General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1166

January Session, 1999

 

LCO No. 4023

   
 

Referred to Committee on Public Safety

 

Introduced by: ( PS )

An Act Concerning the State Permit to Carry Pistols or Revolvers and State Compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System.

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

Section 1. Section 29-28 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No person who sells ten or more pistols or revolvers in a calendar year or is a federally-licensed firearm dealer shall advertise, sell, deliver, or offer or expose for sale or delivery, or have in his possession with intent to sell or deliver, any pistol or revolver at retail without having a permit therefor issued as hereinafter provided. The chief of police or, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town, as the case may be, may, upon the application of any person, issue a permit in such form as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety for the sale at retail of pistols and revolvers within the jurisdiction of the authority issuing such permit. No permit for the sale at retail of any pistol or revolver shall be issued unless the applicant holds a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to section 29-36f or a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and the applicant submits documentation sufficient to establish that local zoning requirements have been met for the location where the sale is to take place except that any person selling or exchanging a pistol or revolver for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby or who sells all or part of his personal collection of pistols or revolvers shall not be required to submit such documentation for the location where the sale or exchange is to take place.

(b) Upon the application of any person having a bona fide residence or place of business within the jurisdiction of any such authority, [or upon the application of any bona fide resident of the United States having a permit or license to carry any firearm issued by the authority of any state or subdivision of the United States,] such chief of police, warden or selectman may issue a temporary state permit to such person to carry a pistol or revolver within the [jurisdiction of the authority issuing the same] state of Connecticut, provided such authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which [he] the applicant may be permitted to carry thereunder other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable person to receive such permit. No 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 Public Safety 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 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 subsection (c) of section 21a-279, 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 twelve months by order of a probate court, (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, or (7) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. 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. Upon issuance of a temporary state permit to the applicant, the local authority shall forward the original application to the commissioner. Said commissioner may [, upon application,] then issue, to any holder of any [such] temporary state permit, a permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the state. Each permit to carry any pistol or revolver shall be issued in triplicate and one of the copies issued by said commissioner shall be delivered to the person to whom issued, one shall be delivered forthwith to the authority issuing the [local] temporary state permit and one shall be retained by said commissioner. [, and the local authority issuing any such permit shall forthwith deliver one of such copies to the person to whom issued and one copy to said commissioner and shall retain one of such copies.] 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 permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall notify the issuing authority within two business days of any change of his address. The notification shall include his old address and his new address.

(c) No issuing authority may require any sworn member of the Department of Public Safety or an organized local police department to furnish his residence address in a permit application. The issuing authority shall allow each such sworn member who has a permit to carry a pistol or revolver on May 26, 1992, issued by such authority, to revise [his] such member's application to include [his] a business or post office address in lieu of [his] the residence address. The issuing authority shall notify each such member of [his] the member's right to revise such application.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-210 and 1-211, the name and address of a person issued a permit to sell at retail pistols and revolvers pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or a permit to carry pistols and revolvers pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed, except (1) such information may be disclosed to law enforcement officials acting in the performance of their duties, (2) an issuing authority may disclose such information to the extent necessary to comply with a request made pursuant to section 29-33 for verification that such permit is still valid and has not been suspended or revoked, and (3) such information may be disclosed to the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services to carry out the provisions of subsection (c) of section 17a-500.

(e) The issuance of a permit to carry a pistol or revolver under subsection (b) of this section does not thereby authorize the possession or carrying of a pistol or revolver in any premises where the possession or carrying of a pistol or revolver is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the person who owns or exercises control over such premises.

(f) Any bona fide resident of the United Sates having no bona fide residence or place of business within the jurisdiction of any local authority in the state of Connecticut, but who has a permit or license to carry pistols or revolvers issued by the authority of another state or subdivision of the United States, may apply directly to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a permit to carry pistols or revolvers in the state of Connecticut.

Sec. 2. Section 29-28a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Requests for permits under section 29-28, as amended by this act, shall be submitted to the [issuing authority] chief of police, or, where there is no chief of police, to the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town on application forms prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety. Upon written request by any person for a permit not on a prescribed application form, or upon request by any person for such application form, the issuing authority shall supply such forms. When any such request is made in person at the office of the issuing authority, the authority shall supply such application form immediately. When any such request is made in any other manner, the 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 limited by this section, the request therefor shall constitute a sufficient application. If any issuing authority fails to supply an application form upon the request of any person, such person may request an application form from the Commissioner of Public Safety 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 issuing authority shall, not later than eight weeks after a sufficient application for a permit has been made, inform the applicant that [his] the applicant's request for a permit has been approved or denied. The issuing authority shall forward a copy of the application indicating approval or denial to the Commissioner of Public Safety. If grounds for denial become known after a permit has been obtained, the commissioner may institute revocation proceedings.

Sec. 3. Section 29-29 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No permit for carrying any pistol or revolver shall be issued under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, unless the applicant for the same gives to the issuing authority, upon its request, full information concerning [his] the applicant's criminal record, and such issuing authority shall thereupon take a full description of such applicant and make an investigation concerning [his] the applicant's suitability to carry any such weapons. The issuing authority shall take the fingerprints of such applicant unless the issuing authority determines that the fingerprints of such applicant have been previously taken and [his] the applicant's identity established and such applicant presents identification that the issuing authority verifies as valid. The issuing authority shall record the date the fingerprints were taken in the applicant's file and, within five business days of such date, shall forward such fingerprints to the Commissioner of Public Safety who shall forward them to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history records check. The issuing authority may, in [his] its discretion, issue [such] a temporary state permit before a report from said bureau relative to such applicant's record has been received. Upon receipt of such report, the issuing authority shall inform the applicant and render a decision on the application within one week of the receipt of the report. If such report has not been received within eight weeks after a sufficient application for a permit has been made, the issuing authority shall inform the applicant of such delay, in writing. No permit shall be issued if the issuing authority has reason to believe the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony or that any other condition exists for which the issuance of a permit is prohibited under state or federal law.

Sec. 4. Section 29-30 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The fee for each permit originally issued under the provisions of subsection (a) of section 29-28, as amended by this act, for the sale at retail of pistols and revolvers shall be one hundred dollars and for each renewal thereof one hundred dollars. The fee for each permit originally issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act, for the carrying of pistols and revolvers shall be [thirty-five dollars and for each renewal thereof thirty-five dollars. Such fees shall be paid to the authority issuing the same and by him to the municipality wherein issued or the state, as the case may be] seventy dollars plus sufficient funds as required to be transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to cover the cost of a national criminal history records check. Thirty-five dollars shall be received by the chief of police, or where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town, and thirty-five dollars shall be sent to the Commissioner of Public Safety. The issuing authority shall forward the fingerprints and sufficient funds for the national criminal history records check to the commissioner within five days of receipt of the application. Upon approving the application, such authority shall forward the approved application to the commissioner along with the thirty-five dollar fee. The fee to renew each permit originally issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act, shall be thirty-five dollars.

(b) A local permit originally issued under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, whether for the sale at retail of pistols and revolvers or for the carrying of pistols and revolvers, shall expire five years after the date it becomes effective and each renewal thereof shall expire five years after the expiration date of the permit being renewed. After the effective date of this act, no local permit shall be renewed, but permittees may apply for a state permit. A temporary state permit issued for the carrying of pistols and revolvers shall expire sixty days after the date it becomes effective and shall not be renewed.

(c) A state permit originally issued under the provisions of section 29-28, as amended by this act, for the carrying of pistols and revolvers shall expire five years after the date it becomes effective and each renewal thereof shall expire five years after the expiration date of the permit being renewed and such renewal shall not be contingent on the renewal or issuance of a local permit.

(d) The renewal fee shall apply for each renewal which is requested not earlier than thirty-one days before, and not later than thirty-one days after, the expiration date of the permit being renewed.

(e) No fee or portion thereof paid under the provisions of this section for issuance or renewal of a permit shall be refundable except if the permit for which the fee or portion thereof was paid was not issued or renewed. The portion of the fee expended on the national criminal history records check shall not be refunded.

(f) The issuing authority shall send a notice of the expiration of a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, issued pursuant to section 29-28, as amended by this act, to the holder of such permit, by first class mail, not less than ninety days before such expiration, and shall enclose therein a form for the renewal of said permit. A permit to carry a pistol or revolver, issued pursuant to section 29-28, as amended by this act, shall be valid for a period of ninety days from the expiration date, except this provision shall not apply to any permit to carry which has been revoked or for which revocation is pending, pursuant to section 29-32, as amended by this act.

Sec. 5. Section 29-32 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any permit for the carrying of any pistol or revolver may be revoked by the [authority issuing the same] Commissioner of Public Safety for cause and shall be revoked by the [authority issuing the same] 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 permit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28, as amended by this act. For the purposes of this section, "conviction" means the entry of a judgment of conviction by any court of competent jurisdiction. Upon the revocation of any permit, the person whose 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 of Public Safety and, upon the revocation of any permit issued by said commissioner, he shall forthwith notify the authority issuing such local permit, if any, which the records of said commissioner show as having issued a currently valid permit to the holder of the revoked state permit] Commissioner of Public Safety. Any law enforcement authority shall confiscate and immediately forward to the commissioner any permit that is illegally possessed by any person. The commissioner may revoke the permit based upon the commissioner's own investigation or upon the request of any law enforcement agency. Any person who fails to surrender such permit within five days of notification in writing of revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

Statement of Purpose: To allow for improved public service and increased accuracy of information through the efficient use of the national criminal history record check by centralizing in the Department of Public Safety the checking and final approval of handgun permits, while maintaining initial control and approval of permits at the local level.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]