Sec. 29-32b. Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. Appeals to board.

Sec. 29-32b. Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. Appeals to board. Hearings.(a) There shall be established a Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, within the Office of Governmental Accountability established under section 58 of PA11-48, to be comprised of seven members appointed by the Governor to serve during his term and until their successors are appointed and qualify. With the exception of public members, the members shall be appointed from nominees of the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Connecticut State Association of Chiefs of Police, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, The Connecticut State Rifle and Revolver Association, Inc., and Ye Connecticut Gun Guild, Inc., and each of said organizations shall be entitled to representation on the board. At least one member of the board shall be a lawyer licensed to practice in this state, who shall act as chairman of the board during the hearing of appeals brought under this section.

(b) Any person aggrieved by any refusal to issue or renew a permit or certificate under the provisions of section 29-28 or 29-36f, or by any limitation or revocation of a permit or certificate issued under any of said sections, or by a refusal or failure of any issuing authority to furnish an application as provided in section 29-28a, may, within ninety days after receipt of notice of such refusal, limitation or revocation, or refusal or failure to supply an application as provided in section 29-28a, and without prejudice to any other course of action open to such person in law or in equity, appeal to the board. On such appeal the board shall inquire into and determine the facts, de novo, and unless it finds that such a refusal, limitation or revocation, or such refusal or failure to supply an application, as the case may be, would be for just and proper cause, it shall order such permit or certificate to be issued, renewed or restored, or the limitation removed or modified, as the case may be. If the refusal was for failure to document compliance with local zoning requirements, under subsection (a) of section 29-28, the board shall not issue a permit.

      (c) Any person aggrieved by the action of an issuing authority may file with the board a clear and concise statement of the facts on which he relies for relief, and shall state the relief sought by the appellant. The receipt by the board of the appellant's statement shall initiate the appeals process, and no appeal may be rejected for mere lack of formality. The board shall, within ten days next following receipt of the appeal, set a time and place at which the appeal shall be heard. The board, while such appeal is pending, may request such additional information from the appellant and from the issuing authority as it deems reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and impartial hearing, and shall require of the issuing authority from whose decision or action the appeal is being sought a statement in writing setting forth the reasons for such failure, refusal, revocation or limitation. Failure or refusal of the issuing authority to furnish such written statement, or to supply the appellant with an application, at least ten days prior to the hearing shall be cause for the board to grant the relief sought, forthwith and without further hearing.

      (d) The board shall hold hearings at such times and places as it in its discretion reasonably determines to be required, but not less than once every ninety days, and shall give reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing to the appellant and to the issuing authority. The board shall have the power to compel attendance at its sessions.

      (e) All appeals hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner, but otherwise according to the rules of evidence, and all witnesses shall be sworn by the chairman. The board shall cause a verbatim transcript of the hearing to be kept in such manner as it may determine, and shall furnish such transcript to any party appealing its decision as hereinafter set forth. The statements of witnesses made under oath shall be privileged. Decisions of the board shall be by majority vote and shall be communicated in writing to the appellant and to the issuing authority within twenty days after the rendering of the decision. If any issuing authority neglects or refuses to comply with a decision of the board within ten days after notice of the board's decision has been given to such issuing authority, the board shall apply to the Superior Court for a writ of mandamus to enforce the board's decision.

      (f) Any person aggrieved by the decision of the board may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.