Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 602

    February Session, 2016

Substitute House Bill No. 5054

House of Representatives, April 14, 2016

The Committee on Judiciary reported through REP. TONG of the 147th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

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

Section 1. Section 6-32 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) Each state marshal shall receive each process directed to such marshal when tendered, execute it promptly and make true return thereof; and shall, without any fee, give receipts when demanded for all civil process delivered to such marshal to be served, specifying the names of the parties, the date of the writ, the time of delivery and the sum or thing in demand. If any state marshal does not duly and promptly execute and return any such process or makes a false or illegal return thereof, such marshal shall be liable to pay double the amount of all damages to the party aggrieved.

(b) A civil protection order constitutes civil process for purposes of the powers and duties of a state marshal. The cost of serving a civil protection order issued pursuant to section 46b-16a, as amended by this act, shall be paid by the Judicial Branch in the same manner as the cost of serving a restraining order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, and fees and expenses associated with the serving of a civil protection order shall be calculated in accordance with subsection (a) of section 52-261.

Sec. 2. Subsection (j) of section 6-38b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(j) The commission [may] shall adopt [such] rules as it deems necessary for conduct of its internal affairs, [and] including, but not limited to, rules that provide for: (1) The provision of timely, consistent and reliable access to a state marshal for persons applying for a restraining order under section 46b-15, as amended by this act; (2) the provision of services to persons with limited English proficiency; (3) the provision of services to persons who are deaf or hearing impaired; and (4) service of process that is a photographic copy, micrographic copy or other electronic image of an original document that clearly and accurately copies such original document. The commission shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 for the application and investigation requirements for filling vacancies in the position of state marshal.

Sec. 3. Section 46b-15 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) Any family or household member, as defined in section 46b-38a, who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking or a pattern of threatening, including, but not limited to, a pattern of threatening, as described in section 53a-62, by another family or household member may make an application to the Superior Court for relief under this section.

(b) The application form shall allow the applicant, at the applicant's option, to indicate whether the respondent (1) holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, a long gun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate or possesses one or more firearms or ammunition, and (2) is employed in a position in which an essential requirement of such position is the ability to carry a firearm during the course of the respondent's employment. The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath which includes a brief statement of the conditions from which relief is sought. Upon receipt of the application the court shall order that a hearing on the application be held not later than fourteen days from the date of the order except that, if the application indicates the respondent is employed in a position in which an essential requirement of the position is the ability to carry a firearm during the course of employment, the court may take this circumstance into consideration in ordering a hearing on the application as soon as practicable, but not later than fourteen days from the date on which the application is filed. The court, in its discretion, may make such orders as it deems appropriate for the protection of the applicant and such dependent children or other persons as the court sees fit. In making such orders, the court, in its discretion, may consider relevant court records if the records are available to the public from a clerk of the Superior Court or on the Judicial Branch's Internet web site. Such orders may include temporary child custody or visitation rights, and such relief may include, but is not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from [(1)] (A) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the applicant; [(2)] (B) threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting, sexually assaulting or attacking the applicant; or [(3)] (C) entering the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant. Such order may include provisions necessary to protect any animal owned or kept by the applicant including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from injuring or threatening to injure such animal. If an applicant alleges an immediate and present physical danger to the applicant, the court may issue an ex parte order granting such relief as it deems appropriate. If a postponement of a hearing on the application is requested by either party and granted, the ex parte order shall not be continued except upon agreement of the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. If a hearing on the application is scheduled or an ex parte order is granted and the court is closed on the scheduled hearing date, the hearing shall be held on the next day the court is open and any such ex parte order shall remain in effect until the date of such hearing.

(c) If the court issues an ex parte order pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and service has not been made on the respondent in conformance with subsection (h) of this section, upon request of the applicant, the court shall, based on the information contained in the original application, extend any ex parte order for an additional period not to exceed fourteen days from the originally scheduled hearing date. The clerk shall prepare a new order of hearing and notice containing the new hearing date, which shall be served upon the respondent in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of this section.

[(c)] (d) Any ex parte restraining order entered under subsection (b) of this section in which the applicant and respondent are spouses, or persons who have a dependent child or children in common and who live together, may include, if no order exists, and if necessary to maintain the safety and basic needs of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, in addition to any orders authorized under subsection (b) of this section, any of the following: (1) An order prohibiting the respondent from (A) taking any action that could result in the termination of any necessary utility services or necessary services related to the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant, (B) taking any action that could result in the cancellation, change of coverage or change of beneficiary of any health, automobile or homeowners insurance policy to the detriment of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, or (C) transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of specified property owned or leased by the applicant; or (2) an order providing the applicant with temporary possession of an automobile, checkbook, documentation of health, automobile or homeowners insurance, a document needed for purposes of proving identity, a key or other necessary specified personal effects.

[(d)] (e) At the hearing on any application under this section, if the court grants relief pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and the applicant and respondent are spouses, or persons who have a dependent child or children in common and who live together, and if necessary to maintain the safety and basic needs of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, any orders entered by the court may include, in addition to the orders authorized under subsection (b) of this section, any of the following: (1) An order prohibiting the respondent from (A) taking any action that could result in the termination of any necessary utility services or services related to the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant, (B) taking any action that could result in the cancellation, change of coverage or change of beneficiary of any health, automobile or homeowners insurance policy to the detriment of the applicant or the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, or (C) transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of specified property owned or leased by the applicant; (2) an order providing the applicant with temporary possession of an automobile, checkbook, documentation of health, automobile or homeowners insurance, a document needed for purposes of proving identity, a key or other necessary specified personal effects; or (3) an order that the respondent: (A) Make rent or mortgage payments on the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant and the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, (B) maintain utility services or other necessary services related to the family dwelling or the dwelling of the applicant and the dependent child or children in common of the applicant and respondent, (C) maintain all existing health, automobile or homeowners insurance coverage without change in coverage or beneficiary designation, or (D) provide financial support for the benefit of any dependent child or children in common of the applicant and the respondent, provided the respondent has a legal duty to support such child or children and the ability to pay. The court shall not enter any order of financial support without sufficient evidence as to the ability to pay, including, but not limited to, financial affidavits. If at the hearing no order is entered under this subsection or subsection [(c)] (d) of this section, no such order may be entered thereafter pursuant to this section. Any order entered pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to modification and shall expire one hundred twenty days after the date of issuance or upon issuance of a superseding order, whichever occurs first. Any amounts not paid or collected under this subsection or subsection [(c)] (d) of this section may be preserved and collectible in an action for dissolution of marriage, custody, paternity or support.

[(e)] (f) Every order of the court made in accordance with this section shall contain the following language: (1) "This order may be extended by the court beyond one year. In accordance with section 53a-107 of the Connecticut general statutes, entering or remaining in a building or any other premises in violation of this order constitutes criminal trespass in the first degree. This is a criminal offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars or both."; and (2) "In accordance with section 53a-223b of the Connecticut general statutes, any violation of subparagraph (A) or (B) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-223b constitutes criminal violation of a restraining order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both. Additionally, any violation of subparagraph (C) or (D) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-223b constitutes criminal violation of a restraining order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years, a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.".

[(f)] (g) No order of the court shall exceed one year, except that an order may be extended by the court upon motion of the applicant for such additional time as the court deems necessary. If the respondent has not appeared upon the initial application, service of a motion to extend an order may be made by first-class mail directed to the respondent at the respondent's last-known address.

[(g)] (h) (1) The applicant shall cause notice of the hearing pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and a copy of the application and the applicant's affidavit and of any ex parte order issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to be served on the respondent not less than [five] three days before the hearing. The cost of such service shall be paid for by the Judicial Branch.

(2) When (A) an application indicates that a respondent holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, a long gun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate or possesses one or more firearms or ammunition, and (B) the court has issued an ex parte order pursuant to this section, the proper officer responsible for executing service, prior to serving such order, shall (i) provide notice to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the respondent will be served concerning when and where the service will take place, (ii) send, or cause to be sent by facsimile or other means, a copy of the application, the applicant's affidavit, the ex parte order and the notice of hearing to such law enforcement agency, and (iii) request that a police officer from the law enforcement agency for the town in which the respondent will be served be present when service is executed by the proper officer.

(3) Upon the granting of an ex parte order, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant. Upon the granting of an order after notice and hearing, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant and a copy to the respondent. Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall be accompanied by a notification that is consistent with the full faith and credit provisions set forth in 18 USC 2265(a), as amended from time to time. Immediately after making service on the respondent, the proper officer shall (A) send or cause to be sent, by facsimile or other means, a copy of the application, or the information contained in such application, stating the date and time the respondent was served, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides, and (B) as soon as possible, but not later than two hours after the time that service is executed, input into the Judicial Branch's Internet-based service tracking system the date, time and method of service. If, prior to the date of the scheduled hearing, service has not been executed, the proper officer shall input into such service tracking system that service was unsuccessful. The clerk of the court shall send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of any ex parte order and of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides, within forty-eight hours of the issuance of such order. If the victim is enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school, including a technical high school, or an institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-55, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such ex parte order or of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to such school or institution of higher education, the president of any institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled and the special police force established pursuant to section 10a-156b, if any, at the institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled.

[(h)] (i) A caretaker who is providing shelter in his or her residence to a person sixty years or older shall not be enjoined from the full use and enjoyment of his or her home and property. The Superior Court may make any other appropriate order under the provisions of this section.

[(i)] (j) When a motion for contempt is filed for violation of a restraining order, there shall be an expedited hearing. Such hearing shall be held within five court days of service of the motion on the respondent, provided service on the respondent is made not less than twenty-four hours before the hearing. If the court finds the respondent in contempt for violation of an order, the court may impose such sanctions as the court deems appropriate.

[(j)] (k) An action under this section shall not preclude the applicant from seeking any other civil or criminal relief.

(l) For purposes of this section, "police officer" means a state police officer or a sworn member of a municipal police department and "law enforcement agency" means the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or any municipal police department.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2016) In each Superior Court where a restraining order issued under section 46b-15 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, may be made returnable, the Chief Court Administrator shall, where feasible, work to allocate space in such court so as to permit a meeting between a person seeking service of the notice of hearing and any order issued under section 46b-15 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and a proper officer.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2016) (a) The Chief Court Administrator shall revise and simplify the process for filing an application for relief under section 46b-15 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. The Chief Court Administrator shall ensure that any person seeking to file an application for relief is provided with a one-page, plain language explanation of how to apply for relief under section 46b-15 of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

(b) The Chief Court Administrator shall annually collect data on (1) the number of restraining orders issued under section 46b-15 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and civil protection orders issued under section 46b-16a of the general statutes, as amended by this act; (2) the number of such orders that are not picked up by an applicant from the office of the clerk at the court location which issued the order; (3) the method of service of such orders in cases in which a respondent is successfully served with the order; (4) the number of requests for a police officer to be present at the time service of an order pursuant to subsection (h) of section 46b-15 of the general statutes, as amended by this act; and (5) the number of such orders issued that subsequently expire or are dismissed because the respondent could not be served with the order.

Sec. 6. Subsection (d) of section 46b-16a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(d) The applicant shall cause notice of the hearing pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and a copy of the application and the applicant's affidavit and of any ex parte order issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to be served by a proper officer on the respondent not less than five days before the hearing. The cost of such service shall be paid for by the Judicial Branch. Upon the granting of an ex parte order, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant. Upon the granting of an order after notice and hearing, the clerk of the court shall provide two copies of the order to the applicant and a copy to the respondent. Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall be accompanied by a notification that is consistent with the full faith and credit provisions set forth in 18 USC 2265(a), as amended from time to time. Immediately after making service on the respondent, the proper officer shall (1) send or cause to be sent, by facsimile or other means, a copy of the application, or the information contained in such application, stating the date and time the respondent was served, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides, and (2) as soon as possible, but not later than two hours after the time that service is executed, input into the Judicial Branch's Internet-based service tracking system the date, time and method of service. If, prior to the date of the scheduled hearing, service has not been executed, the proper officer shall input into such service tracking system that service was unsuccessful. The clerk of the court shall send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of any ex parte order and of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the applicant resides, the town in which the applicant is employed and the town in which the respondent resides, not later than forty-eight hours after the issuance of such order, and immediately to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. If the applicant is enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school, including a technical high school, or an institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-55, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the applicant, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such ex parte order or of any order after notice and hearing, or the information contained in any such order, to such school or institution of higher education, the president of any institution of higher education at which the applicant is enrolled and the special police force established pursuant to section 10a-142, if any, at the institution of higher education at which the applicant is enrolled.

Sec. 7. Section 29-36k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) [Not later than two business days] Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, not later than two business days after the occurrence of any event that makes a person ineligible to possess a pistol or revolver or other firearm or ammunition, such person shall (1) transfer in accordance with section 29-33 all pistols and revolvers which such person then possesses to any person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver and transfer in accordance with any applicable state and federal laws all other firearms to any person eligible to possess such other firearms by obtaining an authorization number for the sale or transfer of the firearm from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and submit a sale or transfer of firearms form to said commissioner within two business days, [except that a person subject to a restraining or protective order or a foreign order of protection may only transfer a pistol, revolver or other firearm or ammunition under this subdivision to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to the sale of the pistol, revolver or other firearm and ammunition to the federally licensed firearms dealer,] or (2) deliver or surrender such pistols and revolvers and other firearms and ammunition to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, provided a local police department may accept such pistols, revolvers, other firearms and ammunition on behalf of said commissioner, or (3) transfer such ammunition to any person eligible to possess such ammunition. The commissioner and a local police department shall exercise due care in the receipt and holding of such pistols and revolvers and other firearms or ammunition. [For the purposes of this section, a "person subject to a restraining or protective order or a foreign order of protection" means a person who knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person.]

(b) Immediately, but in no event more than twenty-four hours after notice has been provided to a person subject to a restraining or protective order or a foreign order of protection, such person shall (1) transfer any pistol, revolver or other firearm or ammunition which such person then possesses to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to the sale of the pistol, revolver or other firearm or ammunition to the federally licensed firearms dealer, or (2) deliver or surrender such pistols and revolvers and other firearms and ammunition to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, provided a local police department may accept such pistols, revolvers, other firearms and ammunition on behalf of said commissioner. For the purposes of this section, a "person subject to a restraining or protective order or a foreign order of protection" means a person who knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person.

[(b)] (c) Such person, or such person's legal representative, may, at any time up to one year after such delivery or surrender, transfer such pistols and revolvers in accordance with the provisions of section 29-33 to any person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver and transfer such other firearms and ammunition, in accordance with any applicable state and federal laws, to any person eligible to possess such other firearms and ammunition, provided any person subject to a restraining or protective order or a foreign order of protection, or such person's legal representative, may only transfer such pistol, revolver or other firearm or ammunition to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to the sale of the pistol, revolver or other firearm or ammunition to the federally licensed firearms dealer. Upon notification in writing by the transferee and such person, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a local police department as the case may be, shall, within ten days, deliver such pistols and revolvers [or] and other firearms [or] and ammunition to the transferee. If, at the end of such year, such pistols and revolvers [or] and other firearms [or] and ammunition have not been so transferred, the commissioner or a local police department as the case may be, shall cause them to be destroyed.

[(c)] (d) Any person who fails to transfer, deliver or surrender any such pistols and revolvers and other firearms or ammunition as provided in this section shall be subject to the penalty provided for in section 53a-217, as amended by this act, or 53a-217c, as amended by this act.

Sec. 8. Subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(b) Upon the application of any person having a bona fide permanent residence within the jurisdiction of any such authority, such chief of police, warden or selectman may issue a temporary state permit to such person to carry a pistol or revolver within the state, provided such authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which such applicant may be permitted to carry under such permit other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable person to receive such permit. No state or temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued under this subsection if the applicant (1) has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association, (2) has been convicted of (A) a felony, or (B) on or after October 1, 1994, a violation of section 21a-279 or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d, (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (5) (A) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (6) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, including an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, as amended by this act, (7) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing, (8) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4), (9) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States, or (10) is less than twenty-one years of age. Nothing in this section shall require any person who holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver on October 1, 1994, to participate in any additional training in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers. No person may apply for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver more than once within any twelve-month period, and no temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued to any person who has applied for such permit more than once within the preceding twelve months. Any person who applies for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall indicate in writing on the application, under penalty of false statement in such manner as the issuing authority prescribes, that such person has not applied for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the past twelve months. Upon issuance of a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver to the applicant, the local authority shall forward the original application to the commissioner. Not later than sixty days after receiving a temporary state permit, an applicant shall appear at a location designated by the commissioner to receive the state permit. The commissioner may then issue, to any holder of any temporary state permit, a state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the state. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall make available to the permit holder a copy of the law regarding the permit holder's responsibility to report the loss or theft of a firearm and the penalties associated with the failure to comply with such law. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall forward a record of such permit to the local authority issuing the temporary state permit. The commissioner shall retain records of all applications, whether approved or denied. The copy of the state permit delivered to the permittee shall be laminated and shall contain a full-face photograph of such permittee. A person holding a state permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall notify the issuing authority within two business days of any change of such person's address. The notification shall include the old address and the new address of such person.

Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 29-36f of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(b) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall issue an eligibility certificate unless said commissioner finds that the applicant: (1) Has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association; (2) has been convicted of a felony or of a violation of section 21a-279 or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d; (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120; (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13; (5) (A) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court; or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680; [,] (6) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, including an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or section 46b-16a, as amended by this act; (7) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing; (8) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4); or (9) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

Sec. 10. Subsection (b) of section 29-37p of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(b) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall issue a long gun eligibility certificate unless said commissioner finds that the applicant: (1) Has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of firearms including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of firearms available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of firearms conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association; (2) has been convicted of (A) a felony, or (B) on or after October 1, 1994, a violation of section 21a-279 or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d; (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120; (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13; (5) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court; (6) has been voluntarily admitted to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680; (7) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, including an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, as amended by this act; (8) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing; (9) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4); or (10) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

Sec. 11. Section 29-32 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "conviction" means the entry of a judgment of conviction by any court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) Any state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver may be revoked by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for cause and shall be revoked by said commissioner upon conviction of the holder of such permit of a felony or of any misdemeanor specified in subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act, or upon the occurrence of any event which would have disqualified the holder from being issued the state permit or temporary state permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act. Upon the revocation of any state permit or temporary state permit, the person whose state permit or temporary state permit is revoked shall be notified in writing and such state permit or temporary state permit shall be forthwith delivered to the commissioner. Any law enforcement authority shall confiscate and immediately forward to the commissioner any state permit or temporary state permit that is illegally possessed by any person. The commissioner may revoke the state permit or temporary state permit based upon the commissioner's own investigation or upon the request of any law enforcement agency. Any person who fails to surrender any permit within five days of notification in writing of revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(c) Any local permit for the carrying of a pistol or revolver issued prior to October 1, 2001, may be revoked by the authority issuing the same for cause, and shall be revoked by the authority issuing the same upon conviction of the holder of such permit of a felony or of any misdemeanor specified in subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act, or upon the occurrence of any event which would have disqualified the holder from being issued such local permit. Upon the revocation of any local permit, the person whose local permit is revoked shall be notified in writing and such permit shall be forthwith delivered to the authority issuing the same. Upon the revocation of any local permit, the authority issuing the same shall forthwith notify the commissioner. Upon the revocation of any permit issued by the commissioner, the commissioner shall forthwith notify any local authority which the records of the commissioner show as having issued a currently valid local permit to the holder of the permit revoked by the commissioner. Any person who fails to surrender such permit within five days of notification in writing or revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(d) If a state permit or temporary state permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such permit is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, as amended by this act, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act, the department shall reinstate such permit.

Sec. 12. Section 29-36i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) Any eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver shall be revoked by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection upon the occurrence of any event which would have disqualified the holder from being issued the certificate pursuant to section 29-36f, as amended by this act.

(b) Upon the revocation of any eligibility certificate, the person whose eligibility certificate is revoked shall be notified in writing and such certificate shall be forthwith delivered to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Any person who fails to surrender such certificate within five days of notification in writing of revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(c) If an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver is revoked because the person holding such certificate is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, as amended by this act, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such certificate pursuant to section 29-36f, as amended by this act, the department shall reinstate such certificate.

Sec. 13. Section 29-37s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) A long gun eligibility certificate shall be revoked by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection upon the occurrence of any event which would have disqualified the holder from being issued the certificate pursuant to section 29-37p, as amended by this act.

(b) Upon the revocation of any long gun eligibility certificate, the person whose certificate is revoked shall be notified, in writing, and such certificate shall be forthwith delivered to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Any person who fails to surrender such certificate within five days of notification, in writing, of revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(c) If a long gun eligibility certificate is revoked because the person holding such certificate is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, as amended by this act, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such certificate pursuant to section 29-37p, as amended by this act, the department shall reinstate such certificate.

Sec. 14. Section 29-38p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) An ammunition certificate shall be revoked by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection upon the occurrence of any event which would have disqualified the holder from being issued the certificate pursuant to section 29-38n.

(b) Upon the revocation of any ammunition certificate, the person whose certificate is revoked shall be notified, in writing, and such certificate shall be forthwith delivered to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Any person who fails to surrender such certificate within five days of notification, in writing, of revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(c) If an ammunition certificate is revoked because the person holding such certificate is subject to an ex parte order issued pursuant to section 46b-15, as amended by this act, or 46b-16a, as amended by this act, upon expiration of such order, such person may notify the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that such order has expired. Upon verification of such expiration and provided such person is not otherwise disqualified from holding such certificate pursuant to section 29-38n the department shall reinstate such certificate.

Sec. 15. Section 53a-217 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon when such person possesses a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon and (1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or after October 1, 2013, or of a violation of section 21a-279, 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d committed on or after October 1, 2013, (2) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (3) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (4) knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice [and an opportunity to be heard] has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, (5) (A) has been confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or with respect to any person who holds a valid permit or certificate that was issued or renewed under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, or 29-36f, as amended by this act, in effect prior to October 1, 2013, such person has been confined in such hospital within the preceding twelve months, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (6) knows that such person is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, or (7) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4). For the purposes of this section, "convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, "ammunition" means a loaded cartridge, consisting of a primed case, propellant or projectile, designed for use in any firearm, and a motor vehicle violation for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment of more than one year may be imposed shall be deemed an unclassified felony.

(b) Criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon is a class C felony, for which two years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court, and five thousand dollars of the fine imposed may not be remitted or reduced by the court unless the court states on the record its reasons for remitting or reducing such fine.

Sec. 16. Section 53a-217c of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver when such person possesses a pistol or revolver, as defined in section 29-27, and (1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or after October 1, 2013, or of a violation of section 21a-279, 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d committed on or after October 1, 1994, (2) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (3) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (4) (A) has been confined prior to October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding twelve months by order of a probate court, or has been confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or, with respect to any person who holds a valid permit or certificate that was issued or renewed under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, or 29-36f, as amended by this act, in effect prior to October 1, 2013, such person has been confined in such hospital within the preceding twelve months, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (5) knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person, after notice [and an opportunity to be heard] has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-15a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, (6) knows that such person is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, (7) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4), or (8) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. For the purposes of this section, "convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) Criminal possession of a pistol or revolver is a class C felony, for which two years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court, and five thousand dollars of the fine imposed may not be remitted or reduced by the court unless the court states on the record its reasons for remitting or reducing such fine.

Sec. 17. Subsection (b) of section 29-36n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(b) The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, in conjunction with the Chief State's Attorney and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, shall update the protocol developed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to reflect the provisions of sections 29-7h, 29-28, as amended by this act, 29-28a, 29-29, 29-30, 29-32, as amended by this act, and 29-35, subsections (b) and [(g)] (h) of section 46b-15, as amended by this act, subsections (c) and (d) of section 46b-38c and sections 53-202a, 53-202l, 53-202m and 53a-217, as amended by this act, and shall include in such protocol specific instructions for the transfer, delivery or surrender of pistols and revolvers and other firearms and ammunition when the assistance of more than one law enforcement agency is necessary to effect the requirements of section 29-36k, as amended by this act.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2016

6-32

Sec. 2

October 1, 2016

6-38b(j)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2016

46b-15

Sec. 4

October 1, 2016

New section

Sec. 5

October 1, 2016

New section

Sec. 6

October 1, 2016

46b-16a(d)

Sec. 7

October 1, 2016

29-36k

Sec. 8

October 1, 2016

29-28(b)

Sec. 9

October 1, 2016

29-36f(b)

Sec. 10

October 1, 2016

29-37p(b)

Sec. 11

October 1, 2016

29-32

Sec. 12

October 1, 2016

29-36i

Sec. 13

October 1, 2016

29-37s

Sec. 14

October 1, 2016

29-38p

Sec. 15

October 1, 2016

53a-217

Sec. 16

October 1, 2016

53a-217c

Sec. 17

October 1, 2016

29-36n(b)

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 5, "relief from abuse under section 46b-15" was changed to "relief under section 46b-15" for consistency with the provisions of section 46b-15 of the general statutes.

JUD

Joint Favorable Subst. -LCO

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Correction, Dept.; Judicial Dept. (Probation)

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Municipal Police Departments

Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill results in the impact described below.

Section 3 requires state marshals executing service for temporary restraining orders where the respondent holds a firearm to request the presence of a police officer, which can be a municipal police office or a member of the state police. The bill does not specify if the town or Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) will be reimbursed. Currently service is executed by state marshals and compensated by the Judicial Department. To the extent that local police or state police officers incur administrative or mileage expenses, the bill results in a potential cost to the DESPP and municipalities.

Section 4 requires the chief court administrator to ensure that there is enough office space for a meeting between a state marshal and a restraining order applicant. The bill does not define office space. Currently, state marshals meet with applicants in the Court Service Centers, found in most courthouses. To the extent that this area of the courthouse is sufficient to meet this provision of the bill, this section does not result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 7, 15, and 16 expand the crime of criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition, electronic defense weapon, pistol, or revolver, which carries with it a mandatory minimum two year sentence. There are currently 288 offenders incarcerated for criminal possession. In FY 15, there were a total of 872 violations, of which 415 resulted in conviction or plea bargain. To the extent that offenders are prosecuted for new or expanded offenses under this bill, potential costs for incarceration or probation supervision in the community would result.  On average, it costs the state $7,260 (including benefits) to supervise an inmate in the community as opposed to $61,320 (including benefits) to incarcerate an offender. 

Criminal possession also carries with it a mandatory fine of $5,000, which the court can reduce if it finds sufficient reason. In FY 14, a total of $5,985 in fine revenue was collected. To the extent that the expanded offenses result in additional fines collected, the bill also results in a potential revenue gain.

Sections 1, 2, 5, 6, 8-14, and 17 make various changes that do not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

Sources:

Judicial Department Offenses and Revenue Database

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5054

AN ACT PROTECTING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes changes in various laws that relate to orders of protection (see BACKGROUND), service of process, and firearms and ammunition possession.

With regard to the service of civil restraining orders, among other things, the bill:

The bill also requires state marshals and other proper officers to enter specific service-related information in the Judicial Branch's Internet-based service tracking system (see BACKGROUND).

The bill requires the Judicial Branch to (1) revise and simplify the restraining order application process; (2) allocate space in the court, where feasible, for meetings between state marshals and restraining order applicants; and (3) annually collect civil restraining and protection order data.

It requires, rather than allows, the state marshal commission to adopt rules to conduct its internal affairs.

The bill extends certain firearms and ammunition prohibitions to a person subject to an ex parte civil restraining or protection order issued in a case involving physical force. It expressly prohibits the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioner from issuing a gun permit or firearms eligibility certificate to anyone subject to such an order. It also requires the commissioner, upon the request of a person who was subject to such an order and verification of the order's expiration, to reinstate any gun or ammunition credential revoked as a result of such an order, if the person is otherwise eligible for the credential.

It makes a person ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition on receipt of legal notice that he or she is subject to an ex parte order and makes it a class C felony for such a person to violate the firearms or ammunition transfer, delivery, or surrender requirements, as is already the case for anyone subject to any other order of protection.

The bill also shortens, from two business days to 24 hours, the deadline by which a person who becomes subject to any type of order of protection in a case involving physical force must transfer, deliver, or surrender his or her firearms and ammunition. It sets the same 24-hour deadline for a person subject to an ex parte order. It (1) gives people required to surrender their firearms or ammunition to law enforcement the option to surrender them to a municipal police department, instead of just the DESPP commissioner; (2) requires the DESPP commissioner to update the existing protocol to allow for such a surrender; and (3) requires DESPP and law enforcement agencies, under certain circumstances, to return firearms and ammunition when an ex parte order expires.

It also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

3 — CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDERS

Application

Under current law, a civil restraining order application form must allow an applicant to indicate whether the respondent holds a gun permit or possesses firearms or ammunition. Under the bill, the form must also allow the applicant to indicate whether the respondent has a (1) handgun or long gun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate and (2) job in which the ability to carry a firearm is an essential requirement.

Initial Hearing Date

Under existing law, the court must hold a hearing within 14 days after receipt of a restraining order application. If an application indicates that the ability to carry a firearm is an essential requirement of the respondent's job, the bill allows the court to consider such circumstances and order a hearing as soon as practicable but within 14 days after the application date.

The bill reduces, from five to three, the number of days before a hearing date by which a respondent must receive notice of a hearing and any ex parte order.

Second Hearing Date and Ex Parte Order Extension

Under current law, an ex parte order is generally in effect until the hearing date. The bill requires the court to continue an ex parte order for up to 14 days from the original hearing date if the (1) respondent has not been served by the date of the hearing and (2) applicant requests the extension. The court must do so based on the information in the original application.

Under the bill, the court must prepare a new hearing and notice order containing the new hearing date. The respondent must be served with the new hearing and notice order at least three days before the new hearing date.

Service of Process

If the court issues an ex parte order on an application that indicates that the respondent (1) holds a gun permit, a handgun eligibility certificate, long gun eligibility certificate, or an ammunition certificate or (2) possesses ammunition or one or more firearms, the bill requires the proper officer to do the following:

Under the bill, “law enforcement agency” means the State Police or any municipal police department.

3 & 6 — SERVICE TRACKING

The bill requires state marshals and other proper officers, as soon as possible but no more than two hours after serving a civil restraining or protection order, to enter the date, time, and method of service into the Judicial Branch's Internet-based service tracking system. If the respondent was not served before the date of the scheduled hearing, the officer must indicate in the system that service was unsuccessful.

6 — COPY OF ORDER TO DESPP

Existing law requires the court to send, by fax or other means, a copy of any civil restraining or protection order (including ex parte orders) or the information in the order, within 48 hours of issuance, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the towns where the applicant and respondent reside and where the respondent works. Under the bill, the court must also send such a copy or information to the DESPP commissioner immediately after issuing an order.

4 & 5 — COURT SPACE AND APPLICATION PROCESS

Civil Restraining Order

The bill requires the chief court administrator, where feasible, to allocate space for a meeting between state marshals and restraining order applicants in each Superior Court to which the service of a restraining order may be returned.

The bill also requires the chief court administrator to revise and simplify the process for filing a civil restraining order application. Under the bill, the chief court administrator must ensure that anyone seeking to apply for relief from abuse is given a one-page, plain language explanation of how to apply for a restraining order. By law, a person must be a family or household member to seek relief under a civil restraining order. A non–household or non-family member may only apply for a civil protection order.

The above provisions do not apply to applicants or applications for civil protection orders.

Civil Restraining and Civil Protection Orders

Under the bill, the chief court administrator must also collect data annually on the:

2 — STATE MARSHAL COMMISSION RULES

The bill requires, rather than allows, the state marshal commission to adopt rules it deems necessary to conduct its internal affairs. Under the bill, this includes rules that provide for:

7 — ELIGIBILITY TO POSSESS FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

Under existing law, a person is ineligible to possess firearms and ammunition when the court issues a civil restraining or protection order against him or her after notice and a hearing in a case involving the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person.

Under the bill, in the same type of case, if the court issues an ex parte order, the respondent becomes ineligible to possess firearms and ammunition when he or she receives notice of the order.

7, 15 & 16 — TRANSFER, DELIVERY, OR SURRENDER OF FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

Time Frame to Transfer, Deliver, or Surrender ( 7)

The bill shortens the deadline by which a person must transfer, deliver, or surrender his or her firearms and ammunition if he or she becomes ineligible to possess them as a result of becoming subject to a civil restraining order, civil protection order, criminal protective order, or foreign order of protection. It also sets the shortened deadline for ex parte orders.

Under current law, the deadline is within two business days after the person becomes ineligible. Under the bill, the deadline is within 24 hours of becoming ineligible, including after receiving notice of an ex parte order.

Delivery or Surrender to Police Department ( 7)

The bill gives people who must surrender their firearms or ammunition the option of surrendering them to a municipal police department, instead of just the DESPP commissioner. It requires the police department, as is currently the case for the DESPP commissioner, to exercise due care when receiving and holding the weapons.

Under existing law, a person or his or her legal representative may, up to one year after delivering or surrendering his or her firearms or ammunition to DESPP, ask the commissioner to transfer them to an eligible person. The commissioner must do so within 10 days of receiving the request (except in a case involving a protection order, weapons may only be transferred to a federally licensed dealer pursuant to a sale). The bill makes a conforming change by allowing the person or legal representative to request the police department make such a transfer.

By law, the commissioner must destroy any firearms or ammunition that have not been transferred by the end of one year. Under the bill, this also applies to police departments to which weapons are delivered or surrendered.

Violation ( 7, 15 & 16)

Currently, a person subject to an order of protection who violates the firearms and ammunition transfer, delivery, or surrender requirement is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm. The bill extends these penalties to people who commit such violations while subject to an ex parte order.

By law, criminal possession of a firearm is a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison with a two-year mandatory minimum, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

8-14 — ISSUE, REVOCATION, AND REINSTATEMENT OF GUN AND AMMUNITION CREDENTIALS

The bill expressly states that the DESPP commissioner must not issue a gun permit, handgun eligibility certificate, or long gun eligibility certificate to anyone subject to an ex parte order issued in a case involving the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person. By law, the commissioner may revoke a permit or certificate for any event that would have disqualified the holder from being issued such a credential.

Under the bill, DESPP must reinstate a gun or ammunition credential it revoked based on an ex parte order, if the order expires and the respondent, who is not otherwise disqualified, notifies the department and DESPP verifies the expiration.

17 — PROTOCOL FOR GUN AND AMMUNITION TRANSFER, DELIVERY, OR SURRENDER

The law requires the DESPP commissioner, in conjunction with the chief state's attorney and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, to develop a protocol to ensure that people who become ineligible to possess firearms transfer, deliver, or surrender them as appropriate. The bill requires the commissioner to update the protocol to appropriately apply to situations where a person is subject to an ex parte order.

BACKGROUND

Orders of Protection

Civil Restraining Order. A family or household member may apply for a civil restraining order for relief from physical abuse, stalking, or a pattern of threatening from another family or household member (CGS 46b-15).

Civil Protection Order. A victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking may apply for a civil protection order if he or she is not eligible for the restraining order described above (CGS 46b-16a).

Criminal Protective Orders. Courts may independently issue, on behalf of a victim, a (1) protective order after a person is arrested for certain crimes or (2) standing criminal protective order after a person is convicted of certain crimes. The statutes governing these orders do not require a victim to apply for the order (CGS 54-1k and 53a-40e).

Foreign Order of Protection. A foreign order of protection is an injunctive or other court order to prevent violence, threatening acts, or harassment against; contact or communication with; or physical proximity to another person issued by another state; the District of Columbia; a U. S. commonwealth, territory, or possession; or an Indian tribe in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection (CGS 46b-15a and 18 USC 2266(5)).

Judicial Branch's Service Tracking System

The Judicial Branch's Protective Order Registry's tracking component enables state marshals to record the service of process in civil restraining order cases. This component uses an around-the-clock, toll-free voice recognition system that marshals can access by cell phone, and the system updates state and national protection order files and faxes a notice of service to corresponding police departments, as soon as service information is recorded.

Related Bills

sSB 429, reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee, revises the civil restraining order application form to allow an applicant to indicate whether the respondent has a firearm eligibility or ammunition certificate. It allows such an applicant to request that a police officer, rather than a state marshal or other proper officer, serve process on the respondent.

sHB 5597, reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee, revises the civil restraining order application form to allow the applicant to state whether the accused has a firearm eligibility or ammunition certificate. The application form must also allow the applicant to state whether he or she has probable cause to believe that the accused poses a risk of imminent personal injury to the applicant. If this is the case, the bill requires the court to notify the office of the state's attorney for the judicial district in which the application was filed, to begin a risk warrant proceeding (i.e., a warrant to search a specific person, place, or thing to seize any firearms and ammunitions).

sHB 5623, reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee, contains identical provisions to this bill related to orders of protection, service of process, and firearms and ammunition possession.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

23

Nay

17

(03/28/2016)

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