A plan to increase pistol permits may be backfiring.
In his budget, the governor is proposing to raise the cost of pistol permits by hundreds of dollars. This proposed increase is not going over well with gun owners and gun groups who told lawmakers to oppose it.
"We looked at surrounding states and municipalities that separately license and we moved the fee to be in keeping with other jurisdictions,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
A week after delivering his new two-year budget, Malloy defended his proposal to increase pistol permits.
The increase is significant. State permit fees would go from $70 to $300 and an initial five-year permit from $140 to $370. A separate background check fee would also rise from $50 to $75.
Based on research Eyewitness News did, these numbers show the difference in costs with getting a pistol permit today and with the proposed fee changes.
The total for all of it would be almost $700. That cost doesn't include some of the other fees.
Gun owners and gun groups told lawmakers it's unfair.
"The fees for a pistol permit in Connecticut are some of the highest in the country as a state issue permit,” Scott Wilson with Connecticut Citizens Defense League said. “We know for fact that individuals simply will not be able to afford to renew their permits and the state will lose revenue."
The changes are expected to generate more than 11 million, which the governor said will cover costs for the increased demand in gun permits, which has created an increased workload for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Safety.
In 2013, Malloy signed sweeping gun control reform, which led to a surge in people applying for permits.
Greg Magliari is president of the Hartford Gun Club in Granby, and said "You want them to be licensed. You want them to have permits. Otherwise, you are going to have illegal guns on the streets which is not good for society or Connecticut."
The concern is this could discourage people from getting permits. But, if a person was caught firing a gun without a permit, they could face hundreds in fines and even prison time.
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