PA 07-163—sSB 938
Public Safety and Security Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING THE REPORTING OF LOST OR STOLEN FIREARMS AND ILLEGAL FIREARMS TRAFFICKING
SUMMARY: This act establishes the crime of firearm trafficking and makes it a class B or C felony (see Table on Penalties), depending on the number of firearms involved. A person commits this crime if he or she knowingly and intentionally gives someone who cannot legally possess firearms access to his or her firearms.
The act requires anyone whose lawfully possessed firearm (except an antique firearm) is lost or stolen to file a police report within 72 hours after he or she discovers or should have discovered the loss or theft. It imposes penalties ranging from an infraction to a class C felony for failing to report within the deadline. Prior law required the reports only for the theft of assault weapons and contained no penalties.
The act also requires the Department of Public Safety (DPS) commissioner, when issuing permits to carry handguns (but not eligibility certificates to obtain them) to give permittees a copy of the law requiring the reports.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007
FIREARM TRAFFICKING CRIME
A person is guilty of this crime if he or she, knowingly and intentionally, directly or indirectly, causes firearms (except long guns or antique firearms) that he or she owns, possesses, or controls to come into the possession or control of anyone whom he or she knows or has reason to believe cannot legally own or possess firearms under state or federal law. A violation involving (1) more than five firearms is a class B felony and (2) five or fewer firearms is a class C felony.
LOST OR STOLEN FIREARM REPORTS
The act 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 specifies that a first-time violator does not lose the right to possess a gun permit.
By law, it is illegal to buy a firearm intending to transfer it to anyone the transferor knows or has reason to believe cannot legally buy or possess such a firearm under state law. A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. A violator convicted of a felony within the previous five years is guilty of a class D felony.
OLR Tracking: VR: JLK: PF: TS