Connecticut Bump Stock Ban – Governor Expected to Sign
The CT Mirror reported that Connecticut passed a bump stock ban on Tuesday, sending the bill to Governor Daniel Malloy, who is expected to sign it. The bill had previously passed the CT House, and on Tuesday night the Senate passed it with a vote of 26-10. It was a “bipartisan” vote. There were, however some issues.
HB 5542 bans “the sale or transfer, possession, manufacturing or use of bump stocks or other accessories to increase the rate of fire of a firearm.”
The bill’s summary states:
“This bill generally makes it a class D felony for anyone, except a licensed firearms manufacturer fulfilling a military contract, to sell, offer to sell, otherwise transfer, or offer to transfer, purchase, possess, use, or manufacture a “rate of fire enhancement” (e.g., a bump stock). By law, a class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both.
However, the bill also provides a reduced penalty (a class D misdemeanor) for a first time offender who possesses a rate of fire enhancement before July 1, 2019 and holds a valid (1) permit to carry a pistol or revolver; (2) eligibility certificate for a pistol, revolver, or long gun; or (3) ammunition certificate. By law, a class D misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in prison, a fine up to $250, or both.
The bill makes an exception for (1) anyone who moves into the state in lawful possession of a rate of fire enhancement and (2) any military personnel stationed or otherwise residing in the state who is deployed from the state on October 1, 2018 or is under deployment from this state on that date and legally possessed a rate of fire enhancement on September 30, 2018. It requires any such person or military personnel to render the rate of fire enhancement in their possession permanently inoperable, remove it from this state, or surrender it to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for destruction, within 90 days of moving into the state or returning to the state from deployment. Under the bill, the penalties described above do not apply during the 90-day period, unless the person or military personnel uses, sells, offers to sell, otherwise transfers, or offers to transfer, except as permitted, such rate of fire enhancement during this grace period.”
One Republican legislator, Senator John Kissel, raised the issue of whether failure to compensate owners for the bump stocks was Constitutional, and offered an amendment that would have allowed them to just register the bump stocks but the amendment failed. He also questioned why another gun law was needed in Connecticut.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a state in the United States that has tougher gun laws right now than state of Connecticut. At some point, we just don’t need more gun laws in the state of Connecticut.” Sen. John Kissel
Massachusetts, California, Vermont, New Jersey, Washington and Florida already have bump stock bans in place.