Posted by Jonathan at 26 January 2013

Category: CT Legislation

When we said this was going to be an interesting year at our state legislature, I had no idea!

I knew it was going to be a tough year before December.  Aurora CO, New Haven open carry (OC) incident amongst others were still fresh in peoples minds.  Then, the most unimaginable happened, Sandy Hook.  If we thought we had an uphill battle before, I’m starting to feel a lot like Sisyphus all over again.

Here is the information we have so far:

  1. There is another new first – METAL DETECTORS!  Yep, CBS has reported that the Capitol Police will indeed be installing metal detectors for Monday.  Keep this in mind when you arrive.  Guns were already banned in the LOB, but now anything that looks like a weapon can be suspect.
  2. Testimony will be by lottery.  Sign up will begin at 9:00 AM with the lottery taking place at 12:15.
  3. Testimony can be submitted electronically by sending a copy to asaferconnecticut@cga.ct.gov.  Please indicate in the subject of your email to which working group(s) you would like your testimony directed (gun violence prevention, school security, and/or mental health services).
  4. It is advised that you bring 30 copies (plus any extras you may want) just in case when you arrive.  This way, you can make sure and give copies to aids if they haven’t printed them out yet and make sure they get in the legislators hands.

Here is a “Testimony tip sheet” I put together for CCDL.

We have a lot of work to do,  Clearer heads will prevail.  I hope to see you all in great numbers at the LOB on Monday when we testify.  Lets make sure our voices are heard, legislators educated on the truth about guns and real solutions reached that don’t infringe on our state and federal constitutional rights.

 

 

Posted by Jonathan at 22 January 2013

Category: CT Legislation, Issues - State of CT

In a normal session at the Connecticut legislature, we have a little time to prepare for testimony. The session is usually six months with the first two months having bills generated and sent to committees. then, we have approx 2-3 months where we may attend hearings and testify on proposed legislation (of course, we never stop contacting our legislators about proposed bills). During a normal session, we often have at the very least, a bill title so we have something to “work with” to prepare testimony.

We will still have the opportunity to testify during the normal session. Since the tragedy in Newton at Sandy Hook, there is now a special committee being developed BEFORE the normal committee hearings. This committee is called “Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention And Children’s Safety”. The committee will be broken down into three subgroups: Gun violence, school safety and mental health. Each committee has been assigned a bipartisan panel of state representatives and senators. This is new territory and something I have not seen before. There are some proposed bills so far, but those haven’t been moved out of committee and a public hearing has not been planned as of yet.

The meetings are as follows:

school safety on January 25 at 9:30 a.m.
gun safety hearing on January 28 at 10:00 a.m.
mental health issues January 29 at 10:00 a.m.

All in room 2C at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. A fourth public hearing will be held by the task force at Newtown High School on January 30 at 6:00 p.m.

Attend as many as possible, of course our focus is on the Gun Safety hearing. Here are the legislators assigned to this committee:

Sen. Martin Looney, Co-chair
Rep. Craig Miner, Co-chair
Rep. Gerald Fox III
Rep. Stephen Dargan
Rep. Bob Godfrey
Rep. Toni Walker
Rep. Rosa Rebimbas
Rep. Janice Giegler
Rep. Dan Carter
Sen. Eric Coleman
Sen. John Fonfara
Sen. Joan Hartley
Sen. John Kissel
Sen. Scott Frantz
Sen. Tony Guglielmo
Sen. Kevin Witkos

CCDL is compiling a list of proposed bills. Depending on how the hearing is organized, I wouldn’t write full blown testimony on each proposal. Focusing on the proposed ideas in general and how it effects each gun owner PERSONALLY is very important.
Please remember, the data is on our side. You can use a lot of facts to prove your points, but also let the legislators know how the proposed legislation would effect you, a LAW ABIDING citizen.

I look foreword to seeing many of you at these hearings. It’s going to be at tough session, more than any before. We’ve been doing well the past few years in preventing anti-gun legislation from passing in our legislature. It’s going to take A LOT more effort this time around. With your support, we have the strongest prospects at successfully defeating poorly drafted legislation that will have ZERO impact on any crime.

Yours in liberty,

Jonathan

 

Posted by Jonathan at 17 January 2013

Category: Issues - State of CT, Opinion, Suitability

At the January Board of Firearms Permit Examiners (BFPE) meeting, I submitted a six point petition for a declaratory ruling.  A declaratory ruling is where the BFPE rules on issues that they have authority.  For example (but not limited) if a person is having a problem with a town that refuses to follow statutes, then the BFPE can indeed give them a hearing.  Based on that authority, and previous declaratory rulings, I have written a six point petition on several issues – one of which has been previously addressed (3 letters of reference) but some still scary waivers and hold harmless waivers are still floating around out there.

Below is a copy of the petition I recently submitted.  I hope to be able to persuade the BFPE that these issues exist and are a barrier to citizens and firearms/permit rights as outlined in CT General Statutes 29-28 and 29-29.

Here is the letter/petition:

Board of Firearms Permit Examiners

20 Trinity St. 5th floor

Hartford, CT 06106

Attn: William Knapp, Board Secretary

Dear Mr. Knapp,

This letter is a request for a BFPE declaratory ruling based on several complaints from citizens in CT. 

Issues

One: Sufficient submission of permit application under CT 29-28a

As you are aware, I represent my own website where I assist citizens having issues obtaining a permit and I’m also on the executive board of our states largest single issue firearms rights group – Connecticut Citizens Defense League where I am receiving several more complaints on the same issue.

Over the last five months we have seen a sharp increase in citizens in regards to CT General Statutes 29-28a and an attempt to submit an application to a local issuing authority.  In particular, refusal of an issuing authority to accept the application unless they have an appointment.  SEVERAL towns are notifying residents to come back anywhere from 10 weeks and up to several months.  This is simply is not acceptable.

Between November 10thand January 4th, I have received 17 complaints on this issue alone. 

Two:  Towns charging extra fees not compliant with CT 29-30

Several towns are charging additional fees not prescribed under CT statute 29-30.  Under this statute, fees are clearly outlined as:

The fee for each state permit originally issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of section 29-28 for the carrying of pistols and revolvers shall be one hundred forty dollars plus sufficient funds as required to be transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to cover the cost of a national criminal history records check. The local authority shall forward sufficient funds for the national criminal history records check to the commissioner no later than five business days after receipt by the local authority of the application for the temporary state permit. Seventy dollars shall be retained by the local authority. Upon approval by the local authority of the application for a temporary state permit, seventy dollars shall be sent to the commissioner.

Some towns are simply charging more outright.  Others are charging additional finger print fees.

Canaan – $80

Manchester – $25.00 –fingerprint fee

Granby – $20.00

Torrington – $25.00 for fingerprinting

This is not a complete list, but examples of town paperwork are attached with this request. 

We understand that a town may use a different system (electronic) for fingerprinting. It is our position that if they choose to use such systems, that the cost is paid from the $70.00 paid to the town, not by the applicant. If the town refuses to take the application, then we believe the applicant can send a certified application with the check for $70.00 as we outline in issue six below.

Three:  Local Issuing Authority requirement of additional letters and waivers

Many towns have complied with this boards previous declaratory ruling regarding extra information.  Many are still refusing to accept applications without additional paperwork, passport photos, etc..  Some of these extra documents pose possible severe repercussions for the applicant.  “Hold harmless” and “medical release” waivers by some towns include asking for a signed document to interview employers and such is simply going too far.  We understand that a town can ask for this information.  We are just asking for clarification that a town can not make any of the additional requirements MANDATORY except for those outlined in Connecticut General Statutes and this boards previous declaratory ruling.

Four: Notarized documents and a “raised seal”.

A few towns have denied citizens (this was tried on me until I demonstrated the law as I’m a Notary) that an application have a “raised” seal. This raised seal is not required under CT laws and I question that this requirement simply does not fall under the domain of the local issuing authority.  The office of the Secretary of the State has stated so in the CT “Notary Manual”.  Page 12 of the March 2012 edition is enclosed for verification.

Five:  Failure to send out prints when taken under 29-29b

            Notification of permit approval or denial within one week under CT 29-29c

Many towns are refusing to send out prints in a timely fashion as written in CT 29-29b or notifying applicants that prints have been received and a decision to approve and deny.  The portion of 29-29 we are arguing is:

    (b) The local authority shall take the fingerprints of such applicant or conduct any other method of positive identification ……. The local authority shall record the date the fingerprints were taken in the applicant’s file and, within five business days of such date, shall forward such fingerprints or other positive identifying information to the State Police Bureau of Identification which shall conduct criminal history records checks in accordance with section 29-17a.

 

      (c) …..the commissioner shall send a copy of the results of such national criminal history records check to the local authority, which shall inform the applicant and render a decision on the application within one week of the receipt of such results. If such results have not been received within eight weeks after a sufficient application for a permit has been made, the local authority shall inform the applicant of such delay, in writing……

 

It is our argument that if a town does not comply with these statutes, then the applicant can file for an appeal.  The BFPE does acknowledge 29-29C on their website, but we are having issues with towns not sending out fingerprints to the State Police Bureau of Identification for processing as outlined in 29-29b.

Six:  We seek a decision of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners regarding an acceptable practice for issuing authorities that do not comply with Connecticut Statutes.

As a practice, we would like the board to acknowledge and accept the following procedure as a process to appeal for an administrative denial when a town refuses to accept an application for any of the reasons above:

 

  1. Applicant has fingerprints taken at either state     trooper barracks or Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection     in Middletown, CT.
  2. Applicant sends certified copy of application     and the town $70.00 fee to the police chief of the town and notify them     that the fingerprints have been taken at DESPP and results to be forwarded.  Applicant will notify issuing authority     in this letter that this is considered day one of the application process     as set forth in CT General Statutes 29-28 and 29-29.  We also acknowledge that the issuing     authority may not request the two checks for background investigation as     they are paid when prints are taken at the State Police Bureau of     Identification.
  3. Applicant will inquire from the State Police     Bureau of Identification when results were sent to issuing authority.
  4. When issuing authority has had one week, ask for     a decision on the application.  If     the issuing authority has failed or refused to issue a permit, start the     appeal process with the CT Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.

Since I am at almost every BFPE hearing, I am available at any time to answer questions on or off the record.

Sincerely,

E. Jonathan Hardy

Executive Member, CCDL (Permit Issues and Legislative Affairs)

www.ctpistolpermitissues.com

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: Opinion

Often, people think I am “anti-cop”.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  My family has quite the history as officers and judges.  However, this site was put together to illustrate where I think law enforcement needs to follow the same laws as we do.  Often, comes across as being “anti-cop”.  Well, nice to write a good cop story.

Hartford PD had a gun buyback last weekend.  Was rather entertaining because it was also a hot topic with our former Governor John Roland on his talk show on WTIC that Friday.  Roland had quite the discussion with a caller talking about historic firearms and disarming citizens.  Roland stated that historic firearms just don’t get turned in…. then, it happened!

A citizen brought in a WWII trophy worth $30,000 – $40,000.  An officer who spotted the firearm noticed it and took a closer look.  Turns out it was a WWII souvenir that can only be had if a veteran killed that particular soldier and had the relic sent back as a trophy.

I give HPD credit for not slicing this piece of history.  It will be set aside and prepared for legal transfer so the citizen can at least get the money she deserves.

Moral to the story:  Sorry Mr. Governor, often historic relics are indeed turned in at these buyback programs ALL the time.  I haven’t seen many M1 Garand rifles in my life living in the capitol city, but I have seen ’em turned in at citizen disarmament programs.

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: CT, firearms used in self defense

A woman staying at her aunts house in Bridgeport hears a noise around 2:00 in the morning.  She investigates to see the source of the sound.  In her words:

“I grabbed my gun and went to see what the noise was and I saw this man standing in the kitchen,” she related. She said she yelled at the man and he began coming towards her. “So I fired a shot at him,” she said.

At her request, her name is being withheld (and I don’t blame her!).  She does have a valid CT pistol permit.

The bullet hole or the criminal have yet to be found.

Source:  CT Post

http://www.ctpost.com/policereports/article/Woman-fires-shot-at-intruder-3915552.php#ixzz28I0aT8JC

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: CT, firearms used in self defense

The only thing wrong with the article is the word “victim” to describe the criminals shot during the attack.

A man and his female companion are walking on Broad St. in Stamford.  He is then approached by six individuals who start to harass and assault him.  He exercised GREAT restraint and didn’t pull out his firearm until he thought he was going to lose consciousness.  Then, he pulled out his defensive weapon and instinct took over.  Here is the “hit count” from the WTNH article:

Upon arrival at 156 Broad St., officers discovered a man suffering from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to his head. Officers were quickly alerted to another victim in the same lot who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left leg.

A short time later another man staggered up Greyrock Pl. suffering from a gunshot wound to his buttocks and stomach.

I have to admit my bias here, I can only laugh at that last guy.  Everytime he sits down for a few months, he’ll think of the fact that he and five of his coward buddies picked on a citizen that is indeed willing to defend himself.

There will be no charges filed against the armed citizen as he did nothing wrong and was clearly defending himself.

Original article:

http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/crime/5-arrested-in-stamford-assault#.UMdxaXc8lTz

 

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: Opinion

Many would wonder why the “from MA” is an argument.  Well, it was only a few years back where MA politicians were blaming surrounding states for Boston’s crime rate.  If guns weren’t so easy to get in other states, MA wouldn’t have this “problem”.  This is before the new digital sign that was put up near the park:

 

 

 

 

That being said, what is MA going to do about the horrific spread of guns coming from MA to CT (OK, that was a bit of sarcasm).

Apparently, the trucker was planning on selling them in another city with a ton of gun control laws – Bridgeport.  Another city, ton of laws and ordinances, low crime rate, right???

Here is the Stratford Patch article with all the information and lovely details:

http://stratford.patch.com/articles/stratford-trucker-charged-for-stealing-111-guns

Posted by Jonathan at 11 December 2012

Category: Issues - State of CT

Talk about a facepalm!!!

I’m trying to hope this reporter REALLY made an error and didn’t write something down right.  Unfortunately, I’m not that much of an optimist when dealing with ill informed officers in the state of CT.

This coming from the Stamford Times:

Shortly after midnight, police officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Greenwich Avenue on a report of two suspicious men in the area, according to Stamford Police Sgt. Robert Shawinsky.

As soon as officers exited their cars, both suspects took off running, he said.

Police found an automatic pistol on the ground, which was fully loaded with hollow point bullets.

Let’s make things really clear:

Semi-automatic handguns – not illegal.

Hollow point ammunition – not illegal.

Officer in need of retraining – quite possible.

Source:

http://www.thehour.com/stamford_times/news/crime/stamford-police-find-automatic-pistol-loaded-with-hollow-point-bullets/article_a91f8f56-4302-11e2-a9c3-001a4bcf6878.html

Posted by Jonathan at 19 October 2012

Category: Issues - State of CT, Opinion

I have several problems with the ruling.  I’ve read it twice this week and am still struck by some really odd points.

  1. Tons of discussion on Goldbergs’ permit being revoked and what a reasonable person would think if they saw the firearm.  HE DIDN’T BREAK ANY LAW.  His permit was held up through an application in a different town where he was approved (Wethersfield) and over a year and a half waiting for an appeal.
  2. Kuck made points of hearing times.  At the time, over 18 months to get a hearing.  It is a violation of due process in my opinion.  Ramblings between Kuck’s numbers and auditors numbers just didn’t make me think any different.  When you read the document, neither number makes it look good when there are so many agreements made just before the hearing dates.
  3. Blaming 9/11, the 2008 election and the Cheshire home invasion for rise in permits is moot, and debatable on a few fronts.  The Cheshire home invasion was a CT issue, yet at the same time, permits and gun sales rose in the rest of the nation.  Regardless, we have laws that clearly lay out the timeline for permits (29-28 and 29-29).  If issuing authorities followed the laws pertaining to the permit process, then maybe we could reduce the time for a hearing.
  4. The ruling doesn’t address adequately the fact that the majority of towns in CT do NOT follow the law or the declaratory ruling issued by the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.  If this declaratory ruling and the statutes were followed, there would be a lot less appeals.  Look at the sheer number of appeals that are overturned because of frivolous denials.

I do want to commend the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, a volunteer board for bringing down the backlog from 18 months to approximately six months.  A huge credit to their dedication to get the backlog reduced.

I still need to re-read and just make a ton of notes on this ruling, but here it is for your reading pleasure:

Kuck vs. Dahaher Oct 2012

 

Posted by Jonathan at 2 October 2012

Category: CT Legislation, Issues - State of CT

Just an FYI and a heads up.  On October 1st, a few laws and changes take effect.  Some effect average citizens, some will have an impact on FFL’s (like the CT “Bound Book”).

I’m going to list those here with links to the CT legislature where you can do some further research:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECORDING OF PISTOL AND REVOLVER SALES IN A BOUND BOOK.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/ACT/PA/2012PA-00191-R00SB-00196-PA.htm

AN ACT PROVIDING FEDERAL PROBATION OFFICERS WITH ACCESS TO FIREARM DATA REGARDING PROBATIONERS.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/ACT/PA/2012PA-00177-R00HB-05550-PA.htm

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FIREARMS EVIDENCE DATABANK.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/ACT/PA/2012PA-00016-R00HB-05096-PA.htm

AN ACT CONCERNING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/ACT/PA/2012PA-00114-R00HB-05548-PA.htm

The domestic violence is a lot of reading, but there are a few changes involving firearms.  As always, though we’re not lawyers, it is a good thing to have one.  I have an appointment with an attorney once a year just to discuss many of these types of changes and my personal knowledge of the law and how they pertain to me as a citizen with a permit to carry pistols and revolvers.