Last night, the Connecticut General Assembly adjourned sine die, marking an end to the 2016 Legislative Session. This session saw the introduction of a number of anti-gun bills, which your NRA-ILA and the freedom loving people of Connecticut fought very hard against.
House Bill 5408 was never brought up for consideration in the House after passing out of committee. As previously reported, HB 5408 would have allowed police officers to demand that Connecticut handgun permit holders present their permit if the officer had reason to believe they were carrying a handgun. It would have violated a citizen’s freedom from unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Current law already allows police officers to request proof of a permit, but only when they have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is being committed, supported by articulable facts that criminal activity is occurring.
Senate Bill 227 was also not brought up for consideration in the House after passing out of the Senate. SB 227 would have banned the possession, importation, sale, or transport of any legally acquired hunting trophies of African “Big Five” species. Anti-hunting extremists have long targeted legal African big game hunting, while claiming that they were combating illegal poaching. In reality, these hunts are carried out in a sustainable manner by law abiding hunters and are an integral part of conservation efforts based on sound science. In addition, revenue from these sportsmen fund conservation and anti-poaching efforts in many foreign countries
House Bill 5578 was also never brought up for consideration in the House after passing out of committee. HB 5578 would have prohibited the sale and trade of ivory and rhinoceros horn. Historically, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has always maintained the position that most ivory in the U.S. has been legally imported and that its sale in the U.S. did not materially contribute to the illegal ivory trade.
Unfortunately, House Bill 5054 was passed out of the Connecticut Legislature and sent to Governor Dannel Malloy’s desk for his expected signature. As previously reported, it will require the recipient of an ex parte temporary restraining order to surrender their firearms to police or a licensed dealer within 24 hours of being served with an order. This ex parte order, which strips the accused of their Second Amendment rights, would be issued by a judge based solely on a brief statement of an accuser and before the accused can appear in court to defend themselves against the allegations. Often these orders come with no allegations of criminal behavior. Fortunately, the bill was amended to provide for an expedited hearing for gun owners within seven days of the order, to require police to return all firearms within five days upon the expiration of the order, and to guarantee that any legal, pre-ban firearms be returned.
NRA-ILA would like to thank the numerous NRA members and Second Amendment supporters in Connecticut who testified in committees and maintained contact with their lawmakers during session. In addition, thank you to the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen for their hard work in their vigilant defense of constitutional rights in Connecticut. Special thanks to state Representatives Rob Sampson and Doug Dubitsky for their unyielding support of the Second Amendment rights of Connecticut gun owners.