March 13, 2009
ARRESTS AND CONVICTIONS FOR FAILURE TO REPORT LOST AND STOLEN FIREARMS
By: Laura Cummings, Legislative Fellow
You asked for the number of arrests and convictions under the law requiring firearm owners to report in a timely manner if their firearm is lost or stolen.
Under CGS § 53-202g, any individual who legally possesses an assault weapon or other firearm that is lost or stolen must report the loss or theft to the police department of the town in which the loss or theft occurred. If the town does not have a police department, the owner must report to the State Police.
The law requiring reports of stolen assault weapons was enacted in 1993 and amended in 2007 (PA 07-16) to include thefts, and all other firearms. Seven people have been arrested under the law, and none were convicted, according to Greg Pak, Judicial Department case statistician. Three arrests were in 2007, four were in 2008.
The law requires the lawful owner of any firearm (except antique firearms) that 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. The owner must file the report with 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.
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, punishable by one to five years imprisonment, up to a $5,000 fine, or both. Any intentional failure to report is a class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or both. A first-time violator does not lose the right to obtain or possess a gun permit (CGS § 53-202g).