A ROAD TRIP WITH A HANDGUN: The Case For Universal State Concealed Handgun Carry Reciprocity
CONNECTICUT PISTOL PERMIT PROCEDURES FOR NON-RESIDENTS ARE DIFFERENT THAN FOR THOSE WHO RESIDE IN THE STATE: NON-RESIDENTS MUST SECURE A VALID CCW FROM ANOTHER JURISDICTION BEFORE AN APPLICATION FOR A CONNECTICUT PISTOL PERMIT WILL BE CONSIDERED
THE ADVENTURES OF ONE LAW-ABIDING AMERICAN CITIZEN AS HE TRAVERSES THE MINEFIELD OF FIREARMS’ LAWS, ATTEMPTING TO SECURE FOR HIMSELF MULTIPLE CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSES FROM A MULTITUDE OF JURISDICTIONS THAT HE MAY EXERCISE HIS FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELF-DEFENSE
A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING A CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSE IN VARIOUS STATES, FOR THE LAYMAN
PART FOUR: THE CONNECTICUT FIREARM APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR ACQUIRING AN UNRESTRICTED CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSE
THE CIRCUITOUS, TORTUOUS ROUTE TO OBTAINING MULTIPLE UNRESTRICTED CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSES, AS EXPERIENCED BY OUR INTREPID CITIZEN, MR. WRIGHT.
RECAP AND ASIDE
As we continue to work through a detailed examination of the licensing schemes of a few States, we do so following in the footsteps of Mr. Wright, an American citizen, a successful business owner, and fervent supporter of our “Bill of Rights”— all ten of them, including then, our sacred Second Amendment. Mr. Wright, travels regularly on business throughout the United States. The nature of Mr. Wright’s business requires him to carry valuables, consisting of products associated with his business and, as well, valuable negotiable instruments, and substantial amounts of cash. As he travels throughout the U.S. on business, Mr. Wright is an obvious target of assault. And, since Mr. Wright carries products and negotiable instruments of significant and substantial value, he is, as well, a tempting target.
Mr. Wright had first sought to obtain an unrestricted concealed handgun carry license for Nassau County. The licensing of firearms is handled exclusively by the Nassau County Police Department. Mr. Wright is a resident of Nassau County, Long Island, New York. We discussed, in previous articles in the ROAD TRIP series, the onerous steps involved in attempting to secure handgun carry licenses in New York. In fact, various jurisdictions, County and City, within the State of New York, such as New York City, have instituted their own requirements for obtaining a concealed handgun carry license. That means, for example, the NYPD, that has exclusive authority for issuing all firearms’ licenses for the City, won’t recognize a handgun carry license validly issued from any New York jurisdiction other than its own. A New York resident who seeks, then, to exercise his or her fundamental right under the Second Amendment to carry a handgun concealed for self-defense anywhere in the State, but who doesn’t reside or work in any one of the five Boroughs of New York City, must obtain an additional CCW issued by the Licensing Division of the NYPD if he or she wishes to carry a concealed handgun, lawfully, in any one or more of those five Boroughs that comprise the City.
Our intrepid citizen, Mr. Wright, holds valid handgun licenses issued by the appropriate licensing official of Maine, of Nassau County, Long Island, New York, of New York City, and licensing officials of other jurisdictions.
State laws governing firearms ownership and possession are constantly changing. For the ROAD TRIP series, we will present you with the latest firearms’ licensing procedures as of the date of posting of the respective article.
Each State, and the District of Columbia, has its own set of firearms’ laws including its own laws pertaining to the licensing of firearms to citizens. Those laws are often changing and they are often complicated, sometimes exceedingly so. That is the case, especially, in those jurisdictions that don’t desire American civilians to own and possess firearms—and there are more than a few of those.
Since State firearms’ laws do change—sometimes quickly and often drastically, subject to the whims of Legislatures operating on the latest “gun news” story of the day—the Arbalest Quarrel will keep abreast of the changes of the law in the jurisdictions—local, State, and federal—that we discuss. As we go through the steps Mr. Wright went through to secure his handgun licenses, we will take some liberty. We will discuss the firearms’ laws and procedures as those procedures exist today, which may be different in small or large part from the time Mr. Wright applied for and received his handgun permits and licenses. We will also discuss, as they pertain to the often frustrating circumstances surrounding Mr. Wright’s experiences, what one might expect as he or she attempts to secure a concealed handgun carry license for one’s self. The actual tortuous hurdles are not exemplified in the droll and dry application papers themselves. Real world circumstances illustrate plainly and painfully, just what a person must go through simply to exercise his or her fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
As we have pointed out both here and in previous articles, Mr. Wright applied for and received his concealed handgun carry licenses many years ago, albeit he periodically must renew those licenses to keep them in force, and he does so. You might think that renewals of one’s licenses would be a relatively simple and straightforward process, compared to the lengthy process of securing a concealed handgun carry license for the first time. But, that is not always the case. Moreover, even where renewing a license is a relatively simple and painless process, it still involves the laying out of additional sums of money, and each jurisdiction has its own timetable for renewing a license. The timing of renewals is not consistent from one jurisdiction to the next and, if a handgun licensee should miss the renewal period, there is no grace period, and licensing officials do not excuse a mistake in missing a deadline. That means an individual must go through the entire process to secure a concealed handgun carry license again, as if for the first time. That means: do not miss a deadline for renewing your handgun license!
We will provide you with accurate gun licensing information as of the date of the posting of the article as if Mr. Wright were applying for a concealed handgun carry license at this moment in time, noting differences in past and present laws to the extent we believe those differences critical in understanding the reason jurisdictions have made the changes in firearms’ laws that they do and to point to ambiguities and vagueness in gun laws as we see them.
The steps involved in securing a concealed handgun carry license are time-consuming and expensive. Don’t think they aren’t. In some jurisdictions, the application procedure is extremely extensive and tedious, sometimes confoundingly complex or confusing, and any two processes are invariably duplicative. Jurisdictions will require the applicant to present fingerprint cards, signed and completed. Many questions as to one’s physical and mental health, and criminal record, if any, will be duplicative, if somewhat nuanced from one jurisdiction to the next. Photographs and proof of citizenship will likely be standard from one jurisdiction to the next.
The ROAD TRIP series should demonstrate to you, if nothing else, the need for simple, straightforward, streamlining of the application process—keeping in mind that, after all, the law-abiding American citizen who seeks to obtain a handgun carry license for self-defense is undertaking a task that should not be inconsistent with the customs and values of our Nation. Yet, the procedures in place today, in many jurisdictions, are reminiscent of or suggestive of values and customs and traditions of other nations or groups of nations, such as those that comprise the EU. Understand: no other Country on Earth recognizes the singular right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms as accruing in and existent in the individual. Yes, the cantons of Switzerland permit, perhaps—at one time—may even have required citizens to own firearms, including machine guns. That may no longer be the case as Switzerland, being pressured by the “elites” who had created the EU, have a strong distaste toward the average citizen owning firearms. Switzerland has acquiesced somewhat to the dictates of the EU even though it isn’t formally part of the EU.
Israeli citizens, too, may apply for and readily obtain a permit to own and possess firearms, including machine guns. But the right of the Swiss citizen or the Israeli citizen to own and possess any firearm doesn’t accrue to the individual—that is to say, the right is not intrinsic to the individual, as a natural right, preeminent in and preexistent in the individual. It is a privilege bestowed on the citizen by the government—bestowed easily and routinely, but a privilege nonetheless.
The United States is the only Nation on the face of the Earth that recognizes, in the Country’s Second Amendment, that the right of self-defense is basic, natural, primordial and that the right accrues to the individual. It is not something that is bestowed upon a person by government. That right is not to be denigrated or denied. No better means for defending one’s life and well-being against physical threat exists than that of a firearm in the hands of one properly trained in its use. Yet, why is it that the average law-abiding American citizen must jump through hoops simply to exercise that right?
The right of self-defense is, after all, embedded in the Second Amendment. The federal Government does not bestow that right upon American citizens. It cannot bestow that right because the right preexists in each American citizen. Antigun groups either don’t realize this basic incontrovertible fact or otherwise choose to ignore it. They claim the right to keep and bear arms exists merely as a collective right in the context of militias, suggesting that the right has no meaning except in the context of the collective need of the State to protect itself against threats from outside the State—outside the Nation.
We see this idea echoed constantly in innuendos, in suggestions, as exemplified in policies, that rights and liberties are tied not to Americans as individuals, but to American citizens as nameless components of society; to Americans as they exist as part of a huge collective; as part of a hive, as so many nameless cogs in a wheel. That, of course, is a false notion, one the founders had not and would not ever ascribe to. But, it is a myth presented to the public, as perpetrated by and engrained in the public through the mainstream media, at the behest of those ruthless forces that seek an end to the Republic and an end to this Country as an independent, sovereign Nation.
A WORD OF ADVICE FOR THOSE AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO WISH TO SECURE ONE OR MORE CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSES
The first step an American citizen should take when seeking to acquire a concealed handgun carry license is to peruse the website of the gun licensing authority closely. Each of the jurisdictions we have examined, during our research, maintain a website through which one may find information pertaining to firearms’ laws applicable to the jurisdiction. The information provided is basic, but it is a good starting point. The websites we have looked at provide, as well, information pertaining to the licensing of firearms in the subject jurisdiction. The information we found to be presented in an honest and forthright manner in even if you must, in some instances, have to dig deep to uncover that information through several layers of menus and through more than a few web pages.
The website will plainly lay out the governmental authority that has primary or exclusive authority for licensing of firearms in the jurisdiction. Often, but not invariably, this will be the duty of police authority in the jurisdiction. The applicant for a firearm’s license should familiarize himself or herself with the applicable licensing procedures. Sometimes, it will be relatively easy to do this as the menu items directed to firearms’ licensing are easy to locate and decipher. At other times that can be difficult. We find this to be true for those jurisdictions that have had a history of draconian gun laws and that are antithetical to the notion of an armed citizenry. Thus, you may need to drill down through several menu options to obtain the information you need.
You should contact the issuing authority directly if you have any question or seek confirmation of how you are to proceed in acquiring a firearm’s license or permit. We have, in our work, found the licensing authorities to be helpful, knowledgeable, and attentive in responding to questions about firearm’s licensing, and have found these officials to be, as well, forthright about the prospects of obtaining a firearm’s license—especially about the prospect of securing a concealed handgun carry license in the particular jurisdiction for one’s self. Although Mr. Wright has applied for and obtained his concealed handgun carry licenses many years ago—subject, of course, to jurisdictional renewal requirements—keep in mind, once again, that we will provide you, the reader of this article, with current licensing standards and procedures for the jurisdiction we are covering.
Bringing the procedures and standards up-to-date will serve two purposes. First, doing this will provide the reader with a useful vehicle for understanding the salient laws and procedures of the jurisdiction in question, as they exist presently. This will save the reader time and energy he or she would otherwise have to expend were that person to research the laws and procedures on their own.
We have, in a previous article, when discussing changes in concealed handgun carry laws for the State of Maine, spent time looking at changes in Maine law. This, we felt, was necessary to explain apparent inconsistencies or ambiguities existent in the present law and to provide context for the changes. We will continue to do this in forthcoming “ROAD TRIP” articles where we feel explanatory information would be helpful to individuals who may wish to acquire a concealed handgun carry license in the jurisdiction we happen to be covering.
Second, in our ROAD TRIP articles, we aptly demonstrate the difficulties attendant to acquiring a concealed handgun carry license in a State or City or County jurisdiction.
What an individual must go through–indeed, suffer–merely to exercise his natural right of self-defense will not, then, and should not, be lost on anyone. It is ironical, even shameful, that citizens of a free Republic should have to expend substantial time and exorbitant sums of money simply to exercise the natural right guaranteed to them, codified in the Bill of Rights. But, that is the case and has been the case for some time. Effective, national concealed handgun carry reciprocity legislation would do much to end the need to acquire more than one valid concealed handgun carry license. Thus, an individual will be spared the needless, senseless, duplicative, wasteful expenditure of time and money presently required to obtain and renew multiple licenses issued by multiple jurisdictions.
Note: if one has any doubt as to how to proceed to acquire a concealed handgun carry license, one should contact a licensed attorney and/or respected professional security consultant and expert in firearms’ laws and procedures. This can save one time and, more importantly, preclude the possibility the applicant for a concealed handgun carry license fails to fill out an application completely, or fills an application out improperly or includes the wrong information on the application form, or includes more information than the information that is required and thereupon jeopardizes one’s chances for securing a license.
As to the last point, this is not to say or suggest an applicant should lie on an application or be less than forthright. One should never lie or ever be less than forthright, especially when completing an application for a firearm’s license or permit. You will never fool the licensing official and if you attempt to do so, you will fail. If one isn’t honest, that is the surest way to be denied issuance of a concealed handgun carry license.
Moreover, attempting to obtain a firearm license if you are not permitted to own and possess a firearm—for example, if you have been convicted of a felony or if you were in the military and you received a dishonorable discharge, or if you have renounced your citizenship, or if you have a history of serious mental disorder, psychosis, or if you have been convicted of domestic violence, to name a few bases for disqualification— you may open yourself up to civil or even criminal liability by applying for a handgun license and failing to include these matters if an application asks for information pertaining to these matters—and, make no mistake, an application for a concealed handgun permit or, for that matter, an application for issuance of any firearm will require to respond honestly to any of these. That said, one doesn’t have to include in his or her application and ought not voluntarily include anything more or other than the information the application specifically asks for. If, after completing and submitting the application for processing, the licensing officer contacts the applicant to request additional information, the applicant must comply. If again, the applicant has any question as to what information is sought or has concern about the information sought, the applicant should contact a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction in which he or she seeks the license or should contact a security consultant whose expertise rests in or includes application for possession of firearms.
Let’s now begin on the matter of obtaining a concealed handgun carry license. Below, we discuss the procedures that Mr. Wright had to follow to obtain a license permitting him to lawfully carry a handgun concealed in the State of Connecticut.
PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING A CONCEALED HANDGUN CARRY LICENSE IN CONNECTICUT
We note that, in Connecticut, the Department responsible for licensing of firearms is the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) of the State Police.
There are several menu options. The one we want and the one Mr. Wright wants is this one:
Special Licensing and Firearms.
There are distinct procedures depending on whether one is a resident of Connecticut or not. Mr. Wright does not reside in Connecticut. You cannot obtain an application on-line. Mr. Wright isn’t a resident of Connecticut. He is a resident of New York. A non-resident must obtain an application by contacting the State Police directly. However, important information exists on the website and a non-resident should peruse that information before contacting the Connecticut State Police for an application packet.
On the website, Mr. Wright drills down to the application process for preliminary information for both residents and non-residents. He comes to this:
FIREARMS AND PISTOL PERMITS
How do I get a permit to carry a gun in the State of Connecticut?
Out of state residents may apply for a non-resident Connecticut State Pistol Permit. Non- residents apply directly to the Connecticut State Police. Call 860-685-8494 to have an application mailed out.”
For Residents of Connecticut, the preliminary procedure is different. Residents of Connecticut must first apply for a Temporary State Permit.
The Procedure is as follows:
“How do I apply for a Temporary State Permit?
You must go to your local Police Department or First Selectman’s office to obtain an application. The application has all the instructions necessary to obtain the permit. The cost of the permit is $70.00, and it generally takes eight weeks to obtain.”
After the Connecticut Resident obtains a Temporary State Permit, he or she can then apply for a permanent, “Connecticut State Permit.
The information on the website sets forth:
Once I have received a Temporary State Permit, how do I apply for a Connecticut State Permit?
You can apply at the following locations to fill out the state application and have your photo taken. You must bring a copy of your Temporary State Permit, a check, money order for $70.00, made payable to Treasurer State of Ct. or cash, proof you are legally and lawfully in the United States (i.e., Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, Naturalization Certificate or Alien Registration Card issued by I.C.E.) and a current photo I.D., such as a driver’s license. Applications are available at:
- Troop G in Bridgeport – Tuesday through Saturday
- Troop E in Montville – Tuesday through Saturday
- Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection in Middletown
Office Hours and Locations:
How do I change my address on my State Pistol Permit?
You can either call (860) 685-8290, or mail a letter to the Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, CT, 06457. Change of address is required within 48 hours, and the letter should include pistol permit number, name, and date of birth, old address, and new address.”
Further information given is applicable to residents and non-resident holders of Connecticut State Pistol Permits alike:
“May I keep my State Pistol Permit if I move out of state?
Yes, providing you notify the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the change of address, and continue to renew your permit.
How long is a State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers good for?
The permit is valid for 5 years from date of issue unless revoked or suspended. Who may purchase a handgun? Only those people who are Permit holders, Eligibility Certificate holders, or sworn Police Officers may purchase a handgun.
Mr. Wright knows he regularly visits Connecticut on business and wonders if he could just stop into a local police department when he is in the State. He phones his attorney. His attorney takes a look at the website and phones the DESSP. Mr. Wright’s attorney determines that Mr. Wright must obtain an application through the mail. There is no way around this, and he requests an application for Mr. Wright. The DESSP official says he will send an application out forthwith to Mr. Wright’s attorney on behalf of Mr. Wright.
Upon receipt of the application papers, Mr. Wright and his attorney look through the documents. In the first few sentences of the first page of a green sheet, titled, “Connecticut State Pistol Permits,” and subtitled, “Out of State Residents,” one thing becomes immediately apparent. A non-resident cannot apply for a Connecticut State Pistol Permit prior to securing a valid concealed handgun carry license from another jurisdiction.
The non-resident must already have a valid CCW license issued from another jurisdiction before he can apply for a Connecticut State Pistol Permit. Thus, having a CCW in hand from another State is a condition precedent to obtaining a Connecticut Pistol Permit. Mr. Wright’s attorney learns that Connecticut does not require that the non-resident secure a CCW license from a particular jurisdiction or jurisdictions. The non-resident must simply have in his or her possession a valid CCW license, issued from any State. Mr. Wright has a valid unrestricted CCW issued to him by the NYPD, and a second valid CCW issued to him by the State of Maine. Either one of those two valid CCW licenses satisfies the condition precedent for further processing of Mr. Wright’s application.
CONNECTICUT CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSING PROCEDURES
Mr. Wright’s attorney took a look at the applicable Connecticut pistol licensing Statute. Below is the Statute stated in full:
Sec. 29-28. Permit for sale at retail of pistol or revolver. Permit to carry pistol or revolver. Confidentiality of name and address of permit holder. Permits for out-of-state residents. (b) Upon the application of any person having a bona fide permanent residence within the jurisdiction of any such authority, such chief of police, warden or selectman may issue a temporary state permit to such person to carry a pistol or revolver within the state, provided such authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which such applicant may be permitted to carry under such permit other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable person to receive such permit. No state or temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued under this subsection if the applicant (1) has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association, (2) has been convicted of (A) a felony, or (B) on or after October 1, 1994, a violation of subsection (c) of section 21a-279 or section 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d, (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (4) has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (5) (A) has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or (B) has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, (6) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, (7) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing, (8) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4), (9) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States, or (10) is less than twenty-one years of age. Nothing in this section shall require any person who holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver on October 1, 1994, to participate in any additional training in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers. No person may apply for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver more than once within any twelve-month period, and no temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued to any person who has applied for such permit more than once within the preceding twelve months. Any person who applies for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall indicate in writing on the application, under penalty of false statement in such manner as the issuing authority prescribes, that such person has not applied for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the past twelve months. Upon issuance of a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver to the applicant, the local authority shall forward the original application to the commissioner. Not later than sixty days after receiving a temporary state permit, an applicant shall appear at a location designated by the commissioner to receive the state permit. The commissioner may then issue, to any holder of any temporary state permit, a state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within the state. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall make available to the permit holder a copy of the law regarding the permit holder’s responsibility to report the loss or theft of a firearm and the penalties associated with the failure to comply with such law. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall forward a record of such permit to the local authority issuing the temporary state permit. The commissioner shall retain records of all applications, whether approved or denied. The copy of the state permit delivered to the permittee shall be laminated and shall contain a full-face photograph of such permittee. A person holding a state permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall notify the issuing authority within two business days of any change of such person’s address. The notification shall include the old address and the new address of such person.”
There are several important items for consideration in the above Connecticut Statute. The Statute sets forth, one, the requirement that a person “successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state or the National Rifle Association”; and, two, the applicant must not fall within one or more of the categories that constitute automatic disqualification. You will waste your own time and money and that of the licensing official if you have either failed a firearm’s safety training course or if you fall into one or more categories of individuals who are prohibited from owning a gun.
If, however, you have passed and have documentation to prove that you have successfully passed an appropriate firearm’s safety training course and you do not fall within one or more of the categories that disqualify one automatically from possessing any firearm, then you may proceed to the next step of the application process.
In the next segment of this article, we will go into further detail of the application process as Mr. Wright seeks to secure a valid DESSP issued Pistol Permit that will enable him to carry a handgun, lawfully, in Connecticut.
Before concluding this segment of the article on Connecticut CCW licensing, we address a few matters that individuals who are contemplating obtaining a Connecticut Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers might have in connection with the foregoing discussion:
FINAL NOTE PERTAINING TO CONNECTICUT PISTOL LICENSING STATUTE: TWO POINTS IMPORTANT TO NON-RESIDENTS THAT MAY BE RESPONSIVE TO QUESTIONS THE READER MIGHT HAVE, AS THEY ARE QUESTIONS THAT THE ARBALEST QUARREL HAD, AS WELL; AND ONE GENERAL POINT APPLICABLE TO RESIDENTS OF CONNECTICUT AND NON-RESIDENTS ALIKE.
Connecticut law, as we said, requires non-residents to have in hand a valid concealed handgun carry license as a condition precedent to obtaining a Connecticut CCW permit. Some readers of this article may wonder whether a Connecticut CCW is necessary at all to carry a handgun concealed in Connecticut if they hold a valid CCW from another jurisdiction. As of this writing, the answer is an unequivocal, “no.” Connecticut does not maintain reciprocity with any other jurisdiction. A CCW issued by another jurisdiction is required, as we have said, as a condition precedent, for obtaining a Connecticut CCW if and only if the person seeking a Connecticut CCW is a resident of another State. This means that a non-resident must invariably hold at least two CCW licenses in order to be able, lawfully, to carry a handgun concealed in Connecticut: a valid CCW issued by another State, as a condition precedent to obtaining a CCW issued by the appropriate firearms’ licensing authority in the State of Connecticut, the DESSP. Obviously, this condition does not apply to residents of Connecticut.
Second, for both residents of Connecticut and non-residents alike, those who seek a valid Connecticut CCW permit, must successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers. Now, some jurisdictions outside of Connecticut do issue CCW licenses without the requirement that a holder of a valid CCW license or permit first successfully complete. New York City, curiously enough, is one of these. It is exceedingly difficult for the average law-abiding person to obtain an unrestricted, “full carry,” concealed handgun license. But, the City doesn’t require and the NYPD itself does not provide a safety training course for holders of concealed handgun carry licenses. One may speculate as to the reason for this. One possible and plausible explanation for this is that the City officials do not wish for any civilian to possess firearms. It isn’t a secret that the previous Mayor or New York City, Michael Bloomberg, benefactor and sponsor of the antigun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, is virulently opposed to the average law-abiding citizen from owning and possessing firearms. The present Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, is no less a zealous advocate for disarming Americans. The website, OntheIssues says this concerning de Blasio’s position of firearms’ possession and ownership. “Bill de Blasio has pushed for strong gun safety laws at the state level and for the promotion of industry-wide standards in gun safety, including micro-stamping. De Blasio also led the effort to divest public pension fund holdings in companies that manufacture the most dangerous weapons and launched the ‘Wall Street for Change’ campaign to support gun divestment of prominent hedge funds and money managers nationwide.”
New York City officials apparently feel that by requiring holders of restricted and unrestricted concealed handgun licenses to successfully complete a firearms’ safety training course, whether provided by the NYPD or another organization, this would suggest that the City encourages the average citizen to own and possess firearms. This is convoluted thinking but it pervades the thinking of those New York City officials who are behind the draconian New York Safe Act. It is as if City officials are saying, “we don’t believe any American citizen should own and possess firearms. Those New York residents who seek to own and possess firearms must receive the appropriate licenses and permits to do so; and we will not make it either easy or cheap for those that wish to do so. Moreover, we will not provide access to firearms’ training courses or provide any information as to where a firearm’s licensee or permit holder may obtain that training, for to do so would mean that we believe in the right of the American people to keep and bear arms; and we do not wish to give anyone that impression; for we don’t.”
Now the Arbalest Quarrel is not taking the position that a government body should require a person to take a firearms’ safety training course because we do not believe that the government should be in the business of bestowing on law-abiding American citizens what is their natural right anyway: the right to keep and bear arms. However, the Arbalest Quarrel does feel that, if a person does own and possess firearms, he ought to have the good sense of obtaining training in their proper use and function. A sane, rational person should have proper training in the use of any implement that, if used or handled improperly, can cause serious injury or death. But one’s responsibility for the handling of any instrument devolves on the individual. It should not be a mandate of the State. If a jurisdiction does require the law-abiding citizen to first obtain a handgun license before that person is lawfully permitted to carry a handgun concealed on his or her person within the jurisdiction, that governmental body should make available to the person the means whereby a person can obtain proper training or provide a person with a list of recommended organizations such as the NRA that have well over a century of experience on the proper handling of firearms. New York City doesn’t have anything to say about this. It is as if the City Government through the NYPD Licensing Division–the City Government’s authorized body for issuing firearms’ licenses and permits to individuals–simply wishes to wash its hands of the matter. That is bizarre to say the least.
The City has draconian, arbitrary standards in place for issuing firearms’ licenses and permits and puts the New York resident through an ordeal to obtain a firearm’s license or permit, but then expresses a complete disinterest in providing firearms’ training for the license or permit holder, or even suggesting venues through which the licensee or permit holder may obtain training once the license or permit is issued to him. Can you imagine the NYPD giving its officers a badge and a gun and leaving it up to the officer to find some means or other on their own to obtain training in the proper use of the firearm–caring not one whit whether the officer obtains proper training in the handling of the firearm or not, and offering no suggestion as to where an officer might obtain training? Yet, that is precisely the situation in which the City and the NYPD leave the civilian upon whom they deign, grudgingly, to issue a firearm’s license or permit. It is almost as if the City is inviting a mishap with a gun; indeed almost as if it is expecting a mishap with a gun; perhaps even wanting one; and thereupon being in a position to say, “there, we told you so; you should never have had a gun in the first place. But you wanted a gun; and we gave you a license so you could buy one. And, now that you have ‘messed up,’ as we fully expected you would do, we are taking away your gun, we are taking away your gun license, and we charging you with a misdemeanor for misusing your gun. We hope you learned your lesson. We are never again going to issue you a firearm’s license. So, don’t bother applying for one. Guns belong in the hands of responsible individuals only, such as the police, and politicians, and judges, and movie stars, and other VIP; in other words, ‘connected’ individuals. The average, ordinary, law-abiding person such as yourself has no business with a gun. Guns are for ‘elites,’ in society–for important people, intelligent people; people with money; guns are not for the hoi polloi, such as you! If you need protection, you have your cell phone; call 911; or get yourself a whistle, and wait for help. It’s on the way!”
CONSIDER THE ABOVE “CHASTISEMENT” BY THE NYPD FIREARMS’ LICENSING OFFICER APROPROS OF THE FOLLOWING:
An old story goes that a semi-blind businessman, an industrious hard working man, who spent many years working to create a small but successful cash business but a man who has had no formal or informal training in the handling of firearms goes to the Licensing Division of the NYPD, applying for a CCW license. The NYPD Licensing Officer asks the businessman why he thinks he needs a handgun for self-defense. The businessman explains that his business is a cash business and that he handles substantial sums of cash as he conducts his business and he has been mugged on more than a few occasions and his money stolen on numerous occasions. The businessman explains, further, that he is tired of being mugged and threatened and losing money that he has worked hard earning and he needs a gun for self-defense when he walks several blocks to the bank, or takes the subway, or a bus, or a cab to deposit the cash at his bank. He is surrounded by many people—some of whom would love to get their hands on the substantial sums of money he has on his person and several thugs have done so in the past.
Now, the NYPD has set an arbitrary standard for proof of the necessity for issuing a CCW license to a person. The NYPD Licensing Officer determines whether a person, in the normal conduct of his business, happens to transport substantial sums of cash to or from a bank. The NYPD considers, without explicitly saying, whether a business operates, in part at least, like a mini Brinks security service. If an applicant for a CCW license can make a good case for issuance of a CCW to the satisfaction of the NYPD Licensing Officer, this amounts to an applicant arguing that his business duties involve in part, at least, working like a Brinks security guard, transporting canvas bags full of money. Of course, what constitutes the carrying of substantial cash is determined by the NYPD and on a case-by-case basis. In this story, the NYPD determines the semi-blind businessman does carry substantial cash to or from a bank a few times a week. That the man has been mugged on numerous occasions, and seriously hurt, in part, at least, because the man’s business happens to be located in a particularly dangerous part of the City, is not reason enough to issue the man a CCW license, according to the NYPD License Division standards. Indeed, that sad circumstance is beside the point. After all, a lot of law-abiding New York residents are mugged on a daily basis and these individuals do not have firearms to protect themselves. So being mugged is not a sufficient basis upon which the businessman may effectively distinguish himself from countless others who live in the City. But, the fact that the businessman has been mugged carrying sufficient amounts of cash on his person to and from a bank a few times a week–and what constitutes a sufficient amount of cash is up to the NYPD Licensing Officer to decide–is deemed by the Officer to be an important factor, a critical, even decisive, factor for determining whether to issue the man a CCW license that he seeks.
The NYPD Licensing Officer then asks the businessman whether the man has any disability that might hinder his ability to use a handgun. The man, semi-blind, though he is, says, he has some vision problems but that he is able to see well enough to transact his business, handle large sums of cash, and to handle a handgun. The NYPD licensing official thereupon agrees to issue the businessman his CCW license.
Now, whether the businessman has had any training in the use of a handgun and, if not, whether the businessman intends to get that training so that he would be able to use a handgun effectively if the need should arise, that is another question entirely, and it is not one that is a requirement for being issued a handgun license and securing a handgun. Curiously, this latter point is true. The ability to handle a firearm is not a factor in and is altogether irrelevant to the issuance of concealed handgun carry licenses by the Licensing Division of the NYPD. But, we are not yet done with this story.
Another man, a New York resident, hale and hearty, has just moved to New York City, having served his Country as a U.S. Navy SEAL. Our U.S. Navy SEAL, recognizes how dangerous it is to live in the City and, like our semi-blind businessman, he also applies for a CCW license. The NYPD Licensing Officer asks the man why the man thinks he needs to carry a handgun. The U.S. Navy SEAL, now retired from the Navy and living in New York City, says he wishes to have a handgun for self-defense. The Licensing Officer asks the man whether he has a business and, if so, if the man transports substantial sums of cash to or from a bank, one or more times during the week. Our U.S. Navy SEAL says that he doesn’t have a business and does not transport substantial sums of cash to a bank. The Licensing Officer then asks the applicant, our U.S. Navy SEAL, retired from active duty, whether the applicant is presently the target of specific threats to the Navy SEAL’s life. The applicant, our retired U.S. Navy SEAL, replies, “none that he can think of.” The NYPD Licensing Officer then tells the applicant that he must deny the applicant a CCW because the applicant hasn’t demonstrated need, sufficient, to the satisfaction of the NYPD Licensing Officer, under the standards established by the NYPD, for issuance of a CCW to the applicant.
The retired U.S. Navy SEAL doesn’t understand this. He points out that he knows full well how to use firearms—virtually any firearm and that he is an expert marksman, and that he operates coolly under threat to life, as his combat experience and training demanded. “Sorry,” replies the NYPD Licensing Officer. “You have failed to demonstrate to my satisfaction that you face, on a daily basis, more danger to your life and well-being than does any other average New York resident face, in the City. The fact that you know how to use a firearm effectively and would certainly be able to do so in a life threatening situation–and I have no reason to doubt that–is irrelevant. New York City doesn’t recognize self-defense, in the absence of more to be sufficient reason to issue a restricted or unrestricted concealed handgun carry license. Again, I am sorry. But, City Government officials believe that too many guns in the hands of too many people–even the law-abiding–is considered dangerous to the well-being of the community even if law-abiding individuals are placed at risk for being denied access to a firearm when they truly need one and know how to use it.”
There is no moral to the story. But one may take note how logic may be turned on its head so that irrationality is perceived as presumptively rational. And, although, it appears to be far-fetched, the story, sadly, really isn’t. Of course, an NYPD Licensing Officer is hardly likely to issue a concealed handgun carry license—or any other kind of firearm’s license or permit—to an applicant who appears to have a difficulty seeing, but one’s ability to use a gun in a life-threatening situation is not a factor for consideration in the issuance of any firearm’s license or permit. Concerning issuance of CCW licenses, New York City, and any other City or County in the State, in accordance with State law, is a “may issue” State, like several other jurisdictions around the Country. A “may issue” State means a person requesting a CCW license, must convince to the appropriate licensing authority in the jurisdiction that he “needs” a gun and that “need” generally translates to meeting an arbitrary standard for the issuance of a CCW license to the person. If a person cannot meet the arbitrary standard the “may issue” jurisdiction has established, then the applicant is denied the CCW, unless the person is a VIP, such as a politician or a judge, or someone famous—a movie star for example. That means the life of one person is worth more than the life of another. If you are a VIP, you obtain what you want. If you are one of the hoi polloi who cannot otherwise satisfy the arbitrary standard, well, then, good luck.
Whether a person is capable of using a firearm for self-defense is often, as we see in some jurisdictions, like New York, all but irrelevant. The need of a firearm for self-defense becomes nuanced, subject to the whim of the licensing official. This means that the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is reduced inevitably to a privilege, a grant of Government and the import and imperative of the Second Amendment is simply ignored.
Getting back to the requirements for obtaining a CCW license in Connecticut, that State, unlike New York, does require of its own residents and of non-residents, that they show proof of successfully completing a firearm’s training and safety course prior to issuance of a gun permit. So, if a holder, say, of a New York City concealed handgun license, wishes to secure, as well a Connecticut CCW, in order to carry a handgun lawfully in Connecticut, that person must show proof of having successfully completed a gun safety and training course. This means the holder of a New York City CCW license and those who hold a CCW from any other jurisdiction that does not require proof of completion of a firearms’ safety training course in the handling of firearms as a condition precedent to obtaining a CCW license, must obtain the necessary training. Having, then, successfully completed the firearms’ safety training course and receiving a certificate to that effect, the applicant, whether a resident of the State of Connecticut or not, who seeks a Connecticut CCW license, has, then, the necessary documentation to present to the DESSP Officer. Further processing of the application for the Connecticut CCW permit can then continue.
Lastly, we have learned that a holder of a CCW from another jurisdiction who seeks to obtain a Connecticut CCW does not have to obtain a CCW in the jurisdiction he or she resides in.
A resident of Hawaii, for example, who wishes to obtain a Connecticut CCW permit—a State permit to carry handguns or revolvers—need not demonstrate he or she has a CCW license from Hawaii. That’s a good thing. For although it is theoretically possible for the average law-abiding American citizen, who is a resident of Hawaii, to obtain a CCW license, for all practical purposes, that is impossible. Take a look at the Hawaii Police Department’s website.
The website sets forth: “In exceptional cases when an adult applicant shows reason to fear injury or is engaged in the protection of life and property, the Hawaiʻi County police chief may grant a license to carry. For detailed information on who may be granted a license, see Section 134-9 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.”
Living in Hawaii may be paradise. But, in that paradise, “here there be tygers.” One must forsake one’s self of any pretense of access to firearms for self-defense. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Article 1, Section 17 of Hawaii’s State Constitution, which mirrors the language of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution word for word, contain empty verbiage, devoid of effect.
Copyright © 2017 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.