OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5261

AN ACT CONCERNING THE HUNTING OF DEER WITH A HANDGUN.

SUMMARY:

This bill authorizes hunting deer on private land annually between November 1 and December 31 with a handgun, as defined under the bill, instead of with a revolver. In doing so, it expands the type of guns hunters can use to include single shot handguns. But it appears to exclude semi-automatic pistols.

The bill requires the energy and environmental protection commissioner to issue handgun permits for such hunting, instead of private land revolver permits, for such hunting. The permit fee is $ 5.

For purposes of the bill, a “handgun” is a firearm with a rifled bore designed to be fired from a handheld position and to hold individual cartridges in individual chambers, whether multiple chambers arrayed in a cylinder or a single chamber. (For purposes of other laws, existing law defines a handgun differently. )

The bill requires that any hunter allowed to hunt deer with a handgun use a (1) straight-walled cartridge of at least . 357 caliber, the same size as required by current law for revolvers, or (2) shouldered cartridge of at least 6 millimeters.

By law, the private land must consist of at least 10 acres and be owned by either the hunter, who must be a state resident, or someone who consents to the hunter's use. The hunting is subject to the private land deer permit bag limit established by the commissioner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

Handgun Definition

Existing law defines a handgun (i. e. , pistol or revolver) as a firearm capable of firing rin-fire or center-fire ammunition and designed or built to be fired with one hand (CGS 29-7h (2)). It defines a pistol or revolver as a firearm with a barrel length of less than 12 inches (CGS 53a-3(18)).

Gun Permit

With limited exceptions, the law prohibits a person from carrying a handgun without a permit issued by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (CGS 29-35).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

21

Nay

5

(03/21/2012)