Claiming his new gun control laws will improve public safety while respecting the rights of gun owners, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont this week signed sweeping legislation which limits the number of handguns that may be purchased in a 30-day period, bans open carry, increases penalties for failure to report lost or stolen guns and requires registration of so-called unserialized “ghost guns.”
According to the Hartford Courant, the legislation also “closes loopholes in the state’s ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and mandates that all firearms be sold with trigger locks.
In a lengthy news release from Lamont’s office, the full scope of House Bill 6667 was detailed. According to the release, these are the highlights.
- Open carry: Bans the open carrying of firearms in public, while continuing to allow concealed carry with a permit.
- High-risk repeat offenders: Increases bail, probation and parole responses for the extremely narrow group of people with repeated serious firearm offenses.
- Ghost guns: Updates the state’s 2019 ban on unregistered “ghost guns” to include those that were assembled prior to the enactment of that ban. Those ghost guns must be registered with the state by January 1, 2024.
- Bulk purchase of guns: Prevents the bulk purchasing of handguns to discourage straw purchases by barring the sale of more than three handguns to an individual in a 30-day period, or six handguns for an instructor. Law enforcement agencies, returns/exchanges, and transfers to a museum are exempted.
- Gun dealer accountability: Increases gun dealer accountability by permitting the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to issue a notice of violation and impose an order barring sales for any dealers violating any of their responsibilities.
- Safe storage: Expands the state’s safe storage laws to all situations, not only those where a minor or prohibited person may gain access to a firearm.
- Assault weapons ban: Closes loopholes in the state’s ban on assault weapons by including “other” firearms with banned features analogous to those on banned pistols and rifles and pre-September 13, 1994, “pre-ban” firearms that were carved out of the original ban. A new registration will open for these 2023 assault weapons. If purchased before the date of passage, these weapons can be registered until May 1, 2024. If registered, owners can continue possessing them but further transfers are generally barred.
- Large-capacity magazine ban: Ensures enforceability of the state’s ban on large-capacity magazines by making possession a class D felony for prohibited persons and a class A misdemeanor for non-prohibited persons.
- Underage purchases of guns: Expands the state’s existing prohibition on the retail sale of semiautomatic rifles with capacity greater than five rounds to anyone under the age of 21 to also include private sales.
- Pistol permit training: Updates the training requirements for pistol permits and eligibility certificates to require instruction on safe storage, state firearms laws, and lawful use of firearms.
- Domestic violence: Makes commission of a family violence crime or federal misdemeanor crime of domestic violence into an automatic disqualifier for having a pistol permit, and adds commission of such a crime after October 1, 2023, as a qualifier for criminal possession of a firearm.
- Trigger locks: Requires all firearms, not just handguns, to be sold with a trigger lock.
- Transport: Clarifies that all long guns, including ones categorized as “other,” must be carried unloaded in a vehicle.
- Body armor: Requires anyone purchasing body armor to possess a pistol permit or eligibility certificate. This includes exemptions for certain law enforcement officers, state and judicial officials, and military personnel.
- Permitting timelines: Creates a timeline for local authorities to act on the first stage of the pistol permitting process.
Not everyone is happy about these new gun control measures. During the legislative battle, according to PBS, Republican State Rep. Cara Pavalock D’Amato asserted the new law chips away at the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Her colleague, Rep. Doug Dubitsky, predicted the new law will be overturned by the courts.