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Malloy Proposes Confiscating Guns From Owners With DUI Convictions

by Hugh McQuaid | Feb 26, 2013 1:00pm
(20) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Town News, Newtown, Public Safety, State Capitol

Christine Stuart file photo

Detective Barbara Matteson of the Connecticut State Police offers lawmakers examples of firearms at a hearing in January.

Many of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s gun proposals allow gun owners to keep their current firearms, so long as they register them. However, one recommendation could have some current gun owners turning over their weapons.

The change would come as a result the governor’s efforts to make background checks more comprehensive and broaden the list of convictions that could make someone ineligible to possess a firearm.

Currently the state does not allow convicted felons to possess guns. It also prohibits people convicted of a handful of other misdemeanor crimes from owning firearms. Negligent homicide, low-level assault convictions, inciting riots, and possessing drugs can also prevent one from getting a gun permit.

Malloy would like to see that expanded to include people convicted of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs during the past five years. It would also include any offense involving a gun as well as any conviction involving the use or threat of force.

As Malloy has proposed them, these changes would be applied retroactively, meaning current gun owners who have been convicted of these crimes in the past would no longer be permitted to own guns.

Michael Lawlor, the governor’s criminal justice adviser, said the change would not be unprecedented. In the past the state has broadened the list of convictions making someone ineligible to own guns to include possession of drugs.

Lawlor said the crimes Malloy would now like to see added to the list demonstrate both irresponsible behavior and a willingness to break the law — neither are qualities the state wants to see in people possessing deadly firearms.

The proposal would not impact “law-abiding gun owners,” Lawlor said, referring a criticism often levied at gun control legislation by gun rights advocates.

Rep. Craig Miner, a Litchfield Republican who chairs the legislative task force on gun control, said he thought anyone involved in the debate will consider this proposal a step in the wrong direction.

Miner said he wasn’t surprised Lawlor was involved with the recommendation but said he was shocked that the governor is backing the legislation. Miner said Lawlor has his own ideas about the individual rights of residents and suggested he was “one of the most dangerous people” in the state.

“To have this singular act in which someone may have shown very bad judgment to be prohibited from owning a firearm? Fascinating,” he said.

However, Sen. Martin Looney, a New Haven Democrat who co-chairs the gun control task force with Miner, was supportive of the proposal. Looney echoed Lawlor’s concerns about the irresponsible behavior of people who drive under the influence.

“It’s troubling that that person may also have access to a firearm,” he said.

Although Looney didn’t oppose the retroactive nature of Malloy’s proposal, he said it would likely be controversial and may need to be prospective in order to pass the legislature.

State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said he couldn’t currently estimate how many gun owners would have their permits revoked if the law were to pass in its current form.

However, Vance said that if the law is enacted, figuring out which applicable residents had been convicted of the additional crimes would be possible by comparing their list of gun owners with conviction data from the Judicial Branch.

Currently, the list available to the state police to cross check with conviction records includes around 179,000 pistol permits, as well as around 11,000 assault weapons and machine guns that were in the state prior to the passage of legislation prohibiting their sale.

However, the governor also is recommending requiring a permit for owning certain rifles and shotguns. These would mostly be weapons with detachable magazines. Manually operated firearms like pump- or lever-action weapons would not require a permit.

Malloy also is calling for changes to the composition of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners as well as to the guidelines from which the board grants or denies gun permits. Lawlor said there currently are no set standards to guide the board’s decisions.

“Examiners lacks adequate procedures and expertise to sufficiently assess the risk an individual poses to themselves or others,” Malloy’s proposal said.

According to state statute, the seven board members of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners are appointed by the governor. Five of the seven are nominated by the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Connecticut State Rifle and Revolver Association Inc., and a group called Ye Connecticut Gun Guild Inc. The other two seats are members of the public and at least one member of the board “shall be a lawyer licensed to practice in Connecticut, who shall act as Chairman of the Board during the hearing of appeals.”

Similar to Malloy, Looney and other lawmakers have suggested adding a mental health professional or changing the basic makeup of the board.

The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association also has asked for more certainty regarding the definition of what makes an individual suitable to own a gun. The definition of the word “suitability” as it appears in the state statute is vague, according to the police chiefs.

Click here to read more about the current permitting process for handgun and pistol owners.

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(20) Comments

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | February 26, 2013  1:52pm

GoatBoyPHD

This will go to court eventually. It’s an attempt to expand the legislative ability to restrict handguns through nearly any legality possible without any attempt at proving risk or harm. It also creates ex posto facto penalties for past-DWI offenders.

Given Malloy’s recent diatribe about the slow speed of the legislature on the gun control issue Dan’s now gone into the weeds and entanglements and thistles and thorns that will slow down legislation and require lenghty floor debate and discussion.

What was Dan Malloy thinking? Did MADD offer a sizeable contribution for his 2014 campaign?  Did the police say “gve us mroe tools”, If someone has an unpaid parking ticket let’s restrict them ex posto facto and declare them criminals!

C’mon Dan. Put together the consensus legislation and get it passed and then put all the nutter stuff that you thought up over coffee into a second piece of legislation. Label it “for nutters only”. Have Beth Bye bring it to teh floor with her 500% ammo tax that encourages border hopping for ammo and even larger purchases to avoid CT taxes.

On no. CT will have its own ammo? With the Governor’s Seal on it! Stamped and registered to the buyer!

posted by: Noteworthy | February 26, 2013  2:36pm

This is now the prima facia case that proves the point of the slippery slope of gun control and government doing what government does - take away rights and personal responsibility. Of course this will go to court but more importantly, it shows the level of contempt Malloy has for those he governs and to what length he will go to make government hurt the common person. People make mistakes and to have them pay multiple levels of penalties is unnecessary, excessive and insulting. That Lawlor is supporting such tomfoolery is not surprising - this is the guy who wants to keep the gun jobs here, but wants to have it cost twice as much to buy a gun and make it exceedingly difficult and cumbersome to own it.
This is now the tipping point that should doom all of the proposed new gun laws. All of the proposed legislation has nothing to do with Sandy Hook and this is the latest example to show it. Did Adam Lanza drive drunk? With a gun? No.

posted by: NoNonsense2013 | February 26, 2013  2:37pm

Representative Miner: “To have this singular act in which someone may have shown very bad judgment to be prohibited from owning a firearm? Fascinating,” he said.

Rep. Miner has it all wrong. It’s not “a singular act”. Most people caught for DUI the first time get the Alcohol Education Program or some other diversionary program or some other nonconviction outcome. People convicted of DUI are those who have been caught multiple times. Nothing “singular” about it.

posted by: ASTANVET | February 26, 2013  3:17pm

More evidence that the relentless attack on firearms ownership will stop at nothing.  Again, this has nothing to do with violence, it has nothing to do with violent crime, it has everything to do with using whatever tools are at their disposal to confiscate guns.  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.  Revolutions have been fought over less, less taxes, less intrusion, less assertions from government.  If the government will not trust the citizen with the basic responsibiltiy of gun ownership, where then are the responsible people to come from to form a government… probably a different class of people… not shleps like you and me.

posted by: justsayin | February 26, 2013  3:21pm

This is not good, not good at all. More government over reach to accomplish nothing! Dannel get back to the economy you have overplayed your gun control hand.

posted by: Joebigjoe | February 26, 2013  4:18pm

If it’s multiple times they not only shouldnt have a gun but they should be in jail for twenty years. After all if we can save just one family….

posted by: jim1 | February 26, 2013  4:24pm

Lets add to the list.  If you are gay, dead beat dad, own a pitbull, eat at BK more than 3 times a week. How many state reps. have DUI??

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | February 26, 2013  4:49pm

GoatBoyPHD

Easily my favorite line from JoeBigJoe. “If we can save just one family”.

Let’s eliminate all risk in society like driving cars and eating meat or poultry or candy and let’s confiscate all guns and knives and sharp instruments and let’s stop giving birth.

Statisically moee lives are lost to drivers without a prior DUI who are under 25. Let’s restrict all licenses to age 25 and under.

Highest risk autodrivers nationally: male, 16-25 or over 75 and living in Newark NJ.

Then there are those clamoring to install interlock devices on all vehicles just like safety belts. No intoxicated drivers. Period. (This I support as the technology gets better).

posted by: redman | February 26, 2013  4:51pm

Wouldn’t make more sense to take away their car? More people are killed by cars than guns.
Malloy is just demonstrating how stupid he is.

posted by: Linda12 | February 26, 2013  9:29pm

That may take care of his own family members and a few elected officials not to mention those he relies on for advice.

posted by: Fisherman | February 26, 2013  9:42pm

Last session, it was State Representitive Bruce “Zeke” Zalaski

posted by: Fisherman | February 26, 2013  9:48pm

...if Adam Lanza STOLE his mother’s CAR and drove it through the playground at lunchtime, would we ban AUTOMOBILES? Would we require that anyone with a DWI could no longer own or operate an automobile?

No, we don’t do that… we don’t stop drivers with DWI’s from driving Automobiles even after the 2nd and 3rd DWI…

I don’t get it… do you?

posted by: dano860 | February 26, 2013  9:59pm

Frustrating? That’s putting it mildly Mr. Miner.
It is apparent that they don’t care about preventing another Newtown, they just want to create hysteria and make villains out of people that choose to own a firearm.
If being drunk is irresponsible, according to Looney, they should take a look at getting rid of certain state representatives.
It seems as if the meeting between Obama & Malloy resulted in a dressing down of Dannel. I’ll bet that he was told to get something done…if it can’t be done in Connecticut then there is no chance of anything getting done without executive order. Dannel is on the hot seat
None of the ideas presented so far will prevent or would have prevented the carnage in Newtown.
Slow down and think it through, there are things that can be done but making felons out of a people that have made a poor decision is not the one to entertain any further.

posted by: Hebee | February 26, 2013  10:15pm

Dan has Attention Deficit Disorder. If he is not the center of attention, he creates constant disorder. I am sure his lackeys in the Democratic majority will bend to his will as usual.

posted by: dano860 | February 27, 2013  9:37am

When I say “slow down” I would like to think that serious thought will be put into crafting legislation or laws. Something that will serve the majority and prevent future acts, similar to Newtown, without infringing on people’s rights and freedoms.
If a conviction of DUI will remove firearms from people’s homes and preclude them from owning them in the future I envision the people in the cities being easy targets.
There is a temptation for Officers to sit outside of restaurants and bars looking for excuses to pull over a car too, light out, loud muffler any reason, then perform DUI tests.
In the long run this will hurt business in the already struggling restaurants and bars.
Attaching a Constitutional Right to the privilege of driving is unconstitutional.
Please slow down, think it through. Any law is going to affect many people.
Ask this question…if I live in a house with my son and he is convicted of DUI will I have my firearms removed also?
Are we talking about carry permits only?
Who will pay for all the enforcement of such a law? Oh ya, us…the law biding taxpayer.
Will it eliminate gang shootings? Or gangs and their drug dealing?
Will it really save a life?
Think about the potential situations that will present themselves.
Connecticut is a very eclectic and varied State. Very urban highly dependent to extremely country and self sufficient.
Public hearings will be held but the people that could be affected the most will not show up to testify. Why? They don’t realize, yet, that they will be the most affected!
Please think this through.

posted by: Joebigjoe | February 27, 2013  11:36am

Bottom line is that the government (both parties) dont really want to solve this issue. Yes I said both parties.

There are 20000 gun laws on the books and the number of people that are prosecuted nationally for illegally trying to get guns is so low that why bother.

The Republicans should be screaming about this, also they need to look in the mirror because it was better during Bush but not by much, and allocate money directly for prosecution of these people and long prison terms and leave law abiding people alone. I think thats a winning argument and since the Republicans stand up for the 2nd amendment, but then allow situations which create attacks on the 2nd amendment, they’re to blame as well. Damn it become the party of enforcing existing laws and then you can really shove it down the throats of the liberals when the ACLU comes to the defense of these criminals.

posted by: jim1 | February 27, 2013  11:59am

I hate to be the first person to bring this up. But it does show that the laws that are on the books don’t work.
Preston, Ct.  Family members said she had Bipolar disorder & a history of mental health problems.  and 2 prior trafic stops.  Who owned the gun and did not keep it from this lady? That person should go to jail.  Any of the new laws that they want to pass would not helped those 2 small hearts. Just a real bad thing to happen.

posted by: Joebigjoe | February 27, 2013  4:52pm

This is very personal but a long time ago…in a galaxy far far away.

My mother suffered from severe mental illness and 40 years ago when we were young kids, threatened to kill us. I dont mean like an angry parent yelling “i’m going to kill you” , but as a parent who was sick and didn’t want to lose custody. She was within minutes of doing it. She got three weeks at the Institute for Living. Whoopdee Doo!!

That’s why I keep saying that the issue is mental illness and not guns. The issue is lack of enforcement of existing laws and not creating new ones that either wont work or are flawed to protect sick people and criminals. The issue is not magazine size but mental illness.

I wonder at what point in history we made the decision that mentally ill people would have more rights than people that dont suffer from severe mental illness. In a way I think we all have our idiocincracies, but I think we all know who is nuts, and capable of hurting others. I dont think we ever really know who is capable of hurting themselves though. Some people are strong and work through it and others just cant take it. Oh yeah, my younger brother killed himself so I have some experience with that too.

posted by: ASTANVET | March 1, 2013  11:49am

Joe - holy cow, that is a powerful story.  I would say that society has changed in the last 30 years or so - not for the better.  We are more letigious, and there are more psychotropic drugs than ever.  Parenting through the medicine cabinet has become common place.  It has effected selection to the military because so many people have taken aderol, riddlin, (forgive my spelling), or some anti-depressent.  The problem with the focus on “mental health” is that it will take a person to determine who is worthy, and who is not. Someone who is institutionalized, or on an outpatient basis under constant treatment should probably have their doctor determine what they can/can’t do, but I worry about a State administrator stripping someones rights when they have committed no crime, no felony, no misdemeanor, only sought help for depression or anxiety based on a set of circumstances.  Adam Lanza, up until the point when he killed his mother had committed no crime.  Some are advocating that we go through some kind of which hunt to keep people they “don’t see fit” from posessing firearms… By all accounts the sale of firearms through our laws worked because he was denied a firearm at the point of purchase… it’s complicated… but I don’t want to take someones rights unless there is a clear and immediate risk of injury.  At what point do we restore these peoples rights? What responsibility do we have once we do take their rights… I know that is a convoluted and complicated question, but shouldn’t we answer those questions before we act emotionally and without reason?  What if those people who we are calling ‘unfit’ say no and keep their guns… what then?  I think people are taking way too much for granted. 

Glad you made it through that situation -

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 1, 2013  12:45pm

Thanks ASTANVET. The only way to get out this successfully was when I was old enough to be self sufficent I just broke off all ties. The craziness continues to this day I am told, but I have no contact with her. My brother stayed close to her and ended up out of control and like I said killed himself.

People used to say “you have to talk to her it’s your mother.” Baloney, and I would and have advised anyone that it doesnt matter who the person is. If they are hurting your mental health you are under NO obligation to have contact with them, unless they are working hard to help themselves, and even then you are still not obligated.

People can go crazy trying to help crazy people.