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Thread: The 2011 Legislative Session

  1. #1
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    The 2011 Legislative Session

    Courant.com
    Connecticut Gun Permits Are Confidential, But Should They Be?
    Gun Reform of 1994 Removed Owners' Names from Public Records
    Susan Campbell September 1, 2010
    In January, Allan Minter began tracking gun crimes that involved multiple victims. He'd served on a task force on gangs in his north Florida town, and was intrigued by what he thought he might find.

    The Hartford Distributors shooting, Connecticut's worst mass killing, was No. 46. Upon hearing news of the Manchester fatalities last month, Minter began scouring the Web and local newspapers for details about the shooter, Omar S. Thornton.

    The vast majority of the crimes he's chronicling occur during contentious custody cases, or, as with Thornton, at a work site. On Aug. 3, Thornton agreed to resign after being shown a video of him stealing alcohol. Police said he then retrieved two 9mm handguns and began firing. When the smoke cleared, nine people — including Thornton — were dead.

    Thornton's record was clean, said Minter, "up until he pulled the trigger."

    So why did this happen? Minter is looking for answers, but news coverage has waned, and now Minter is filling in the blanks from afar. Namely: Did Thornton go to pistol ranges? If so, did he go more frequently right before the mayhem?

    Oddly, here's something Minter can't confirm: Did Thornton have a permit for his guns? Connecticut law keeps confidential the names and addresses of people issued an eligilibility certificate for a pistol or revolver. Under some circumstances, the information can be released only to law enforcement officials (as it appears to have been in Thornton's case), or the public safety commissioner, or mental health and addiction services commissioner.

    Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, confirmed that pistol permits are not public record. "I have had, in divorce proceedings, someone call up and say, 'Does my soon-to-be-ex have a pistol permit?' and we cannot confirm that," he said.


    Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, co-chairman of the legislative public safety and security committee, says this — and other aspects of Aug. 3 — will be discussed during the next legislative session. The conversation bubbled up recently in New York, when a website, using public records from the state police, published a list of people holding pistol permits in that state. An assemblyman running for state senator cried foul, and the website has been fighting back.

    Connecticut's ban on making such information public came as part of a sweeping gun reform law in 1994. While making the permit process more stringent, the law removed from the public record information about people who made it through the process. Talk at the time centered on safety and privacy, with this odd logic: If the particulars of permit-holders were made public, their homes would be targets for robbers, although one would think knowledge that a neighbor has a gun or guns would make that neighbor's house a less attractive option for a break-in.

    Meanwhile, Minter is still collecting. He's working his way toward No. 60, but he acknowledged he might have missed some.
    Courant staff writer and columnist Susan Campbell can be reached at scampbell@courant.com.
    Last edited by Edward Peruta; 09-01-2010 at 07:20 AM.

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    Regular Member Lenny Benedetto's Avatar
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    It looks like some of these people will have to get involved!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Peruta View Post
    Many groups and individuals claiming to advocate for our firearm rights spend most of their time fundraising or claiming to lobby the legislators in Harford.
    If they don't, then there may be nobody there on our side.
    Since I have been, one of these individuals that have sat there all day to testify for 2 minutes, I can tell you that most do not take the time or make the effort to actually show up in person and argue our side to the legislators. Writng emails and phone calls help, but testifying is what really make the difference!!

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    There is more to this issue

    There was more to my statement than quoted.

    Here is a portion of what I said:

    There are several well know groups of individuals who own firearms nationally, in New England or here in Connecticut. The problem I see is that there is no single advocacy group or working collective of groups willing to share their membership information or form a single organization to protect our collective rights and advocate in behalf of ALL firearms owners in Connecticut.

    Many groups and individuals claiming to advocate for our firearm rights spend most of their time fundraising or claiming to lobby the legislators in Harford. But the REAL WORLD BATTLES ARE NOW TAKING PLACE in the cities and towns of Connecticut, and will only be won by skilled financially supported attorneys who will address and present our issues in the Federal and State Courts.

    With the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Heller v. The District of Columbia and McDonald v. Chicago along with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decisions in Kuck v. Danaher and Goldberg v. Danaher, I am now convinced that we must somehow find a way to consolidate, raise funds and support the various civil cases that attempt to address and protect our rights to obtain, own, transfer and carry firearms for the purpose of self defense, hunting, recreation or investment.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Peruta View Post
    I am now convinced that we must somehow find a way to consolidate, raise funds and support the various civil cases that attempt to address and protect our rights to obtain, own, transfer and carry firearms for the purpose of self defense, hunting, recreation or investment.[/FONT]
    I agree completely. Cases like my arrest in Wallingford are the perfect battleground for rights in this state. These are the fights that will gain us ground. We should all be getting behind these fights in whatever manner we can manage.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    You have the same election for your state houses this November as everyone else. Change the composition of the houses and you will get 'change you can believe in.' That is where the battle for rights in CT will be won, not in the courts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Peruta View Post
    The problem I see is that there is no single advocacy group or working collective of groups willing to share their membership information
    Good. When i sign up for an organization, I expect my privacy to be maintained. An organization that sells or gives my personal information to another individual or organization is not one I want to be a member of.

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    Making public the list of permit holders should not happen. It will do more to help those in dire need of guns then it will ever help neighbors of ours. This could be something they are after though. More guns in the streets more ammo for their laws. Also more burgluries and more dead criminals could mean look these permit holders just shoot everyone that walks though their doors.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gluegun View Post
    Good. When i sign up for an organization, I expect my privacy to be maintained. An organization that sells or gives my personal information to another individual or organization is not one I want to be a member of.
    Not that I disagree, but this does bring up the issue of transparency and I just have to ask the question.

    How does anyone know that the membership numbers that any organization (including the CCDL, NRA, Brady Campaign) claims to have are correct and factual without some kind of transparency and openness?

    I think this might someday be a real issue that may have to be determined and it would be interesting to know what kinds of thought have been applied to this.

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    Well, if you want the Brady bunch membership numbers, you can BUY their membership list. That's right, they sell their membship list to anyone who ponies up a few bucks. Yea, that's what I want the NRA/CCDL/GOA/SAF do with *my* membership info. Thanks, but no thanks.

    http://lists.nextmark.com/market;jse...card&id=163065
    Last edited by Mopar; 09-02-2010 at 12:53 PM.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mopar View Post
    Well, if you want the Brady bunch membership numbers, you can BUY their membership list. That's right, they sell their membship list to anyone who ponies up a few bucks. Yea, that's what I want the NRA/CCDL/GOA/SAF do with *my* membership info. Thanks, but no thanks.

    http://lists.nextmark.com/market;jse...card&id=163065
    I am well aware of this. That is why I mentioned it.

    Not sure where this issue of 'selling' the membership info comes into this argument though. I don't think anyone suggested that.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Lenny Benedetto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    I am well aware of this. That is why I mentioned it.

    Not sure where this issue of 'selling' the membership info comes into this argument though. I don't think anyone suggested that.
    Selling/Sharing, what is the difference? Either way the members information is put out there, where they did not intend it!
    That is where it comes into the argument
    Last edited by Lenny Benedetto; 09-02-2010 at 10:27 PM.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Benedetto View Post
    Selling/Sharing, what is the difference? Either way the members information is put out there, where they did not intend it!
    That is where it comes into the argument
    I don't know if that is what is being proposed (I actually have no idea how this topic started in this thread). Seems to me that CCDL sponsored contact with the membership list should be pretty easy to handle while staying in the confines of any reasonable privacy agreement. That does not mean you are selling or sharing your list.

    Also, while I agree that people should be kept aware of how their data will be used and that we should keep that data safe guarded, if we are an 'activist organization' shouldn't the members be open with our membership status? I mean hell, I wear a CCDL shirt most of the week and I open carry most of that time. I hope most of my fellow members would be at least half as enthusiastic. Maybe an opt-in would work out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    I don't know if that is what is being proposed (I actually have no idea how this topic started in this thread).
    FYI:
    This is how this topic started in this thread.....from post #3:
    There are several well know groups of individuals who own firearms nationally, in New England or here in Connecticut. The problem I see is that there is no single advocacy group or working collective of groups willing to share their membership information or form a single organization to protect our collective rights and advocate in behalf of ALL firearms owners in Connecticut.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mopar View Post
    FYI:
    This is how this topic started in this thread.....from post #3:
    I don't see that advocating sharing or selling membership lists to anyone who passes by. I see that as requesting that organizations work together and try to attract the same members. That does not need to imply that privacy is forgotten.

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    Membership Information

    I believe that individuals who join groups should be entitled to privacy of their information if they desire.

    My suggestion would be to have each member provided with the opportunity to opt in or opt out of any sharing of their contact information, especially with other members of the group.

    Another alternative would be to provide a service where the organization sends out specific information to their members in behalf of individuals or other groups that are actively involved in Second Amendment issues.

    Without sharing the "confidential" list of members and their contact information, information could be sent to hundreds if not thousands of like minded individuals.

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