Next Wednesday, March 15, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary is scheduled to consider House Bill 6200. HB 6200 would require a person openly carrying a firearm to display their permit immediately upon demand by law enforcement. Please contact the members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and urge them to oppose this bill! Also, you may submit your own opposition testimony to the committee by clicking “Public Hearing Testimony” on the committee’s page. Please click the “Take Action” button below to contact the committee members!
It is legal to openly carry a handgun in Connecticut so long as the person has a valid Permit to Carry. Connecticut State Police Training Bulletin 2013-01 states that “personnel should NOT arrest a properly permitted individual merely for publicly carrying a hand gun or firearm in plain view absent exigent circumstances.” Examples of these exigent circumstances are a “‘Breach of Peace’ situation or the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor/drugs.”
Under the Fourth Amendment, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio nearly half a century ago, police officers can stop and briefly detain a person to investigate only if they have a reasonable suspicion, supported by articulable facts that criminal activity is occurring. This is why Connecticut law should require that officers must have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is being committed before they can request proof of a permit.
This proposed bill is the equivalent of allowing the police to stop a motorist to demand their driver’s license solely because they are driving. Law-abiding people carry firearms for self-defense. They shouldn't be treated as being engaged in criminal activity simply because they are choosing to openly exercise their constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
The Joint Committee on Judiciary is also scheduled to consider House Bill 7259 next week. HB 7259 would require the Attorney General to enter into reciprocity agreements for concealed carry permits with other states that have substantially similar eligibility requirements. This will allow visitors from other states who are licensed and trained, just like their counterparts in Connecticut, to defend themselves when visiting Connecticut. In return, concealed carry permits from Connecticut will have wider recognition in many other states.
Again, please click the “Take Action” button above to contact the committee members in opposition to HB 6200! Stay tuned to your email inbox and www.nraila.org for further updates on these bills.