Highlights from Governor Lamont’s 2023 Legislative Proposal: Taking Action To Eliminate Gun Violence, Preventing Mass Shootings and improve Gun Safety Laws To Prevent Suicides, Accidents, and Domestic Violence 

02/02/23- Governor Lamont announced the third and final set of gun control proposals he will introduce during the 2023 legislative session. All in the name of eliminating “gun violence”, preventing “mass shootings, suicides, accidents, and domestic violence. Once again, the target falls on the legal firearm owners in the state. Here are the highlights from the governor’s proposals.   

  • Investing an additional $2.5 million in community violence intervention programs; 
  • Banning the open carrying of firearms in public, while continuing to allow concealed carry with a permit except in particular locations; 
  • Ban the open carrying of firearms in public, except for a list of enumerated exceptions, and prohibit any carrying of firearms in bars. “This change will help prevent the intimidation of residents at certain locations such as protests and polling places, and allow law enforcement to more effectively address community gun violence.” -Gov. Lamont 
  • Limiting handgun purchases to one per month to discourage straw purchases;  
  • To discourage the illegal straw purchasing of guns, Governor Lamont is proposing to limit the number of handguns that an individual can purchase to one per month. This proposal is limited to handguns [for now] and does not impact rifles used for hunting or any other long guns. “Many guns involved in crimes occurring in our communities are purchased illegally on the underground market, and deterring this kind of straw purchasing will have a major impact on lowering crime,” -Gov. Lamont  
  • Updating the state’s ban on unregistered “ghost guns” to stop their illegal flow; 
  • Eliminate this exemption and require all “ghost guns” – including those that were assembled prior to the enactment of this law in 2019 – to be registered with the state. Eliminating this exemption will better enable law enforcement to administer this ban.  
  • Closing “loopholes” in the state’s assault weapons ban; 
  • Ban and require registration of Pre-September 13, 1994 Semiauto firearms 
  • Gun dealers in other states are known to collect pre-ban weapons and ship them to Connecticut for sale at high prices.” -Gov. Lamont 
  • Ban and require registration of “other” firearms  
  • “These are categories that are defined under Connecticut law and do not include all weapons. Several manufacturers are selling weapons specifically designed to fall into this loophole by having a barrel length longer than 12 inches to avoid classification as a pistol and a so-called “pistol brace” on the back to avoid classification as a rifle.” -Gov. Lamont 
  • Ban and require registration on Rimfire semiauto rifles 
  • “This category includes those assault weapons that are typically used for hunting but are sometimes customized into assault-weapon-style rifles to evade bans like those that have been implemented in Connecticut.” -Gov. Lamont 
  • Strengthening penalties related to the state’s ban on large-capacity magazines to make that ban enforceable;  
  • Under existing law, the penalty on a first offense for possession of a large-capacity magazine that was obtained before the 2013 effective date of the ban is an infraction requiring a $90 fine. Any subsequent offense is a class D felony, which can result in a prison sentence between one to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. As a result, on a first offense, prosecutors have to prove in court that the magazine was obtained after the 2013 effective date. Because magazines are not serialized like firearms, this is nearly impossible to prove. 
  • “owners of large-capacity magazines obtained prior to the enactment of this 2013 law have had nearly a decade to register or dispose of those items” -Gov Lamont 
  • Increasing the age to purchase all firearms to 21; 
  • implementing a 21-or-older requirement for the purchase of all types of firearms 
  • “These purchase requirements will not impact the ability of anyone under the age of 21 to use firearms as permitted under existing law.” -Gov Lamont 
  • Requiring a ten-day waiting period before purchasing a firearm; 
  • Governor Lamont is proposing a ten-day waiting period on sales of all firearms in Connecticut. 
  • Current state law allows residents with the appropriate documentation to walk into a gun store, purchase an unlimited number of firearms, and walk out with them immediately. This proposal has been proven by numerous academic studies to save lives by preventing suicide and domestic violence. -Gov Lamont 
  • Increasing education requirements for firearm licenses; 
  • Governor Lamont is proposing to modestly expand the requirements for the initial application for a pistol permit, by reducing the current 8 hour NRA course to four hours of classroom training and two hours of shooting practice (6 hours), and set a one-year deadline so knowledge must be fresh. 
  • Requiring safe storage regardless of who lives at a given residence; 
  • Governor Lamont’s proposal, which seeks to avoid firearms from being stolen and used in crimes, expands the [Ethan’s Law] landmark law by making all firearm owners responsible for storing firearms safely, regardless of who else has access to the residence. 
  • Improving the design safety standards for semiautomatic handguns; 
  • Governor Lamont is proposing to require that all semiautomatic handguns sold in the state after January 1, 2024, have both a “loaded chamber indicator,” and a “magazine disconnect lockout,” features. 
  • Making commission of a family violence crime or being a fugitive an automatic disqualifier for holding a pistol permit; 
  • Anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence is automatically disqualified from owning a gun under federal law, but not from holding a state permit, and the definitions differ. Consequently, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection must hold a time-consuming suitability hearing in each case. Instead, Governor Lamont is proposing to automatically disqualify anyone who has been convicted of a family violence crime from holding a state gun permit.  
  • Prohibiting the carrying of any loaded long gun in a vehicle; 
  • Governor Lamont is proposing to enact a law clarifying that all long guns, including ones categorized as “other,” must be carried unloaded in a vehicle. 
  • Requiring trigger locks for all firearm purchases. 
  • Governor Lamont is proposing to require that all guns, not only handguns, must be sold with a trigger lock to enable safe storage. 

Governor Lamont’s proposals are just in addition to the pile of already filed bills that are a direct attack on our rights. CCDL is hosting a serries of Legislative Workshops this month to show you how to become effective advocates. Stay up to date on pending legislation and schedule of public hearings.  

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