Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 535

    February Session, 2018

Substitute House Bill No. 5539

House of Representatives, April 17, 2018

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 CONCERNING FIREARMS IN STATE PARKS.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall permit any person who holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes to carry a pistol or revolver covered by such permit in any state park.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2018

New section

JUD

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:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

GF - Revenue Gain

Potential Minimal

Potential Minimal

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to allow anyone holding a valid pistol or revolver permit to carry such firearm in a state park. Currently, carrying firearms in state parks is prohibited, unless specifically authorized.

To the extent checking firearm permits creates a significant workload increase for DEEP Environmental Conservation (EnCon) officers, the bill may result in: (1) a shift of EnCon officers' duties away from their regular tasks, or (2) minimal costs associated with an increase in EnCon officer overtime.1 In FY 16, EnCon officers issued 158 infractions or summons of all park and forest violations, representing 11% of the total EnCon enforcement activity.

The bill may also result in a minimal revenue gain to the extent EnCon officers issue additional infractions for carrying a pistol or revolvers in state parks without a permit. This would result in a minimal revenue gain to DEEP, depending on the number of violations that occur.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to the number of complaints and violations that occur.

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5539

AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARMS IN STATE PARKS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to allow anyone holding a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver to carry such firearm in a state park.

Current DEEP regulations prohibit hunting or carrying firearms or other weapons in a state park or forest, unless the department authorizes it (Conn. Agencies Regs. 23-4-1(c)). Violators commit an infraction and are subject to a $75 fine (Conn. Agencies Regs. 23-4-5(b)(1)). By law, violators may (1) pay the fine by mail, without a court appearance or (2) contest the fine in court (CGS 23-4).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

21

Nay

20

(04/03/2018)

TOP

1 In FY 18, it is estimated that the EnCon Division will spend $383,000 on overtime.