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House of Representatives

File No. 678

General Assembly

 

February Session, 2018

(Reprint of File No. 592)

Substitute House Bill No. 5542

 

As Amended by House
Amendment Schedule "A"

Approved by the Legislative Commissioner

May 3, 2018

AN ACT CONCERNING BUMP STOCKS AND OTHER MEANS OF ENHANCING THE RATE OF FIRE OF A FIREARM.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) (a) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, no person, other than a licensed firearms manufacturer under 18 USC 923(i) fulfilling a military contract, may sell, offer to sell, otherwise transfer or offer to transfer, purchase, possess, use or manufacture any rate of fire enhancement.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(c) For purposes of this section, "firearm" means firearm as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes, and "rate of fire enhancement" means any device, component, part, combination of parts, attachment or accessory that: (1) Uses energy from the recoil of a firearm to generate a reciprocating action that causes repeated function of the trigger, including, but not limited to, a bump stock; (2) repeatedly pulls the trigger of a firearm through the use of a crank, lever or other part, including, but not limited to, a trigger crank; or (3) causes a semiautomatic firearm to fire more than one round per operation of the trigger, where the trigger pull and reset constitute a single operation of the trigger, including, but not limited to, a binary trigger system.

(d) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, 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, a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to section 29-36f of the general statutes, a valid long gun eligibility certificate issued pursuant to section 29-37p of the general statutes or an ammunition certificate issued or renewed pursuant to section 29-38n or section 29-38o of the general statutes and possesses a rate of fire enhancement prior to July 1, 2019, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor for a first offense and shall be guilty of a class D felony for any subsequent offense.

(e) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, any person who moves into the state in lawful possession of a rate of fire enhancement shall, within ninety days, render the rate of fire enhancement permanently inoperable, remove the rate of fire enhancement from this state, or surrender the rate of fire enhancement to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection for destruction and, during such ninety-day period, shall not be subject to the penalties in subsection (b) or (d) of this section.

(B) Any such person who sells or offers to sell or otherwise transfers or offers to transfer, except as permitted by subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, or uses such rate of fire enhancement during such ninety-day period, shall be subject to the penalties in subsection (b) or (d) of this section, as applicable.

(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, any military personnel stationed or otherwise residing in this state who is deployed from this state on October 1, 2018, or is under deployment from this state on said date, and who was in lawful possession of a rate of firearm enhancement on September 30, 2018, shall, within ninety days of returning to this state from deployment, render the rate of fire enhancement permanently inoperable, remove the rate of fire enhancement from this state or surrender the rate of fire enhancement to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection for destruction.

(B) Except as provided in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, any such military personnel who sells or offers to sell or otherwise transfers or offers to transfer, except as permitted by subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, or uses such rate of fire enhancement during such ninety-day period, shall be subject to the penalties in subsection (b) or (d) of this section, as applicable.

(f) If the court finds that a violation of this section is not of a serious nature and that the person charged with such violation (1) will probably not offend in the future, (2) has not previously been convicted of a violation of this section, and (3) has not previously had a prosecution under this section suspended pursuant to this subsection, it may order suspension of prosecution in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of section 29-33 of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall, within available appropriations, provide written notification of the provisions of section 1 of this act by: (1) Posting the notification on the department's Internet web site, and (2) providing the notification electronically to federally licensed firearm dealers.

(b) Commencing thirty days after the effective date of this section but prior to July 1, 2023, the commissioner shall include a written notification of the provisions of section 1 of this act with: (1) (A) A permit to carry a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, (B) an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to section 29-36f of the general statutes, (C) a long gun eligibility certificate issued pursuant to section 29-37p of the general statutes, and (D) an ammunition certificate issued or renewed pursuant to section 29-38n or section 29-38o of the general statutes; and (2) a notice of expiration mailed to a holder of such permit or certificate pursuant to (A) subsection (f) of section 29-30 of the general statutes, (B) subsection (e) of section 29-36h of the general statutes, or (C) subsection (e) of section 29-37r of the general statutes.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 2

from passage

New section

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 $

Correction, Dept.; Judicial Dept. (Probation)

GF - Potential Cost

Minimal

Minimal

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill creates a new felony for the sale and possession of a rate of fire enhancement and results in potential cost and potential revenue from fines. To the extent that violators are prosecuted, the bill results in a potential cost to the Department of Correction for incarceration or Judicial Department for probation supervision. On average, the marginal cost to the state for incarcerating an offender for the year is $1,9001 while the average marginal cost for supervision in the community is less than $7002 each year.

House “A” strikes the underlying bill and the associated fiscal impact and results in the impact described above.

The Out Years

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

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5542 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING BUMP STOCKS AND OTHER MEANS OF ENHANCING THE RATE OF FIRE OF A FIREARM.

SUMMARY

This bill generally makes it a class D felony for anyone, except a licensed firearms manufacturer fulfilling a military contract, to sell, offer to sell, otherwise transfer, or offer to transfer, purchase, possess, use, or manufacture a “rate of fire enhancement” (e.g., a bump stock). By law, a class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both.

However, the bill also provides a reduced penalty (a class D misdemeanor) for a first time offender who possesses a rate of fire enhancement before July 1, 2019 and holds a valid (1) permit to carry a pistol or revolver; (2) eligibility certificate for a pistol, revolver, or long gun; or (3) ammunition certificate. By law, a class D misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in prison, a fine up to $250, or both.

The bill makes an exception for (1) anyone who moves into the state in lawful possession of a rate of fire enhancement and (2) any military personnel stationed or otherwise residing in the state who is deployed from the state on October 1, 2018 or is under deployment from this state on that date and legally possessed a rate of fire enhancement on September 30, 2018. It requires any such person or military personnel to render the rate of fire enhancement in their possession permanently inoperable, remove it from this state, or surrender it to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for destruction, within 90 days of moving into the state or returning to the state from deployment. Under the bill, the penalties described above do not apply during the 90-day period, unless the person or military personnel uses, sells, offers to sell, otherwise transfers, or offers to transfer, except as permitted, such rate of fire enhancement during this grace period.

The bill also requires the DESPP commissioner to:

The bill gives the court specific discretion to suspend prosecution in any case where a violation is not of a serious nature and the person charged with the violation (1) is not likely to offend in the future and (2) has not been previously convicted of a violation of these provisions or had a prosecution of any such violation suspended.

*House Amendment “A” strikes the underlying bill and replaces it with similar provisions and in doing so (1) creates an exception for licensed firearms manufacturers fulfilling a military contract, (2) makes ammunition certificate holders eligible for the reduced penalty for a first time offense, (3) requires the commissioner to include written notification of the bill's provisions with any ammunition certificate issued, (4) applies the 90-day grace period to certain military personnel returning to the state from deployment, (5) specifies the conditions under which penalties apply during the grace period, (6) gives the court discretion to suspend prosecution in certain cases, and (7) makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018, except the DESPP notification provision is effective upon passage.

RATE OF FIRE ENHANCEMENT

Under the bill, "rate of fire enhancement" means any device, component, part, combination of parts, attachment, or accessory that:

By law, "firearm" means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

36

Nay

5

(04/03/2018)

TOP

1 Inmate marginal cost is based on increased consumables (e.g. food, clothing, water, sewage, living supplies, etc.) This does not include a change in staffing costs or utility expenses because these would only be realized if a unit or facility opened.

2 Probation marginal cost is based on services provided by private providers and only includes costs that increase with each additional participant. This does not include a cost for additional supervision by a probation officer unless a new offense is anticipated to result in enough additional offenders to require additional probation officers.