Early Saturday morning, the Judiciary Committee passed two unconstitutional bills that deny due process to gun owners. State Senator Martin Looney’s (D-11) Senate Bill 650 and Governor Malloy’s (D) House Bill 6848 passed out of committee and now head to the floor for a vote. Amendments were added to these bills with no opportunity for public review or input. Both bills passed out of committee on a party-line 22 to 18 vote. As of today, the bill-changing amendments have still not been made available to the public.
SB 650 would allow your gun rights to be stripped without due process of law. This bill would require a sworn police officer to serve all ex parte temporary restraining orders when the applicant indicates on the application that the respondent has access to a firearm or ammunition, or holds a valid state-issued firearm or ammunition permit or eligibility certificate. An ex parte temporary restraining order is one where only one side, the applicant, makes a claim and doesn’t have to appear in front of a judge before the order is issued. Upon the delivery of the order, law enforcement would then immediately confiscate all legally owned firearms, ammunition, carry permits and eligibility certificates BEFORE a person has had a hearing before a court to determine the merits of the complaint made against them.
Also amended, Governor Dan Malloy’s bill, HB 6848, similarly seeks to confiscate legally-acquired firearms and ammunition without due process of the law. This bill would give those served with a restraining or protective order 24 hours to transfer all firearms and ammunition to a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) or surrender them to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Protection. HB 6848 does not provide a way for your rights or possessions to be restored.
If it is determined that firearms were confiscated erroneously, or a court ultimately dismisses an order, the wait is often as long as two years or more for the return of firearms, ammunition, certificates and permits. There is also, unfortunately, no remedy provided for filing a false claim.
It is important that you contact your state Representative immediately, and politely but strongly urge him or her to vote “NO” on SB 650 and HB 6848 when they come to the floor for a vote. Please also begin contacting your state Senator in opposition to these bills. If you are unsure who represents you, click here. Please also submit testimony in opposition to these bills.