Sunday, March 12, 2017

Upcoming Public Hearing on Gun Bills Wednesday March 15th


Posted by Chris Lemos
The Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 10:00 A.M in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford. There will be two gun related bills, a reciprocity bill, and a show your papers bill. This is the same day as CCDL’s Legislative Breakfast.
We need members to show up in force to show our support. The people opposed to your rights plan to be there in large numbers.
Members are encouraged to give oral testimony on both these bills. Speaking order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 7:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.  
Please submit 50 copies of written testimony to the Committee staff no later than 9:30 A.M. in Room 2500 of the LOB. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.
It is also very helpful to email your written testimony in Word or PDF format to a day or two before the hearing. Many legislators prefer to read your testimony online.
Testimony should clearly state your name and bills you are testifying on. The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the agenda. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.
If you are unable to attend, but would still like to have your voice heard on these issues, please email your written testimony in Word or PDF format to:
Be sure to send a copy of your written testimony to your State Senator and State Representative.
Support: H.B.7259
To secure permit, certificate or license reciprocity between Connecticut and other states that have substantially similar standards for carrying a pistol or revolver.
Anti-Gun groups will be there opposing your rights. Here are some claims they will make that pertain to this bill:
1: We cannot risk allowing gun owners to come in from states where we have no oversight of gun permitting and 24/7 access to out-of-state permit information.
2: Law enforcement would have no way to verify whether the permit was valid and whether the gun owner is carrying legally.
The fact is, this bill would simply allow Connecticut to enter into agreements with other states to allow law-abiding CT permit holders to legally visit other states while carrying a firearm for personal protection. Permit holders from other states who have undergone scrutiny and background checks similar to Connecticut's would be able to visit our state for business or tourism without having to give up their right to self-defense. This is similar to how the your drivers license in valid in other states.
Right now, Forty-two other states (84% of our country) already have some form of reciprocity.
Show Your Permit:
Oppose: H.B. No. 6200

To require individuals who carrying a pistol or revolver to produce their permit upon request of a law enforcement officer if the firearm is visible to such officer
This bill removes the “reasonable suspicion of a crime” from the current statues that just passed in 2015, and allows police to stop and detain a law-abiding citizen if they are observed carrying a holstered sidearm. This bill will force the over 250,000 carry permit holders to produce their permits on demand if a police officer simply sees them just carrying a holstered sidearm. This is not only violating the 2nd Amendment, the 4th Amendment but also SEC. 7. of the Connecticut State Constitution, which says: “people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches or seizures;”
Some of the claims anti-gun groups will make:
1: Police must consider anyone who is carrying a holstered sidearm as potential threat until they can assess whether the individual is legally allowed to carry a firearm in public.
2: Law enforcement needs this authority to assure public safety and diffuse situations that the public find threatening.
Key facts to help your testimony:
  • This is a bill that simply profiles gun owners. This bill allows police to stop, seize, and question people for no other reason than doing something that is lawful.
  • Open carry is permitted in over 40 states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and all other New England states.
  • Up until 2011, there were certain cities in CT where you could only open carry.
  • A person carrying a holstered handgun that may be seen, in and of itself should not be interpreted as a person that is dangerous.
  • Carrying a firearm that may be visible is legal. Just like driving a motor vehicle is. Both activities have the potential to be dangerous, both are heavily regulated, and require a permit/license to engage in.
  • A police officer cannot lawfully stop a motor vehicle just to determine whether that person is licensed. Therefore, a police officer should not be allowed to lawfully seize someone for merely observing them carrying a gun to determine whether that person has a pistol permit.
  • Handguns in CT cannot be sold or transferred to anyone without a permit. Therefore, police should not stop, seize, detain, question and vet the person because that has already been done at the point of sale.
  • If there is no reasonable suspicion of a crime, people should not be stopped.
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Here are some tips for providing testimony:
 Introduce yourself (state your name and related bills) and indicate whether you support or oppose the bill. Clearly explain your reasoning. It may be helpful to write your viewpoint out completely. Keep your remarks short, approximately three minutes. After your testimony ask if any Committee members have any questions.  See here for more tips.
If you are unable to attend, but would still like to have your voice heard on these issues, please email your written testimony in Word or PDF format to:
The Legislative Office Building is located at 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford.
Please remember there are no weapons of any kind allowed inside the Capitol, Click here for the full list of prohibited items. (pdf)
Important weather information:
Please monitor weather conditions. There is a potential for a serious storm and the hearing could be rescheduled. CCDL will notify our members as soon as possible via email and social media if there is a cancellation.

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