gun permit must consider if the applicant (1) wants the firearm for lawful purposes and (2) is a suitable person to get a permit. The law does not define suitability, which is left to the official's discretion (CGS 29-28(b)).

Those explicitly barred from possessing handguns or getting a gun permit are illegal aliens and anyone:

1. under age 21;

2. discharged from custody in the preceding 20 years after a verdict of not guilty because of a mental disease or defect;

3. confined by the probate court to a mental hospital in the 12 months before applying;

4. convicted of a serious juvenile offense;

5. subject to a firearm seizure order issued after notice and a hearing;

6. prohibited under federal law from possessing or shipping firearms because he or she was adjudicated as mentally defective or committed to a mental institution (unless the U. S. Treasury Department grants relief from this disability);

7. under a protective or restraining order for using or threatening to use force and, in the case of possession, he or she knows about the order and, if the order was issued in-state, was notified and given a hearing opportunity; or

8. convicted of a felony or specified misdemeanors.

Applicants must also successfully complete a handgun safety and use course approved by the DESPP commissioner (CGS 29-28(b)).

Related Bills

SB 196 (File 33) requires gun dealers to (1) keep their handgun sale records in a form prescribed by federal law, rather than by the DESPP commissioner, and (2) make the records available for inspection at the request of any sworn state police officer or investigator on the State-wide Firearms Trafficking Task Force.

HB 5246, reported favorably the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 15, allows a gun dealer to conduct handgun transaction at gun shows under his or her gun dealer permit, thereby generally conforming state law to federal law.

SB 64, reported favorably by the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 15, adds a buyer's date and place of birth to the required information on a handgun (pistol or revolver) receipt and eliminates temporary eligibility certificates.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

23

Nay

0

(03/15/2012)