ATTORNEY GENERAL URGES SENATE LEADERS
TO REJECT “RIGHT TO CARRY” RECIPROCITY LEGISLATION
(HARTFORD) – Attorney General George Jepsen is urging U.S. Senate leaders to oppose national “right-to-carry” reciprocity legislation that would require states to recognize the gun-permitting laws of other states, including the right to carry concealed weapons.
The U.S. House passed its version of the bill Wednesday. Connecticut’s delegation voted 4-1 against the proposal. The Senate is expected to take up the issue soon.
“Connecticut has one of the lowest per-capita rates of death due to firearms in the country, due in large part to our sensible gun-control laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, but leave law-abiding citizens and sportsmen alone,” Attorney General Jepsen wrote in a letter to the Senate leaders this week.
Federal legislation that requires Connecticut to apply the gun possession and permitting laws of other states when their residents travel to Connecticut, “would undermine the legal right and responsibility of the Connecticut General Assembly to determine what laws are necessary to protect the public health and safety of its citizens,” Jepsen said.
Such a requirement would be difficult to enforce and would create an unfair burden on Connecticut and its law enforcement officials, who are required to protect the public through fair and uniform application of the law, he wrote.
Jepsen said that while the Connecticut Constitution gives every citizen the right to bear arms in self defense and in defense of the state, Connecticut law also regulates firearm sales, use and possession. Among them is a restriction that no person may carry handguns, openly or concealed, without a permit. Connecticut law further restricts eligibility for such a permit. The requirements of other states may not be as strict.
As a former state Senate Majority Leader, Jepsen was the principal co-author of Connecticut’s ban on assault weapons, which makes it a felony to possess, sell or transport assault weapons in this state, including all military-style semiautomatic firearms. He also supported a gun-seizure law, which allows police to obtain warrants and seize guns from people posing an imminent risk to themselves or others.
View the Letter - (PDF - 164KB)