The “Gun Trafficker Protection Act” is back and should now be dubbed the “Gun Trafficker Protection and Law-Abiding Gun Owner Catch 22 Act.” Last year’s legislation sought to make criminals out of burglary victims by making it a crime to fail to report a gun theft to police within 72 hours. This year’s bill, HB 5818, still makes it a crime to fail to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 72 hours of when the owner “knew or should have known” of the theft.
In addition, the bill now includes language that would subject gun owners to criminal investigation and jeopardy of prosecution if they report the theft because a court will now be given the ability to decide whether the firearm was stored in such a manner that provided “substantial and unjustifiable risk” that it would be stolen. Even worse, if the police recover the firearm before the gun owner has discovered and reported it missing, it will be considered automatic evidence of guilt of violation of this proposed law, as well as guilt of an illegal transfer. Conviction for an “illegal transfer,” which is a felony, would permanently end your right to own a firearm! HB 5818 must be stopped!
Call your lawmakers TODAY at (860) 240-0500, and strongly urge them to OPPOSE HB 5818! Also, please contact Governor Jodi Rell (R) in the greater Hartford area at (860) 566-4840, or toll free at (800) 406-1527, to voice your strong opposition to this bill.
Governor Rell, who supports this legislation, should consider saving all the money that the state would spend investigating and prosecuting law-abiding gun owners and use it to fund the state’s now defunct Anti-Trafficking Task Force, which was dedicated to catching real criminals. This is just further proof that Governor Rell, her Department of Public Safety, and the anti-gun crowd aren’t serious about crime-fighting at all¾they just want to attack legal gun ownership.