New Gun Law Frustration – Boucher asks for extension

December 30, 2013

Frustration over New Gun Laws
Calls for 60-90 day extension for gun owners to comply with new law
Sen. Boucher: “Urged DESPP to properly inform the public, now at the eleventh hour people still have no answers.”

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) is concerned the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is unable to assure citizens their gun applications have been received. The result according to the Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy could be fines and even jail time.

I wrote to the Commissioner of DESPP back in August urging the agency to properly inform the public. Now we are at the eleventh hour and still people have no answers as to whether their applications have been received before the deadline,” said Sen. Boucher.

Sen. Boucher has been receiving many calls regarding long waits and delays from constituents. Boucher recently received an email from a constituent in Bethel who said he had submitted his firearms application weeks ago and still had not received any confirmation that State Police were in possession of his paperwork.

When Boucher’s legislative office contacted the agency, they received this response:

We are currently receiving thousands of applications daily. It is not feasible to hand search for an individual application to ensure receipt. Once processed, a form letter will be sent for a Large Capacity Magazine Declaration and/or a Certificate will be sent for an Assault Weapon.

As long as the individual sent the applications in prior to 1 January 2014, he is in compliance with the law.

Sen. Boucher says while this explanation is understandable it is also clear that if an application, for whatever reason, is incomplete the agency will return it to the sender and the deadline to register will have passed, leaving the applicant unjustly in violation of the law.

Senator Boucher is also alarmed by comments made to reporters by Mike Lawlor, the Under Secretary of the Office of Criminal Justice. During a WCBS 880 radio interview today Lawlor stated, ‘those not registering in time would be subject to stiff penalty and even jail time.’

“These law abiding citizens are trying to comply with the law, however the statute does not speak to any remedy for oversights. What if a notary did not sign the application, but stamped it? Will the application meet the standards,” asked Sen. Boucher? “If the public is to continue to enjoy its right to gun ownership in a manner consistent with state law, DESPP should be doing everything within its ability to ensure that citizens are given ample opportunity to comply with the law.”

In her August letter, Boucher had recommended DESPP do the following to help constituents with the application process: mail an explanation of the new laws to current pistol permit holders, and place a reminder notice in local newspapers.

In light of recent developments, Senator Boucher is suggesting that DESPP now provide grace periods of at least 60- 90 days due to the long waits and difficulty experienced in complying with the law.

The deadline to submit applications for Large Capacity Magazine Declaration and/or a Certificate for an Assault Weapon is January 1, 2014.