Friday, February 03, 2017

Connecticut: Anti-Gun Bills Would Violate Fourth Amendment Rights

From the NRA-ILA

As the bill introduction period draws to a close, two anti-gun bills have been proposed that would deny gun owners their freedom from unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Proposed Bill 6001, introduced by state Representative Steven Stafstrom (D-129), and Proposed Bill 6200, introduced by state Representatives Caroline Simmons (D-144), William Tong (D-147), and Daniel J. Fox (D-148), would both require a person open carrying a firearm to display their permit immediately upon demand by law enforcement.  Please click the "Take Action" button below to sign a petition with your opposition these bills! 
It is legal to openly carry a handgun in Connecticut so long as the person has a valid Permit to Carry. Indeed, Connecticut State Police Training Bulletin 2013-01 states that “personnel should NOT arrest a properly permitted individual merely for publicly carrying a hand gun or firearm in plain view absent exigent circumstances.” Examples of these exigent circumstances are a “‘Breach of Peace’ situation or the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor/drugs.”
Under the Fourth Amendment, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio nearly half a century ago, police officers can stop and briefly detain a person to investigate only if they have a reasonable suspicion, supported by articulable facts, that criminal activity is occurring. This is why Connecticut law should require that officers must have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is being committed before they can request proof of a permit. 
The two proposed bills are the equivalent of allowing the police to stop a motorist to demand their driver’s license solely because they are driving. Law-abiding people carry firearms for self-defense. They shouldn't be treated as being engaged in criminal activity simply because they are choosing to openly exercise their constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

These bills infringe on the rights of those who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights, while doing nothing to deter criminals.  They must be opposed and the current law preserved.

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