A proposal from Democrat Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to hike fees for pistol permits and background checks is raising alarms among gun owners in the Constitution State, and gun rights organizations and advocates all over the map.
According to the New Haven Register, “Malloy is proposing to increase the state portion of the pistol permit fee from $70 to $300. He also is proposing the cost of the initial 5-year pistol permit fee from $140 to $370.”
That’s supposed to bring in $9 million, according to Malloy’s budget estimate. An additional $2.6 million will allegedly be raised by hiking the background check fees from $50 to $75, a 50-percent increase. The proposal may be found on Page B-25 of the proposed budget.
Friday morning, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued a statement calling the proposed fee hikes “an outrage.”
“Malloy hates guns and the people who own them,” stated CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “and now he’s essentially trying to rob them blind to help make up for his own fiscal failure as the state’s chief executive. That’s not simply disgusting, it’s despicable.”
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action was equally blunt: “While this increase represents a drop in the bucket for the state’s treasury, it will be very burdensome for ordinary citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Law-abiding gun owners in Connecticut already have to bear excessive costs and a redundant bureaucratic process that is designed to dissuade them from exercising their constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Further, this outrageous increase will disproportionally impact low income citizens, for whom a handgun may already represent an expensive investment towards their personal safety before such fees are taken into account.”
And the New Haven Register quoted Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League. He took the gloves off as well, noting, “We feel that the increase of Pistol Permit fees 400 percent is astronomical. This will have a deep impact on those who only wish to protect their own lives, and the lives of their families. Many Connecticut gun owners are struggling with the current economic conditions in our state.”
Gottlieb noted the irony that Connecticut’s nickname is “The Constitution State.” He accused Malloy of proposing to “levy an outrageous fee hike on the exercise of a civil right,” and he didn’t stop there.
“These proposed fee hikes are the equivalent of a poll tax,” Gottlieb added. “Malloy apparently thinks this is acceptable because it penalizes something he doesn’t like, but it doesn’t pass the smell test. Connecticut gun owners are justifiably alarmed if not downright furious. It’s no wonder why there are now 31 Republican governors and only 18 Democrat governors with Malloy as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.”