Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1071

January Session, 2013

 

LCO No. 4133

 

*04133_______PS_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

 

Introduced by:

 

(PS)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION FUND.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) As used in sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Person" means any individual, firm, fiduciary, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust or association, however formed;

(2) "Firearm" means a firearm, as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes;

(3) "Firearm manufacturer" means any person in this state engaged in the business of manufacturing more than fifty firearms in a calendar year for purposes of sale or distribution, whether such sale or distribution is made directly to a consumer or through a distributor, dealer, wholesaler or similar intermediary or intermediaries;

(4) "Firearm importer" means any person engaged in the business of importing, bringing or shipping more than fifty firearms into the state in a calendar year for purposes of sale or distribution, whether such sale or distribution is made directly to a consumer or through a distributor, dealer, wholesaler or similar intermediary or intermediaries; and

(5) "Sale" or "sell" includes or applies to gifts, exchanges and barter.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) (a) Every firearm manufacturer shall make an application to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, on forms to be prescribed and furnished by the commissioner, for a firearm manufacturer's license. Every firearm importer shall make an application to the commissioner, on forms to be prescribed and furnished by the commissioner, for a firearm importer's license. The fee for a firearm manufacturer's license or a firearm importer's license shall be two thousand five hundred dollars and any such license shall be valid for a period beginning with the date of license to the thirtieth day of September next succeeding the date of license, unless sooner revoked by the commissioner as provided in subsection (f) of this section, or unless the person to whom such license was issued discontinues business, in either of which event the holder of the license shall immediately return it to the commissioner. A firearm manufacturer's license and a firearm importer's license shall be renewed annually. In the event of mutilation or destruction of such license, a duplicate copy, marked as such, shall be issued by the commissioner upon application accompanied by a fee of fifteen dollars.

(b) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, refuse to issue a license if the commissioner has reasonable ground to believe that the firearm manufacturer or firearm importer: (1) Has wilfully made any false statement of substance with respect to an application for a license; (2) has neglected to pay any taxes due to this state; (3) has not obtained any license required by federal law to carry on such a business; or (4) has been convicted of violating any law related to the possession, use, manufacture, importation, sale, transfer or delivery of a firearm, or of violating any other law that the commissioner reasonably believes renders the firearm manufacturer or firearm importer unsuitable to be issued a license.

(c) Before the commissioner issues a license pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall require such firearm manufacturer or firearm importer, as the case may be, to annually file with the commissioner a bond issued by a surety company authorized to do business in this state or other security acceptable to the commissioner, in such amount as the commissioner may fix, to secure the payment of any sums due from such firearm manufacturer or firearm importer pursuant to the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act. Such bond or other security shall remain in full force and effect for a period of three years and one month following the end of such year, unless a certificate is issued by the commissioner to the effect that all taxes due the state have been paid.

(d) No person, except a licensed firearm manufacturer, shall manufacture more than fifty firearms in the state in a calendar year for purposes of sale or distribution. No person, except a licensed firearm importer, shall import, bring or ship more than fifty firearms into the state in a calendar year for purposes of sale or distribution.

(e) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned not more than one year or both for each offense.

(f) (1) The commissioner may suspend or revoke the license of any firearm manufacturer or firearm importer for failure to comply with any of the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act or regulations related thereto, following a hearing with respect to which notice, in writing, specifying the time and place of such hearing and requiring such firearm manufacturer or firearm importer to show cause why such license should not be suspended or revoked, is mailed or delivered to such firearm manufacturer or firearm importer not less than ten days preceding the date of such hearing. Such notice may be served personally or by registered or certified mail.

(2) The commissioner shall not issue a new license to a firearm manufacturer or firearm importer whose license is revoked unless the commissioner is satisfied that such firearm manufacturer or firearm importer will comply with the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act and regulations related thereto.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) Each firearm manufacturer shall pay a tax to the state on all sales of firearms manufactured in the state, and each firearm importer shall pay a tax to the state on all sales of firearms imported into the state. Such tax shall be ten dollars for each manufactured or imported firearm sold.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) Each firearm manufacturer and firearm importer shall, on or before the last day of each month, file with the Commissioner of Revenue Services a return, on forms to be prescribed and furnished by the commissioner and signed under penalty of false statement by its treasurer or an authorized agent or officer, showing, for the preceding calendar month or any portion thereof during which such taxpayer was a firearm manufacturer or firearm importer: (1) The total number of firearms manufactured or imported by such taxpayer that were sold during such calendar month, or portion thereof; (2) the amount of tax payable for such calendar month, or portion thereof, as provided in section 3 of this act; and (3) such additional information as the commissioner requires for the proper administration of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) The tax imposed by sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act shall be due and payable on the last day on which a return may be filed without penalty under section 4 of this act. Upon the filing of such return, the taxpayer shall forward to the Commissioner of Revenue Services the amount shown by such return to be due the state. If any person fails to pay such amount within the time required, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to ten per cent of such amount of tax due and unpaid or one hundred dollars, whichever is greater. The tax shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, from the due date of such tax to the date of payment. If no return has been filed within three months after the time specified under the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act, the commissioner may make such return at any time thereafter, according to the best information obtainable. There shall be added to the tax imposed upon the basis of such return an amount equal to ten per cent of such tax or one hundred dollars, whichever is greater. The tax shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof from the date such tax was due to the date of payment. Subject to the provisions of section 12-3a of the general statutes, the commissioner may waive all or part of the penalties provided under sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act when it is proven to the commissioner's satisfaction that the failure to pay any tax was due to reasonable cause and was not intentional or due to neglect.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) The amount of any tax due and unpaid under the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act may be collected under the provisions of section 12-35 of the general statutes. The warrant provided for in said section shall be signed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services or his or her authorized agent. The amount of any such tax shall be a lien, from the last day of the tax period until discharged by payment, against all real estate of the taxpayer within the state and a certificate of lien signed by the commissioner may be filed for record in the office of the clerk of any town in which such real estate is situated, provided no such lien shall be effective as against any bona fide purchaser or qualified encumbrancer of any interest in any such property. When any tax with respect to which a lien has been recorded under the provisions of this section has been satisfied, the commissioner, upon request of any interested party, shall issue a certificate discharging such lien, which certificate may be recorded in the same office in which the lien was recorded. Any action for the foreclosure of such lien shall be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the state in the superior court for the judicial district in which the property subject to such lien is situated, or, if such property is situated in two or more judicial districts, in the superior court for any one such judicial district, and the court may limit the time for redemption or order the sale of such property or make such other or further decree as it judges equitable. If any taxpayer sells or transfers his or her business in whole or in part, the purchaser shall be liable and, in the case of two or more purchasers, each of them shall be jointly and severally liable, with the former owner, for the payment of the tax.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) As soon as practicable after each return has been filed, the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall examine it and compute and determine the amount of the tax payable thereon. If it should appear then or thereafter within three years, as a result of such examination or as a result of any examination of the records of the taxpayer or of any other inquiry or investigation provided for under sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act, that the correct amount of tax is greater or less than that shown on the return, the tax shall be recomputed and corrected accordingly and notices of such correction shall be delivered or mailed forthwith to the taxpayer. When it appears that any part of the deficiency for which a deficiency assessment is made is due to negligence or intentional disregard of the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act or regulations adopted thereunder, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to ten per cent of the amount of such deficiency assessment or one hundred dollars, whichever is greater. When it appears that any part of the deficiency for which a deficiency assessment is made is due to fraud or intent to evade the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act or regulations adopted thereunder, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to twenty-five per cent of the amount of such deficiency assessment. No taxpayer shall be subject to more than one penalty under this section in relation to the same tax period. Each addition to the amount shown to be payable by any taxpayer for any period, including the amount of any penalty and interest imposed under this section, shall be payable not later than thirty days after the mailing of notice thereof in cash or by check, draft or money order drawn to the order of the Commissioner of Revenue Services. The amount of the deficiency shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof from the date when the original tax was due and payable. In case of payment by any taxpayer under sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act of any amount in excess of any tax lawfully due, through clerical error or by reason of any reduction of the amount of tax by action of the commissioner or by court action on appeal, discovery thereof being made not later than three years from the date of payment of the tax, the excess payment may, in the discretion of the commissioner, be credited on the amount of tax due from the same taxpayer for any prior tax period, or be retained and credited against the tax payable for any ensuing tax period, or be refunded to the taxpayer by the State Treasurer, upon order of the Comptroller.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall have power, when the commissioner deems it expedient, to make, or cause to be made by his or her deputy, auditors or investigators, an examination or investigation of the books, records, papers, vouchers, accounts, documents and premises of any firearm manufacturer or firearm importer for the purpose of administering the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act. Each such firearm manufacturer and firearm importer and each director, officer, agent or employee of each such firearm manufacturer or firearm importer, shall exhibit to the commissioner, his or her deputy, auditors or investigators all of the books, records, papers, vouchers, accounts, documents and premises of such person to facilitate any such examination or investigation.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013) Each firearm manufacturer and firearm importer shall keep complete and accurate records of all firearms purchased, sold, transferred, delivered, manufactured, stored, warehoused, imported or transported within this state. Such records shall be of such kind and in such form as the Commissioner of Revenue Services may prescribe and shall be safely preserved for three years in such a manner as to ensure permanency and accessibility for inspection by the commissioner or by his or her authorized employee. If any taxpayer fails to keep books of account or other documentary evidence from which a proper determination of the tax due may be made, the commissioner may fix the amount of tax for any period from the best information obtainable by the commissioner, and the amount so fixed shall be paid as though it had been computed on a return filed by the taxpayer under the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act and shall be presumed to be the correct amount due the state unless amended or corrected by the commissioner.

Sec. 10. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) Any person aggrieved by the action of the Commissioner of Revenue Services, or the commissioner's authorized agent, in fixing the amount of any tax or imposing any penalty as provided in sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act may apply to the commissioner, in writing, not later than sixty days after the notice of such action was mailed to such person, for a hearing and a correction of the amount of the tax or penalty, setting forth the reasons why a hearing should be granted and the amount by which such tax should be reduced. The commissioner shall promptly consider each such application and may grant or deny the hearing requested. If the hearing is denied, the applicant shall be notified as soon as practicable, and if it is granted, the commissioner shall notify the applicant of the time and place of such hearing. After such hearing, the commissioner may make such order as appears just and lawful and shall furnish a copy of such order to the applicant. The commissioner may, by notice in writing, at any time not later than three years after the date when any return of any taxpayer has been due, order a hearing on his or her own initiative and require the taxpayer or any other individual whom the commissioner believes to be in possession of information concerning any manufacture, importation or sale of firearms which have escaped taxation to appear before the commissioner or his or her authorized agent with any specified books of account, papers or other documents, for examination.

Sec. 11. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) Any taxpayer aggrieved because of any decision, order, determination or disallowance of the Commissioner of Revenue Services under the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act may, not later than one month after service upon such taxpayer of notice of such decision, order, determination or disallowance, take an appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district of New Britain, which shall be accompanied by a citation to the Commissioner of Revenue Services to appear before said court. Such citation shall be signed by the same authority and such appeal shall be returnable at the same time and served and returned in the same manner as is required in case of a summons in a civil action. The authority issuing the citation shall take from the appellant a bond or recognizance to the state of Connecticut, with surety to prosecute the appeal to effect and to comply with the orders and decrees of the court in the premises. Such appeals shall be preferred cases, to be heard, unless cause appears to the contrary, at the first session, by the court or by a committee appointed by the court. Said court may grant such relief as may be equitable and, if such tax has been paid prior to the granting of such relief, may order the Treasurer to pay the amount of such relief, with interest at the rate of two-thirds of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, to the aggrieved taxpayer. If the appeal has been taken without probable cause, the court may tax double or triple costs, as the case demands and, upon all such appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the appellant at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the state.

Sec. 12. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date) The administration of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act is vested in the Commissioner of Revenue Services. All forms necessary and proper for the enforcement of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act shall be prescribed and furnished by the commissioner. The commissioner may require any agent, clerk, stenographer or other assistant to execute a bond in such sum as said commissioner determines for the faithful discharge of his or her duties. The commissioner may prescribe regulations and rulings, not inconsistent with law, to carry into effect the provisions of sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 13. Subsection (b) of section 54-215 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(b) The cost paid into court under section 54-143 shall be deposited in the General Fund and shall be credited to and become a part of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Any restitution collected by the Court Support Services Division pursuant to section 46b-140, 53a-30 or 54-56e which is not disbursed within five years after the date such restitution is collected, because the victim could not be located, shall be deposited in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Any restitution collected pursuant to section 46b-140 or 54-56e on or before May 8, 1997, that has not been disbursed as of October 1, 2003, shall be deposited in the fund. If payment is awarded under section 54-210 and thereafter the court orders the defendant in the criminal case from which such injury or death resulted to make restitution, any money collected as restitution shall be paid to the fund unless the court directs otherwise. Any moneys collected pursuant to sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of this act shall be deposited in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. The Office of Victim Services may apply for and receive moneys for the fund from any federal, state or private source.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 4

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 5

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 6

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 7

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 8

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 9

October 1, 2013

New section

Sec. 10

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 11

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 12

October 1, 2013, and applicable to sales occurring on or after said date

New section

Sec. 13

October 1, 2013

54-215(b)

Statement of Purpose:

To create an additional source of funding for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund by collecting a tax from firearm manufacturers and firearm importers for the sale of each firearm manufactured in or imported into the state.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]