Attorney General: Honorable John B. Larson, Senate President Pro Tempore, 1994-017 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut

Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

July 19, 1994

Honorable John B. Larson
Senate President Pro Tempore
State Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Senator Larson:

The following is in response to your request of June 30, 1994, for an opinion concerning the applicability of the gun certification requirements of 1993 Conn. Pub. Acts No. 93-306, An Act Concerning Assault Weapons, to licensed firearms dealers and distributors. Specifically you ask: "Do licensed firearms dealers and distributors need to obtain a certificate of possession for all assault weapons in their possession that were 'in stock' as of October 1, 1993? Is a certificate needed with respect to assault weapons acquired after October 1, 1993?" The Act addresses "licensed gun dealers" and we assume, for the purposes of this opinion, that your questions concern these entities. The Act defines licensed gun dealer as "a person who has a federal firearms license and a permit to sell firearms pursuant to section 29-28 of the general statutes." P.A. 93-306, Sec. 6(d).1

The Act provides that licensed gun dealers must apply for certificates of possession for weapons lawfully possessed prior to October 1, 1993, and the deadline for such application is October 1, 1994.2 This requirement is established in Section 4(a) of the Act, as amended, which generally provides: "Any person who lawfully possesses an assault weapon . . . prior to October 1, 1993, shall apply by October 1, 1994 . . . to the department of public safety, for a certificate of possession with respect to such assault weapon." The term "person" as used in this Act generally extends and applies to any and all persons, whether partnerships, sole proprietorships, companies and corporations, public or private. Conn. Gen. Stat.  1-1(k). The Act makes no exception for licensed gun dealers. If the legislature had intended to make an exception for licensed gun dealers, it could have clearly done so. Downer v. Liquor Control Commission, 134 Conn. 555, 560, 59 A.2d 290 (1948). Accordingly, the certification requirement applies to assault weapons lawfully in the possession of licensed gun dealers prior to October 1, 1993.

There is no certification program for assault weapons acquired after October 1, 1993, except in instances of transfers by bequest or intestate succession, see generally P.A. 93-306, Secs. 2, 3, 4, and except for certain military personel. P.A. 94-1, Sec. 19 (July Spec. Sess.) There are other circumstances, however, where licensed gun dealers are permitted to acquire assault weapons after October 1, 1993. There is no eligibility for a certificate of possession under these circumstances, and so application is not required.

Very truly yours,

Richard Blumenthal
Attorney General

Robert F. Vacchelli
Assistant Attorney General

RB/RFV/td

NO. CV 93-0063723

DeFOREST H. BENJAMIN, JR., ET AL.:SUPERIOR COURT VS. :JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF LITCHFIELD JOHN M. BAILEY, ET AL.:JUNE 30, 1994

MOTION FOR IMMEDIATE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

Pursuant to the plaintiffs' demands for injunctive and other equitable relief, the plaintiffs move that the Court enjoin the defendants from enforcing the licensing provisions of P.A. 93-306 until August 1, 1994 by ordering them to accept any application filed by August 1, 1994 for a certificate of possession with respect to an assault weapon as defined in the statute to the same extent that the defendants would have done so if the application had been filed by July 1, 1994. The purpose of this motion is to give this Court and the Supreme Court an orderly opportunity to decide under P.B.  4045 and 4052 whether enforcement of P.A. 93-306 should be stayed pending appeal.

PLAINTIFFS,
DeFOREST BENJAMIN, ET AL

By
WESLEY W. HORTON
Moller, Horton & Shields, P.O.
90 Gillett Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Tel. (203) 522-8338
Juris No. 38478 ORDER

For good cause shown the foregoing is hereby GRANTED.

By the Court,

June 30, 1994

Honorable Richard Blumenthal
Attorney General
State of Connecticut
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Attorney General Blumenthal:

At the request of Senator Joseph H. Harper, Jr., I am seeking your office's opinion on certain questions that have arisen with respect to Public Act No. 93-306 (An Act Concerning Assault Weapons). As you know, the act requires any person who lawfully possessed an assault weapon prior to October 1, 1993 to apply by July 1, 1994 to the Department of Public Safety for a certificate of possession with respect to the weapon. A person who possesses an assault weapon without such a certificate after July 1, 1994 is liable for criminal penalties.

The Act does not define "person," Senator Harper's office has been contacted by a variety of gun dealers and distributors asking whether the provisions of the act concerning the certificates of possession are applicable to business entities that legitimately deal in firearms. Thus, the questions for your office are these:

Do licensed firearm dealers and distributors need to obtain a certificate of possession for all assault weapons in their possession that were "in stock" as of October 1, 1993? In a certificate needed with respect to assault weapons acquired after October 1, 1993?

Since the Act requires that applications for certificates must be made by July 1, 1994, time is clearly of the essence in obtaining your opinion on this matter. I know that your office will respond as promptly and thoroughly as possible.

As always, I appreciate your generous cooperation with the General Assembly.

Sincerely,

John B. Larson
President Pro Tempore

cc: Senator Joseph Harper House Bill No. 7501

July Special Session, PUBLIC ACT NO. 94-1

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SALE, TRANSFER AND POSSESSION OF PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS, THE POSSESSION OF ASSAULT WEAPONS AND THE STORAGE OF FIREARMS AND WEAPONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION.

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

Section 1. Section 29-33 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No person, firm or corporation shall sell, [at retail,] deliver or otherwise transfer any pistol or revolver to any [alien] PERSON WHO IS PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING A PISTOL OR REVOLVER AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT.
(b) No person, firm or corporation shall SELL, deliver OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER any pistol or revolver [at retail] except upon written application on a form prescribed and furnished by the commissioner of public safety. [, in triplicate, one copy of which shall be mailed] SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION SHALL SEND ONE COPY OF SUCH APPLICATION by first class mail on the day of receipt of such application to the chief of the police department of the municipality within which the applicant resides or, where there is no chief of police, the first selectman or warden of such municipality, as the case may be, and ONE COPY to the commissioner of public safety, and [no] SHALL RETAIN THE APPLICATION FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. NO SALE, DELIVERY OR OTHER TRANSFER OF ANY PISTOL OR REVOLVER SHALL BE MADE UNLESS THE PERSON MAKING THE PURCHASE OR TO WHOM THE SAME IS DELIVERED OR TRANSFERRED IS PERSONALLY KNOWN TO THE PERSON SELLING SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER OR MAKING DELIVERY OR TRANSFER THEREOF OR PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF HIS IDENTITY IN THE FORM OF A MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR'S LICENSE, IDENTITY CARD ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 1-1h OR VALID PASSPORT. NO sale, [or] delivery OR OTHER TRANSFER of any pistol or revolver shall be made until the expiration of two weeks from the date of the mailing of such copies. Any such municipal authority or said commissioner [, having knowledge of the conviction of such applicant of a felony] SHALL MAKE A REASONABLE EFFORT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS ANY REASON THAT WOULD PROHIBIT SUCH APPLICANT FROM POSSESSING A PISTOL OR REVOLVER AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT AND, IF SUCH MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY OR SAID COMMISSIONER DETERMINES THE EXISTENCE OF SUCH A REASON, shall forthwith notify the person, firm or corporation to whom such application was made and no pistol or revolver shall be by him or it sold, [or] delivered OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERRED to such applicant.
(c) When any pistol or revolver is SOLD, delivered [in connection with the sale or purchase] OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERRED, such pistol or revolver shall be enclosed in a package, the paper or wrapping of which shall be securely fastened, and no pistol or revolver when SOLD, delivered [on any sale or purchase] OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERRED shall be loaded or contain therein any gunpowder or other explosive or any bullet, ball or shell.
(d) Upon the SALE, delivery OR OTHER TRANSFER of any pistol or revolver, the [purchaser] PERSON MAKING THE PURCHASE OR TO WHOM THE SAME IS DELIVERED OR TRANSFERRED shall sign (in quadruplicate] a receipt for such pistol or revolver which shall contain the name, address and occupation of such [purchaser] PERSON, the date of sale, THE caliber, make, model and manufacturer's number and a general description [thereof] OF SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER, THE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER OF SUCH PERSON'S PERMIT TO CARRY PISTOLS OR REVOLVERS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 29-28, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, PERMIT TO SELL AT RETAIL PISTOLS OR REVOLVERS, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (a) OF SECTION 29-28, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, OR ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE FOR A PISTOL OR REVOLVER, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, IF ANY, AND THE AUTHORIZATION NUMBER DESIGNATED FOR THE TRANSFER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. (Two of such quadruplicate receipts shall, within twenty-four hours thereafter, be mailed by first class mail by the vendor of such pistol or revolver to the commissioner of public safety and one to the authority issuing the permit for the sale of such pistol or revolver and the other, together with the original application, shall be retained by such vendor for at least six years] THE PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION SELLING SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER OR MAKING DELIVERY OR TRANSFER THEREOF SHALL GIVE ONE COPY OF THE RECEIPT TO THE PERSON MAKING THE PURCHASE OF SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER OR TO WHOM THE SAME IS DELIVERED OR TRANSFERRED, SHALL RETAIN ONE COPY OF THE RECEIPT FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS, AND SHALL SEND, BY FIRST CLASS MAIL, WITHIN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS OF SUCH SALE, DELIVERY OR OTHER TRANSFER, ONE COPY OF THE RECEIPT TO THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND ONE COPY OF THE RECEIPT TO 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, OF THE TOWN IN WHICH THE SALE, DELIVERY OR OTHER TRANSFER TOOK PLACE.
(e) The waiting period [herein] specified IN THIS SECTION during which A SALE, delivery OR OTHER TRANSFER may not be made shall not apply to the holder of a valid state permit to carry pistols and revolvers [, nor] ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 29-28, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, TO THE HOLDER OF A VALID PERMIT TO SELL AT RETAIL PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (a) OF SECTION 29-28, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, TO THE HOLDER OF A VALID ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE FOR A PISTOL OR REVOLVER ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY PURSUANT TO SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, OR to any federal marshal, sheriff, parole officer or peace officer. PRIOR TO THE SALE, DELIVERY OR OTHER TRANSFER OF A PISTOL OR REVOLVER TO THE HOLDER OF SUCH PERMIT OR CERTIFICATE, SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION SHALL VERIFY WITH THE ISSUING AUTHORITY THAT SUCH PERMIT OR CERTIFICATE IS STILL VALID AND HAS NOT BEEN SUSPENDED OR REVOKED.
(f) The provisions of this section shall not apply to antique pistols or revolvers. An antique pistol or revolver, for the purposes of this section, means any pistol or revolver which was manufactured in or before 1898 and any replica of such pistol or revolver provided such replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional cenerfire fixed ammunition except rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and not readily available in the ordinary channel of commercial trade.
(g) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE SALE, DELIVERY OR TRANSFER OF PISTOLS OR REVOLVERS BETWEEN (1) A FEDERALLY-LICENSED FIREARM MANUFACTURER AND A FEDERALLY-LICENSED FIREARM DEALER, (2) A FEDERALLY-LICENSED FIREARM IMPORTER AND A FEDERALLY-LICENSED FIREARM DEALER, OR (3) FEDERALLY-LICENSED FIREARM DEALERS.
(h) 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. THE COURT SHALL NOT ORDER SUSPENSION OF PROSECUTION UNLESS THE ACCUSED PERSON HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE UNDERSTANDS THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SUSPENSION OF PROSECUTION. ANY PERSON FOR WHOM PROSECUTION IS SUSPENDED SHALL AGREE TO THE TOLLING OF ANY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WITH RESPECT TO SUCH VIOLATION AND TO A WAIVER OF HIS RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL. SUCH PERSON SHALL APPEAR IN COURT AND SHALL BE RELEASED TO THE CUSTODY OF THE OFFICE OF ADULT PROBATION FOR SUCH PERIOD, NOT EXCEEDING TWO YEARS, AND UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS THE COURT SHALL ORDER. IF, THE PERSON REFUSES TO ACCEPT, OR, HAVING ACCEPTED, VIOLATES SUCH CONDITIONS, THE COURT SHALL TERMINATE THE SUSPENSION OF PROSECUTION AND THE CASE SHALL BE BROUGHT TO TRIAL. IF SUCH PERSON SATISFACTORILY COMPLETES HIS PERIOD OF PROBATION, HE MAY APPLY FOR DISMISSAL OF THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM AND THE COURT, ON FINDING SUCH SATISFACTORY COMPLETION, SHALL DISMISS SUCH CHARGES. IF THE PERSON DOES NOT APPLY FOR DISMISSAL OF THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM AFTER SATISFACTORILY COMPLETING HIS PERIOD OF PROBATION, THE COURT, UPON RECEIPT OF A REPORT SUBMITTED BY THE OFFICE OF ADULT PROBATION THAT THE PERSON SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED HIS PERIOD OF PROBATION, MAY ON ITS OWN MOTION MAKE A FINDING OF SUCH SATISFACTORY COMPLETION AND DISMISS SUCH CHARGES. UPON DISMISSAL, ALL RECORDS OF SUCH CHARGES SHALL BE ERASED PURSUANT TO SECTION 54-142a. AN ORDER OF THE COURT DENYING A MOTION TO DISMISS THE CHARGES AGAINST A PERSON WHO HAS COMPLETED HIS PERIOD OF PROBATION OR TERMINATING THE PARTICIPATION OF A DEFENDANT IN SUCH PROGRAM SHALL BE A FINAL JUDGMENT FOR PURPOSES OF APPEAL.
(i) ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS D FELONY, EXCEPT THAT ANY PERSON WHO SELLS, DELIVERS OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERS A PISTOL OR REVOLVER IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, KNOWING THAT SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER IS STOLEN OR THAT THE MANUFACTURER'S NUMBER OR OTHER MARK OF IDENTIFICATION ON SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER HAS BEEN ALTERED, REMOVED OR OBLITERATED, SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS B FELONY, AND ANY PISTOL OR REVOLVER FOUND IN THE POSSESSION OF ANY PERSON IN VIOLATION OF ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE FORFEITED.

Sec. 2. Section 29-34 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: No person shall make any false statement or give any false information connected with any purchase, sale, [or] delivery OR OTHER TRANSFER of any pistol or revolver. [, and no] NC person shall sell, barter, hire, lend, give, [or] deliver OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER to any [minor] PERSON under the age of [eighteen] TWENTY-ONE years any pistol or revolver, EXCEPT THAT A PISTOL OR REVOLVER MAY BE TEMPORARILY TRANSFERRED TO ANY PERSON ONLY FOR THE USE BY SUCH PERSON IN TARGET SHOOTING OR ON A FIRING OR SHOOTING RANGE, PROVIDED SUCH USE IS OTHERWISE PERMITTED BY LAW AND IS UNDER THE IMMEDIATE SUPERVISION OF A PERSON ELIGIBLE TO POSSESS A PISTOL OR REVOLVER.

Sec. 3. (NEW)

(a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver when he possesses a pistol or revolver, as defined in section 29-27 of the general statutes, an amended by section 14 of this act, and (1) has been convicted of a felony or of a violation of subsection (c) of section 2la-279, section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d of the general statutes, (2) 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 of the general statutes, (3) has been confined in a hospital for mental illness, as defined in section 17a-495 of the general statutes, within the preceding twelve months by order of a probate court, (4) knows that he is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court, after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person or (5) in an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. For the purposes of this section, "convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) Criminal possession of a pistol or revolver is a class D felony.

Sec. 4. Section 29-28 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 93-172, 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 7 OF THIS ACT 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 permit to such person to carry a pistol or revolver within the jurisdiction of the authority issuing the same, provided such authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which he 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 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, (4) HAS BEEN CONFINED IN A HOSPITAL FOR MENTAL ILLNESS, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 17a-495, WITHIN THE PRECEDING TWELVE MONTHS BY ORDER OF A PROBATE COURT, (5) 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 (6) 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 THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY ADDITIONAL TRAINING IN THE SAFETY AND USE OF PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS. Said commissioner may, upon application, issue, to any holder of any such 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 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. [No permit for carrying a pistol or revolver shall be issued to an alien under the provisions of this subsection.] 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.
[(b)] (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 application to include his business or post office address in lieu of his residence address. The issuing authority shall notify each such member of his right to revise such application.
(d) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1-19 AND 1-19a, 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 AND (2) AN ISSUING AUTHORITY MAY DISCLOSE SUCH INFORMATION TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH A REQUEST MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 29-33, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, FOR VERIFICATION THAT SUCH PERMIT IS STILL VALID AND HAS NOT BEEN SUSPENDED OR REVOKED.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 29-30 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 93-172, 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, [whether for the sale at retail of pistols and revolvers or for the carrying of pistols and revolvers, shall be thirty-five dollars and for each renewal thereof thirty-five dollars, which] AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF 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 SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF 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. Upon deposit of such fees in the general fund, ten dollars of each fee shall be credited WITHIN THIRTY DAYS to the appropriation to the department of public safety [for the purpose of photographing the permittee and laminating state permits for the carrying of pistols and revolvers issued under the provisions of subsection (a) of section 29-28, as amended by section 1 of this act] TO A SEPARATE NONLAPSING ACCOUNT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS UNDER SUBSECTIONS (a) AND (b) OF SECTION 29-28, AS AMENDED BY SECTION I OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT.

Sec. 6. 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 for cause and shall be revoked by the authority issuing the same 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 SECTION 4 OF 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 SECTION 4 OF 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. 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.

Sec. 7. (NEW)

(a) Any person who is twenty-one years of age or older may apply to the commissioner of public safety for an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver.
(b) The commissioner of public safety shall issue an eligibility certificate unless he finds that 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 of the general statutes;
(3) 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 of the general statutes;
(4) Has been confined in a hospital for mental illness, as defined in section 17a-495 of the general statutes, within the preceding twelve months by order of a probate court;
(5) 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
(6) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

Sec. 8. (NEW)

(a) Requests for eligibility certificates under section 7 of this act shall be submitted to the commissioner of public safety on application forms prescribed by the commissioner. No eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver shall be issued under the provisions of section 7 of this act unless the applicant for the same gives to the commissioner of public safety, upon his request, full information concerning the applicant's criminal record and relevant information concerning the applicant's mental health history, and the commissioner shall thereupon take a full description and the fingerprints of such applicant. The commissioner shall record the date the fingerprints were taken in the applicant's file and shall forward such fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history records check and to the state police bureau of identification for a state criminal history records check. The commissioner shall, within sixty days of receipt of the national criminal history records check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, either approve the application and issue the eligibility certificate or deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason for such denial in writing.
(b) With respect to any application for an eligibility certificate filed with the commissioner of public safety on or before July 1, 1995, the commissioner shall, not later than October 1, 1995, (1) approve the application and issue the eligibility certificate, (2) issue a temporary eligibility certificate or (3) deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason for such denial in writing. With respect to any application for an eligibility certificate filed with the commissioner of public safety after July 1, 1995, the commissioner shall, within ninety days, (1) approve the application and issue the eligibility certificate, (2) issue a temporary eligibility certificate or (3) deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason for such denial in writing. A temporary certificate issued under this subsection shall be valid until such time as the commissioner either approves or denies the application.
(c) An eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver shall be of such form and content as the commissioner may prescribe, shall be signed by the certificate holder and shall contain an identification number, the name, address, place and date of birth, height, weight and eye color of the certificate holder and a full-face photograph of the certificate holder.
(d) A person holding an eligibility certificate issued by the commissioner shall notify the commissioner within two business days of any change of his address. The notification shall include his old address and his new address.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-19 and 1-19a of the general statutes, the name and address of a person issued an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver under the provisions of section 7 of this act 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 and (2) the commissioner of public safety may disclose such information to the extent necessary to comply with a request made pursuant to section 29-33 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act, for verification that such certificate is still valid and has not been suspended or revoked.
(f) An eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver shall not authorize the holder thereof to carry a pistol or revolver upon his person in circumstances for which a permit to carry a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, an amended by section 1 of public act 93-172 and section 4 of this act, is required under section 29-35 of the general statutes.

Sec. 9. (NEW)

(a) The fee for each eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver originally issued under the provisions of section 7 of this act shall be thirty-five dollars and for each renewal thereof thirty-five dollars, which fees shall be paid to the commissioner of public safety. Upon deposit of such fees in the general fund, the fees shall be credited to the appropriation to the department of public safety to a separate nonlapsing account for the purposes of the issuance of eligibility certificates under section 7 of this act.
(b) An eligibility certificate originally issued under the provisions of section 7 of this act, shall expire five years after the date it becomes effective and each renewal thereof shall expire five years after the expiration date of the certificate being renewed.
(c) 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 certificate being renewed.
(d) No fee or portion thereof paid under the provisions of this section for issuance or renewal of an eligibility certificate shall be refundable except if the eligibility certificate for which the fee or portion thereof was paid was not issued or renewed.
(e) The commissioner of public safety shall send a notice of the expiration of an eligibility certificate issued pursuant to section 7 of this act, to the holder of such certificate, by first class mail, at the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner, not less than ninety days before such expiration, and shall enclose therein a form for the renewal of said certificate. An eligibility certificate issued pursuant to section 7 of this act, shall be valid for a period of ninety days from the expiration date, except this provision shall not apply to any certificate which has been revoked or for which revocation is pending, pursuant to section 10 of this act.

Sec. 10. (NEW)

(a) Any eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver shall be revoked by the commissioner of public safety upon the occurrence of any event which would have disqualified the holder from being issued the certificate pursuant to section 7 of this act.
(b) Upon the revocation of any eligibility certificate, the person whose eligibility certificate is revoked shall be notified in writing and such certificate shall be forthwith delivered to the commissioner of public safety. Any person who fails to surrender such certificate within five days of notification in writing of revocation thereof shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

Sec. 11. Subsection (b) of section 29-32b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Any person aggrieved by any refusal to issue or renew a permit OR CERTIFICATE under the provisions of section 29-28 or 53-206 OR SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, or by any limitation or revocation of a permit OR CERTIFICATE issued under [either] ANY of said sections, or by a refusal or failure or any issuing authority to furnish an application as provided in section 29-28a or section 53-206a, may, within ninety days after receipt of notice of such refusal, limitation or revocation, or refusal or failure to supply an application as provided in section 29-28a or section 53-206a, and without prejudice to any other course of action open to him in law or in equity, appeal to the board. On such appeal the board shall inquire into and determine the facts, de novo, and unless it finds that such a refusal, limitation or revocation, or such refusal or failure to supply an application, as the case may be, would be for just and proper cause, it shall order such permit OR CERTIFICATE to be issued, renewed or restored, or the limitation removed or modified, as the case may be. If the refusal was for failure to document compliance with local zoning requirements, under SUBSECTION (a) OF section 29-28, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC ACT 93-172 AND SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, the board shall not issue a permit.

Sec. 12. (NEW)

(a) On and after October 1, 1995, no person may purchase or receive any pistol or revolver unless such person holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 93-172 and section 4 of this act, a valid permit to sell at retail a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (a) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 93-172 and section 4 of this act, or a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to section 7 of this act or is a federal marshal, sheriff, parole officer or peace officer.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the purchase or receipt of antique pistols or revolvers. An antique pistol or revolver, for the purposes of this section, means any pistol or revolver which was manufactured in or before 1898 and any replica of such pistol or revolver provided such replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition except rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and not readily available in the ordinary channel of commercial trade.

Sec. 13. (NEW)

(a) Not later than two business days after the occurrence of any event that makes a person ineligible to possess a pistol or revolver, such person shall (1) transfer in accordance with section 29-33 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act, all pistols and revolvers which he then possesses to any person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver or (2) deliver or surrender such pistols and revolvers to the commissioner of public safety. The commissioner shall exercise due care in the receipt and holding of such pistols and revolvers.
(b) Such person, or his legal representative, may, at any time up to one year after such delivery or surrender, transfer such pistols and revolvers in accordance with the provisions of section 29-33 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act, to any person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver. Upon notification in writing by the transferee and such person, the commissioner of public safety shall within ten days deliver such pistols and revolvers to the transferee. If, at the end of such year, such pistols and revolvers have not been so transferred, the commissioner shall cause them to be destroyed.
(c) Any person who fails to transfer or surrender any such pistols and revolvers as provided in this section shall be subject to the penalty provided for in section 3 of this act.

Sec. 14. Section 29-27 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: The term "pistol" and the term "revolver", as used in sections 29-28 to 29-38, inclusive, AND SECTIONS 7 TO 10, INCLUSIVE, 12 AND 13 OF THIS ACT, mean any firearm having a barrel less than twelve inches in length.

Sec. 15. Subsection (a) of section 29-37 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person violating any provision of section 29-36 shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and any person violating any provision of section 29-28, 29-31 [, 29-33] or 29-34 shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both, and any pistol or revolver found in the possession of any person in violation of any of said provisions shall be forfeited.

Sec. 16. (NEW)

(a) The commissioner of public safety shall establish a state data base within one year of the effective date of this act that any person, firm or corporation who sells or otherwise transfers pistols or revolvers may access, by telephone or other electronic means in addition to the telephone, for information to be supplied immediately, on whether a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 93-172 and section 4 of this act, a permit to sell at retail a pistol or revolver, issued pursuant to subsection (a) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 93-172 and section 4 of this act, or an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, issued pursuant to section 7 of this act, is valid and has not been revoked or suspended.
(b) Upon establishment of the data base, the commissioner shall notify each person, firm or corporation holding a permit to sell at retail pistols or revolvers issued pursuant to subsection (a) of section 29-28 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 93-172 and section 4 of this act, of the existence and purpose of the system and the means to be used to access the data base.

Sec. 17. (NEW) The commissioner of public safety shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes to carry out the provisions of this act.

Sec. 18. (NEW) Any firearm, ammunition or deadly weapon owned by the department of correction shall only be stored in a secure location on the grounds of a correctional facility with a security rating of level three or higher.

Sec. 19. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 4 of public act 93-306 are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person who lawfully possesses an assault weapon, as defined in section 1 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 93-306, prior to October 1, 1993, shall apply by [July] OCTOBER 1, 1994, OR, IF SUCH PERSON IS A MEMBER OF THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THIS STATE OR OF THE UNITED STATES AND IS UNABLE TO APPLY BY OCTOBER 1, 1994, BECAUSE HE OR SHE IS OR WAS ON OFFICIAL DUTY OUTSIDE OF THIS STATE, SHALL APPLY WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF RETURNING TO THE STATE to the department of public safety, for a certificate of possession with respect to such assault weapon. The certificate shall contain a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely, including all identification marks, the full name, address, date of birth and thumbprint of the owner, and any other information as the department may deem appropriate. The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 not later than January 1, 1994, to establish procedures with respect to the application for and issuance of certificates of possession pursuant to this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-19 and 1-19a, the name and address of a person issued a certificate of possession shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed, except such records may be disclosed to law enforcement agencies.
(b) No assault weapon possessed pursuant to this section may be sold or transferred on or after January 1, 1994, to any person within this state other than to a licensed gun dealer, as defined in subsection (d) of section 6 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 93-306, or as provided in section 5 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 93-306, or by bequest or intestate succession. Any person who obtains title to an assault weapon for which a certificate of possession has been issued under this section by bequest or intestate succession shall, within ninety days of obtaining title, apply to the department of public safety for a certificate of possession as provided in subsection (a) of this section, render the weapon permanently inoperable, sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer or remove the weapon from the state. Any person who moves into the state in lawful possession of an assault weapon, shall, within ninety days, either render the weapon permanently inoperable, sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer or remove the weapon from this state, EXCEPT ANY PERSON WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THIS STATE OR OF THE UNITED STATES, IS IN LAWFUL POSSESSION OF AN ASSAULT WEAPON AND HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED INTO THE STATE AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1994, MAY, WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF ARRIVING IN THE STATE, APPLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY FOR A CERTIFICATE OF POSSESSION WITH RESPECT TO SUCH ASSAULT WEAPON.

Sec. 20. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 1 to 18, inclusive, shall take effect October 1, 1994.


Footnote:

1 This office does not give advice on matters of criminal law. Conn. Gen. Stat.  3-125. However, to the extent that this opinion impacts on such matters, it has been reviewed by the Chief State's Attorney and he concurs in this opinion.

2 Originally, the deadline under the Act was July 1, 1994. By order of court, enforcement of this deadline was enjoined until August 1, 1994. See Benjamin v. Bailey, Litch. No. CV93-0063723 (Order, June 30, 1994) copy attached. Subsequently, the Act was amended to make the deadline October 1, 1994, and special exception is made for certain military personnel. See Public Act 94-1, Sec. 19 (July Spec. Sess.) (Eff. July 7, 1994).


Back to the 1994 Opinions Page
Back to Opinions Page



Content Last Modified on 6/7/2005 12:24:05 PM