March 17, 2022 – At the start of Connecticut’s 2022 legislative session, Governor Ned Lamont introduced GB-16 “An Act Addressing Gun Violence and Juvenile Crime” for action by the Connecticut legislature.  Governor Lamont, an ardent gun control supporter, stated the bill is “aimed at eliminating gun violence in Connecticut through a series of targeted initiatives” and claimed these “commonsense” provisions will accomplish this objective. However, several items are already mandated by federal law, and the remainder have questionable value in terms of reducing gun violence.  GB-16 includes provisions:

(1) establishing a Gun Tracing Task Force to identify the sources of illegal firearms;
(2) prohibiting un-serialized firearms and requiring the registration of pre-2019 “ghost guns”;
(3) making it easier for law enforcement officers to request a firearm permit from a person openly carrying;
(4) prohibiting concealed carry in many locations, including polling places, public buildings, public transit, and demonstrations (such as marches, rallies, vigils, sit-ins, protests, etc.);
(5) adding to the definition of “assault rifles” firearms equipped with stabilizer braces and expanding the “assault weapons ban” to pre-1993 firearms;
(6) requiring all firearms, not just handguns, to be sold with a trigger lock; and
(7) creating a new state license for all firearm retailers, imposing new requirements on firearm retailers, and including specific grounds for revocation of their licenses.

Of particular interest to our industry clients in Connecticut, GB-16 allows the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection to suspend or revoke the new state license or registration to do business and issue fines of up to $25,000 per violation. Of course, if a dealer’s state license is revoked, then its FFL is also subject to revocation because it would no longer be in compliance with state law. The following grounds would constitute sufficient cause to suspend or revoke the new state license:

(1) furnishing false or fraudulent information in any application or failing to comply with representations made in any application;
(2) false, misleading, or deceptive representations to the public or the department;
(3) failure to maintain effective controls against theft of firearms, including, but not limited to, failure to install or maintain the required burglar alarm system;
(4) an adverse administrative decision or delinquency assessment from the Department of Revenue Services;
(5) failure to cooperate or give information to the department, local law enforcement authorities, or any other enforcement agency upon any matter arising out of conduct at the premises of the licensee;
(6) revocation or suspension of a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, or FFL;
(7) failure to acquire an authorization number for a firearm transfer;
(8) failure to verify that the recipient of a firearm is eligible to receive such firearm;
(9) transferring a firearm to a person ineligible to receive such firearm, unless the licensee relied in good faith on the information provided to it by the department in verifying the eligibility of such ineligible person; and
(10) evidence that the licensee is not a suitable person to hold a state license.

While this bill is only in its preliminary stages, there is a high likelihood that it will become law based on Connecticut’s recent history of passing gun control-related legislation. Further, we expect other states with similar political demographics to parrot this bill.

Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor firearm related legislation, news, and events in Connecticut and around the country.  If you have any questions concerning firearms related legislation, or how internal policies and procedures can keep your business in compliance, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.