Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 241

    February Session, 2016

Substitute House Bill No. 5409

House of Representatives, March 29, 2016

The Committee on Public Safety and Security reported through REP. DARGAN of the 115th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR A REVOLVER.

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

Section 1. Section 29-28a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) Requests for temporary state permits under section 29-28 shall be submitted to the chief of police, or, where there is no chief of police, to the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town, as the case may be, on application forms prescribed by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Upon written request by any person for a temporary state permit not on a prescribed application form, or upon request by any person for such application form, the local authority shall supply such forms. When any such request is made in person at the office of the local authority, the local authority shall supply such application form immediately. When any such request is made in any other manner, the local authority shall supply such application form not later than one week after receiving such request. If such application form is not supplied within the time limits required by this section, the request [therefor] for such application form shall constitute a sufficient application. If any local authority fails to supply an application form upon the request of any person, such person may request an application form from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or any barracks of the Division of State Police, and the time limits and procedures set forth in this section for handling requests for such forms shall be applicable.

(b) The local authority shall [, not later than eight weeks after a sufficient application for a temporary state permit has been made,] inform [the] any applicant for a temporary state permit that such applicant's request for a temporary state permit has been approved or denied not later than eight weeks after such applicant provides: (1) A completed and notarized application on the forms described in subsection (a) of this section, which forms may not be modified or supplemented by the local authority with additional forms or with additional requests for information from the applicant not otherwise required by law; (2) proof of eligibility consisting of: (A) For citizens of the United States, a birth certificate, a naturalization certificate or a valid United States passport, or (B) for aliens, a permanent resident card, a valid visa issued by the United States Department of State or an employment authorization card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; (3) a certificate of successful completion of a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers signed by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association; and (4) two sets of fingerprints to be processed as provided in section 29-29. The local authority shall forward a copy of the application indicating approval or denial of the temporary state permit to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. If the local authority has denied the application for a temporary state permit, no state permit may be issued. The commissioner shall, not later than eight weeks after receiving an application indicating approval from the local authority, inform the applicant in writing that the applicant's application for a state permit has been approved or denied, or that the results of the national criminal history records check have not been received. If grounds for denial become known after a temporary state permit has been obtained, the temporary state permit shall be immediately revoked pursuant to section 29-32.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2016

29-28a

PS

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

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: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill, which creates uniform criteria for issuing a temporary permit to carry a pistol and prevents towns from adding additional requirements, does not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5409

AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR A REVOLVER.

SUMMARY:

This bill limits the application forms for a temporary state gun permit to forms prescribed by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) under law, and it prescribes the documentation that, when submitted, triggers the eight-week period a permit-issuing official normally has to process the permit. Under current law, the deadline is triggered after a “sufficient application,” which current law does not define.

The bill prohibits an official issuing a temporary state gun permit from modifying the gun permit application form, prescribed by the DESPP commissioner, or supplementing it with other forms or requests for additional information from the applicant not otherwise required by law.

The bill requires applicants to submit the following, in addition to the completed and notarized application forms:

Current law does not specify what applicants must submit.

Under a separate law, unchanged by the bill, local permit-issuing officials must still find an applicant suitable to carry handguns before they can issue a permit (CGS 29-29) (see BACKGROUND).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Gun Permit and Suitability Criteria

With minor exceptions, state law bars anyone from carrying handguns (except antique handguns) in Connecticut without a permit. In a two-step process, state residents must first get a temporary state permit from the local permit-issuing official (in most cases, the police chief) as a condition of getting a five-year DESPP permit. The official must investigate the applicant and find that he or she is a suitable person to carry firearms and wants to carry them for lawful purposes (CGS 29-28 to 29).

The law does not define suitability, which is left to the official's discretion, and it does not expressly limit what officials may consider when determining suitability. But many court opinions dealing with suitability for gun permits cite the definition of suitability from an 1894 Connecticut Supreme Court decision that involved liquor licenses.

The word “suitable,” as descriptive of an applicant for license under the statute, is insusceptible of any legal definition that wholly excludes the personal views of the tribunal authorized to determine the suitability of the applicant. A person is suitable who, by reason of his character – his reputation in the community, his previous conduct as a licensee – is shown to be suited or adapted to the orderly conduct of [an activity] which the law regards as so dangerous to public welfare that its transaction by any other than a carefully selected person, duly licensed, is made a criminal offense. It is patent that the adaptability of any person to such [an activity] depends upon facts and circumstances that may be indicated, but cannot be fully defined by law, whose probative force will differ in different cases, and must in each case depend largely upon the sound judgment of the selecting tribunal (Smith's Appeal from County Commissioners, 65 Conn. 135, 138 (1894)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

25

Nay

0

(03/10/2016)

TOP