Rebimbas discusses Republican gun law proposals

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Rosa Rebimbas
Rosa Rebimbas

HARTFORD — State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) joined Republican members of the bipartisan legislative Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety in releasing proposals for new gun laws.

The task force was created in January to help channel the flow of ideas and initiatives prompted by the Newtown shootings in December. The task force has three separate working groups to focus on the issues of gun violence prevention, school security evaluations, and mental health screening and services. Rebimbas serves on the gun control working group

Recently, Republicans and Democrats on the task force proposed separate sets of proposals for new gun laws. Gov. Dannel Malloy has also announced his own proposals.

“I’m disappointed the gun control working group was unable to come together on unified proposals,” Rebimbas said in a statement. “We were charged with creating a list of consensus proposals to bring to the full task force for inclusion in the final legislation. Unfortunately, a few Democrats felt the need to publish their own far-reaching list. I also find it alarming that as these proposals move forward we still don’t have clearly defined answers about how the final E-cert bill will be crafted, or whether there will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposals.”

The Republican proposals close loopholes, restrict ownership of certain weapons, toughen criminal penalties for gun offenders, call for universal background checks on all gun purchases and impose prohibitions on ammunition purchases and internet gun sales, according to a release issued by Rebimbas’ office.

“The recommendations Republicans proposed (Tuesday) achieve a delicate balance between the second amendment rights guaranteed all Americans and the concerns we have to maintain the safety of Connecticut residents,” Rebimbas said in a statement.  “By enacting stronger criminal penalties for gun offenders, expanding requirements for safe storage and expanding current background check laws Connecticut will further strengthen already stringent laws surrounding the ownership of firearms.”

Rebimbas added that mental health awareness and closing loopholes in existing legislation were important parts of the discussions and are reflected in the proposals put forth.

“By expanding mental health look backs for involuntary in-patient treatment from one to five years, voluntary commitments of at least 30 days and emergency admissions of 15 days and restricting internet sales to only legally eligible buyers, Connecticut will set a standard for safe and responsible gun ownership,” she said in a statement.

The details of the Republican proposals are as follows:

Universal Background Checks

Require completion of a national criminal background check in order to purchase of a firearm in Connecticut.

Eligibility Certificate, Including Finger Prints and Completion of a Firearms Safety Course to Purchase Any Long Gun

Require possession of an eligibility certificate or pistol permit in order to purchase a long gun from any retail or private seller.  Such eligibility certificate shall include a photograph of the holder of the certificate, and shall indicate that the holder has passed a national criminal background check, been fingerprinted and successfully completed a firearms safety course.

Increase Purchase Age to 21 For Certain Long Guns

Amend section 29-36f of the general statutes to require persons be 21 or older in order to purchase a center fire rifle that accepts a magazine with a capacity exceeding ten rounds.  This provision shall not apply to persons serving in the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States, and parallels the age restrictions on handgun purchases.

Increased Requirements to Purchase Ammunition and Magazines

Require possession of an eligibility certificate, pistol permit, or Connecticut hunting license in order to purchase ammunition or detachable ammunition magazines of any size. Prohibit persons ineligible to possess a firearm from purchasing ammunition or detachable ammunition magazines.

Safeguards Extended to Internet Sales

Require for the purchase long guns or ammunition over the internet, a buyer shall provide evidence to the seller, that he is eligible to purchase long guns or ammunition.

Reconstitute Firearms Examiners Board

Amend section 29-32b of the general statutes to add one member who shall be a mental health professional to the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners to replace one public member of the Board.

Stricter Mental Health Look-backs

Increase the look-back on pistol permits and eligibility certificates for involuntary psychiatric in-patient treatment of at least 30 days from 1 to 5 years, add voluntary commitments of at least 30 days, and emergency certification admissions of at least 15 days.

Expand Safe Storage

Amend section 29-37i of the general statutes to prohibit persons from storing or keeping any firearm on any premises under his control if he knows or should reasonably know that a person who is mentally defective, is the subject of a restraining order, is the subject of a gun forfeiture order, is a convicted felon or anyone else prohibited from owning a gun,  and is likely to gain access to the firearm unless 1) the firearm is kept securely in a locked box or other secure container or 2) the firearm is carried on the person to whom the firearm belongs or within close proximity thereto that it can be readily retrieved by such person.

Prohibition of Applications for Permits to Carry a Pistol From Any Jurisdiction Other than the Applicant’s Residence

Amend section 29-28(b) of the general statutes to require that applications for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver be made in the jurisdiction that is the bona fide residence of the applicant.

No Early Release For Gun Crimes

Amend section 18-98e of the general statutes to prohibit persons who have been convicted of violent crimes that were committed with a firearm from participating in the earned risk reduction credit program.

Statewide Deadly Weapon Offender Registry

Amend the general statutes to establish a registry through the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that shall contain the names of persons who have been convicted of any felonies committed with a deadly weapon or who have been convicted of felony crimes that violate Connecticut’s firearm laws.  Names shall remain on the list for five years following a conviction. Only law enforcement officials shall have access to such list, and the list shall not be available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act

Require Permits for Gun Shows

Amend the general statutes to require gun show promoters to obtain a permit from the local police chief or chief elected official prior to holding a gun show within a municipality.

Ban the Sale of Armor Piercing and Incendiary Bullets

Amend the general statutes to ban all bullets that are specifically designed to be armor piercing or incendiary, regardless of caliber.

Reconstitute the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force

Reconstitute the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force and initially provide $1 million in funding.

Increase Penalties for Firearms Trafficking and Straw Purchasing

Amend the general statutes to:

Increase the penalty to knowingly sell or otherwise transfer a pistol or revolver to someone that the transferor knows or has reason to believe is prohibited from owning a firearm under state or federal law to a Class B felony for all violations and to include trafficking of rifles and shotguns to prohibited persons by eliminating their current exemption  and require a three year mandatory minimum and a $10,000 fine for all violations

Increase the penalty for stealing a firearm to a D felony and require a two year mandatory minimum and $5,000 fine for all violations

Increase the penalty on both the transferor and transferee for the illegal sale or transfer of a pistol or revolver to a Class D felony

Increase the penalty for selling, delivering or otherwise transferring a pistol or revolver to a person the transformer knows or has reason to know is prohibited from owning a firearm to a Class B felony and require a three year mandatory minimum and $10,000 fine for all violations

Increase the penalty for knowingly making a false statement or providing false information regarding a pistol or revolver application to a Class C felony and require a minimum fine of $3,000 for any violation

Increase the penalty for altering a firearm identification mark, number or name to a Class C felony and require a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 for any violation

Increase the penalty for failure to surrender a permit or eligibility certificate to a Class C misdemeanor and establish a Class D felony for an individual to  attempt to purchase a firearm with a pistol permit or eligibility certificate that has he knows or should have known has been revoked.

Increase the penalty for the criminal possession of a firearm or electronic defense weapon to a Class C felony and require a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000.

Increase the penalty for criminal possession of a pistol or revolver to a Class C felony and require a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000.

Increase the penalty for purchasing a firearm with the intent to transfer it to someone who the transferor knows or has reason to believe is prohibited from possessing it to a Class C felony and require a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000

Increase the penalty for the solicitation, employment or assistance in the purchase of a firearm by a person ineligible to purchase or possess a firearm to a Class D felony, and to a Class C felony with a $5,000 mandatory minimum fine if the firearm is actually transferred, and to a Class B felony if the person in violation has been convicted of a felony within the prior five years.