Governor Lamont Applauds Senate for Giving Final Approval to Comprehensive Legislation on Gun Violence Prevention, Says He Will Sign It Into Law
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont is applauding the Connecticut State Senate for voting today to approve a comprehensive legislative proposal he introduced earlier this year that includes several provisions to reduce gun violence, stop mass shootings, and prevent firearm accidents and suicides.
The legislation is House Bill 6667, An Act Addressing Gun Violence. The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 25, 2023, on a vote of 96-51, and it passed the Senate today on a vote of 24-11. Now that both chambers of the General Assembly approved the bill, it will be transmitted to the governor’s desk. He plans on signing it into law.
“While I firmly believe that our country needs stronger laws at the federal level to prevent gun violence, the inaction by Congress requires each individual state to act, and this legislation that is now heading to my desk includes several comprehensive changes that modernize our firearm safety laws in a smart and strategic way to help prevent tragedy from happening,” Governor Lamont said. “These updates are supported by the overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents because they want to live in a community that has commonsense measures that encourage gun safety and prevent harm from impacting our neighborhoods and homes. I appreciate the leadership of the Senate – including Senator Looney and Senator Winfield – for calling this bill for a vote today and getting it approved. I look forward to signing it into law.”
Some of the major provisions in the bill include:
- Open carry: Bans the open carrying of firearms in public, while continuing to allow concealed carry with a permit except for particular locations.
- 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, delivery, or transfer 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.