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Pandemic Exposes Dangers of Severe Gun Controls in Connecticut and D.C.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Pandemic Exposes Dangers of Severe Gun Controls in Connecticut and D.C.

Gun owner licensing and registration, "universal" background checks, and restrictions on the sale of ammunition. Gun owners have been told again and again that these are sensible measures that empower the government to ensure that firearms don't end up in the wrong hands. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that when governments are incapable or unwilling to perform the gun control measures for which they have been tasked, law-abiding citizens end up being denied their Second Amendment rights in total.

More than a decade after the Second Amendment rights of District of Columbia residents were secured in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller, the federal enclave has once again foreclosed access to protected arms.  

On March 24, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor's Order 2020-053, which ordered all non-essential businesses to close. The order did not designate federal firearms licensees (FFLs) as essential.

D.C. does not typically have firearms dealers that keep an inventory of firearms for sale. Further, federal law prohibits interstate handgun sales. Therefore, in order for a District resident to acquire a handgun, they must purchase the handgun in another jurisdiction and have it sent to a D.C. FFL. The FFL will then process the transfer and complete the paperwork necessary to comply with the District's firearm registration regime (which also acts as a licensing and background check system). Private transfers of handguns must also take place through an FFL.

Without access to the services of D.C.-based FFLs, District residents are unable to acquire the very handguns that were at issue in the Heller case.

The problem facing Connecticut residents is different, but no less problematic. 

On March 20, Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order 7h. The order permitted firearms and ammunition retailers to stay open during the ongoing pandemic. On March 26, the governor issued Executive Order 7N , which limited firearms transactions to appointment only. 

Under Connecticut state law an individual seeking to acquire a firearm must obtain a permit to carry pistols and revolvers, an eligibility certificate to purchase a pistol or revolver, or an eligibility certificate to purchase long guns. Worse, such a permit or certificate is required to purchase ammunition in the state.

The permitting process in Connecticut is arduous and time-consuming. During normal times, the process for obtaining a permit to carry can take 8 weeks. For a pistol eligibility certificate, the issuing authority has 90 days to review an application. The average processing time for the permit and eligibility certificates has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and effectively cut off prospective gun buyers' access to firearms and ammunition during this time of uncertainty.

The permit to carry a pistol or revolver process is particularly byzantine. A person's permit must first be approved by their local law enforcement (the part that can take up to 8 weeks). If approved, the individual is granted a temporary pistol permit that is good for 60 days. Within that 60 days, the person must then take the temporary permit and other paperwork to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection​ Division of the State Police for review in order to obtain their state permit to carry a pistol or revolver.

Citing COVID-19, the state has suspended the DESPP's pistol permit service. The governor extended the period of time for which a temporary permit is valid to 150 days. However, a temporary pistol permit cannot be used to purchase a firearm.

Barriers to the peaceful exercise of a constitutional right are always bad policy. During a time of crisis in which governments cannot be counted upon to carry out their duties, such policies leave law-abiding citizens defenseless.​

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Monday, April 1, 2024

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With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

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Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

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Maine: Contact the Governor and Urge Her to Veto All Gun Control Bills!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Maine: Contact the Governor and Urge Her to Veto All Gun Control Bills!

After a nearly 24-hour marathon legislative session, the Maine House and Senate finally adjourned until "Veto Day" in the coming weeks. 

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Passes House and "Sensitive Places" Expansion to be Heard in Committee

Monday, April 15, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Passes House and "Sensitive Places" Expansion to be Heard in Committee

On Sunday, HB24-1292 the semi-auto ban, received final passage in the House and has been transmitted to the Senate where it awaits a committee assignment. 

Colorado: Three Anti-Gun Bills Advance - Contact Representatives Now!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Colorado: Three Anti-Gun Bills Advance - Contact Representatives Now!

Last night, the Colorado general Assembly continued its attempts to whittle down Second Amendment protections in Colorado. Two anti-gun bills, House Bill 24-1349 and House Bill 24-1353, passed the House Appropriations Committee and have advanced to the House floor, ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory in Dispute with DC Attorney General

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory in Dispute with DC Attorney General

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Joe Biden Seems to Hate Cannons as Much as He Hates the Truth

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Joe Biden Seems to Hate Cannons as Much as He Hates the Truth

For quite some time, we’ve talked about Joe Biden and his gift for gaffes. Whether it is him losing battles with his teleprompter, his train of thought spectacularly derailing, forgetting which politicians have passed away, or simply mumbling ...

Maine: Only One Vote Needed to Kill Waiting Periods

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Maine: Only One Vote Needed to Kill Waiting Periods

If you want to save your Second Amendment rights in Maine, you need you to act NOW. After lengthy debates, the House and Senate passed 72-hour waiting periods by only ONE VOTE in each chamber.

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Legislation Passed in Senate Committee

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Legislation Passed in Senate Committee

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Monday, April 15, 2024

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.