May 27, 2021
Shortly after the COVD-19 pandemic took hold in the spring of 2020, State Governors began to impose sweeping Executive Orders with the stated purpose of combating infections and “flattening the curve.” On March 17, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order 7E which suspended Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-17c, a law that requires state and local law enforcement to collect fingerprints from applicants as part of the application process for firearm permits. The Order effectively halted acceptance of applications for new firearm permits as law enforcement agencies refused to accept new applications from residents who did not already have a firearm permit.
On May 9, 2020, a Second Amendment rights group filed an action in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut seeking to overturn Executive Order 7E. On June 8, 2020 Judge Alker Meyer issued a 26-page Order granting a preliminary injunction and directing Governor Lamont to remove the fingerprint suspension provision from Executive Order 7E. Specifically, the fingerprint collection requirement under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-17c was restored for applicants seeking a new firearm permit. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection was also directed to resume fingerprint collection services at its facilities for purposes of complying with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-17c.
On May 21, 2021 the Connecticut Attorney General argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit demanding that Executive Order 7E be reinstated, notwithstanding the recent decrease in infections and relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions. The Assistant Attorney General argued that the preliminary injunction “bound and handcuffed” Governor Lamont and Connecticut’s top public safety official as they attempted to combat the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the fall of 2020. However, it is not clear why the emergency order is necessary at this point when all indications and experts have projected that the pandemic is coming to an end. This appears to be just another example of state government attempting to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of its citizens.
Renzulli Law Firm will continue to monitor these developments. If you have any questions concerning Connecticut’s Executive Order 7E, or any other firearms industry related issues, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.