HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut House passed an expansive legislative proposal on Thursday with provisions to help prevent gun violence in the state, according to officials.
Gov. Ned Lamont introduced House Bill 6667, An Act Addressing Gun Violence earlier this year. The Connecticut House approved the bill with a bipartisan vote of 96-41. Now the bill will move to the Connecticut Senate, where it will need to be approved before the governor can sign it into law.
The legislation would aim to prevent gun violence, mass shootings, firearm accidents and suicides, according to a release from Gov. Ned Lamont.
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“We need to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and prevent those who intend on doing harm from accessing these deadly weapons,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “The provisions included in this legislation are supported by the overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents – including many gun owners – because they want to live in a community that has commonsense measures that encourage gun safety and prevent harm from impacting our neighborhoods and homes.”
The following provisions are included in the legislative proposal:
- Open carry: The bill would ban open carry of firearms in public, but individuals with a gun permit could continue to conceal carry, except in restricted locations.
- High-risk repeat offenders: Bail, probation and parole responses would be increased for those with repeated firearm offenses.
- Ghost guns: The bill will update the 2019 ghost gun proposal to include the ban of ghost guns assembled before the bill’s enactment. All ghost guns must be registered with the state by Jan. 1, 2024.
- Bulk Purchasing: The legislation will prevent bulk purchasing of handguns from discouraging straw purchases by barring the sale, delivery or transfer of more than three handguns within a 30-day period, or six hand guns from a firearm instructor. Law enforcement agencies, returns and exchanges, and transfers to a museum would be excluded from the bill.
- Safe storage: Legislation would expand current safe storage laws to apply to all situations, not just those involving minors or prohibited people who could potentially gain access to a firearm.
- Gun dealer accountability: The bill would increase accountability by permitting the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to issue a notice of violation barring sale for any dealer who violates their responsibilities.
- Assault weapons ban: The proposed legislation would ban the loopholes in Connecticut’s current laws on assault weapons by adding firearms with banned features and guns left out of the 1994 “pre-ban.” New registration will open for 2023 assault weapons, officials said. The weapons could be registered until May 1, 2024, if the guns were purchased before the passage. If the firearms were already registered, the gun owners can continue possessing them but any further transfers would most likely be barred.
- Large capacity magazine ban: The proposal will ensure enforceability for Connecticut’s ban on large-capacity magazines by making possession a class D felony, for prohibited people and a class A misdemeanor for non-prohibited individuals.
- Underage gun purchases: If passed, the bill will expand Connecticut’s existing prohibition on the retail sale of semi-automatic firearms rifles with a capacity greater than five rounds to anyone under 21 including private sales.
- Pistol permit training: The bill will update the training requirements needed for pistol permits as well as the eligibility certificates to require instruction on the lawful use of firearms, storage safety and state firearm laws.
- Trigger locks: The law would require all firearms to be sold with trigger locks.
- Domestic violence: The bill would make the commission of a family violence crime or federal domestic violence misdemeanor an automatic disqualifier for a pistol permit. It will include the commission of the crime after Oct. 1, 2023, as a qualifier for criminal possession of a firearm.
- Transport: The bill would make it so all long guns including ones categorized as “other” must be unloaded while they are carried in a vehicle.
- Body Armor: Legislation would require anyone purchasing body armor to possess a pistol permit or eligibility certificate. Specific law enforcement, state, judicial and military officials would be exempt.
- Permitting of timelines: The bill would create a timeline for local law enforcement agencies can act during the first part of the pistol permit process.