OLR Bill Analysis

SB 64

AN ACT CONCERNING REGULATION OF FIREARMS.

SUMMARY:

This bill:

1. lowers, from . 10 to . 08, the blood alcohol content (BAC) level triggering presumptive violation of the law's prohibition on hunting, or carrying a loaded firearm, while intoxicated;

2. requires gun show promoters to notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioner when they plan to hold a gun show;

3. adds a buyer's date and place of birth to the required information on a handgun (pistol or revolver) receipt;

4. eliminates the (a) 90-day deadline within which the DESPP commissioner must process applications for an eligibility certificate to possess handguns and (b) temporary eligibility certificate;

5. replaces the first selectman with chief executive officer for purposes of certain statutes pertaining to firearm transactions, thereby conforming the law to practice in towns that do not have a first selectman; and

6. makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

HUNTING OR CARRYING A FIREARM WHILE DRUNK

The bill lowers, from . 10 to . 08, the presumptive BAC level for the offenses of (1) carrying a loaded firearm while intoxicated and (2) hunting while intoxicated, thereby conforming these provisions to laws establishing . 08 as the presumptive BAC level for operating motor vehicles under the influence. Under existing law, carrying a loaded firearm while intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a prison term of up to six months, a fine of up to $ 1,000, or both. Hunting while intoxicated is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a prison term of up to one year, a fine of up to $ 2,000, or both. By law, a person can also be convicted of these crimes on evidence of intoxication other than BAC level.

GUN SHOW NOTIFICATIONS

Current law requires gun show promoters, at least 30 days before putting on a gun show, to notify the host town's police chief or, where there is no police chief, the first selectman or borough warden of the show date, time, duration, and location. The bill requires them to notify the DESPP commissioner as well.

RECEIPT FOR GUN PURCHASE

By law, handgun sales and transfers must conform to specified procedures in law (CGS 29-33). When anyone buys a handgun, he or she must sign a receipt (DPS-3-C) for it. The receipt must contain his or her name and address and the (1) make, model, serial number, and caliber, and general description of the firearm; (2) transfer date and authorization number; and (3) identification number of eligibility certificate or permit to carry or sell handguns. The bill requires the receipt to contain the buyer's date and place of birth as well.

ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE

Under existing law, anyone wanting to possess a handgun must obtain a DESPP eligibility certificate or gun permit. Under current law, the commissioner has three options with regard to an application for an eligibility certificate. He has 90 days to (1) issue the certificate, (2) issue a temporary certificate, or (3) deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason in writing. The bill eliminates the temporary certificate and the 90-day deadline for acting on applications. Under another provision, which the bill does not change, the commissioner must approve or deny an application not later than 60 days after he receives the results of the national criminal history check, required for all applicants. This potentially extends the time that the commissioner has to act on applications beyond 90 days.

BACKGROUND

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 5245, reported favorably by the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 15, specifies information and documents that an applicant for a temporary permit to carry handguns must submit to the local permit-issuing authority.

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

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

23

Nay

0

(03/15/2012)