EXCLUSIVE: State Rep Tells Malloy to Speak Out on “Grave Risk” in State’s Firearms BacklogFebruary 26, 2018
State Rep. Brian Ohler (R-North Canaan) is raising red flags about an alarming backlog of firearms purchases that have not yet been logged at the state police.
The Connecticut State Police’s Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU) has a backlog of about 21,500 firearms purchases or transfers that have yet to be logged into the state police’s system, according to State Rep. Brian Ohler (R-North Canaan).
Ohler spoke to Reclaim Connecticut in an exclusive interview on Monday, raising red flags after the backlog came up at a Friday hearing. Ohler is the ranking member of the Regulations and Protection Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, and is also a member of the Public Safety and Security Committee.
“A lot of jaws dropped” when an official admitted that there is a large backlog at State Police, Ohler said. The state “is failing these gun owners,” Ohler added.
WHAT DOES THE BACKLOG MEAN?
In a YouTube video posted Friday (watch minutes 10:40-14:30), Ohler questioned officials as to why there’s a backlog of around 18,000 outstanding firearms transfers.
Ohler broke down the implications of this backlog in an interview.
“An employee within the agency disclosed to me that within the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit [SLFU] … there was currently 18,000 outstanding firearms transfers,” Ohler said.
When a legal purchase or transfer of a firearm occurs, a paper copy of that transfer has to be sent to the state police within 24 hours of that transfer happening.
“Apparently these paper documents have been collecting on a desk at state police headquarters,” Ohler said.
Ohler told Reclaim Connecticut that officials informed him Monday that the actual backlog number is closer to 21,500.
What that could mean, Ohler warned, is “total chaos,” if an officer goes to check the serial number of a gun that was legally purchased or transferred, but is not yet in the state police’s system due to the backlog.
It’s a “grave public safety risk, “not only to our communities but to our law enforcement officers,” Ohler said.
“POST-SANDY HOOK ERA”
Ohler further explained the consequences of this backlog when asked by Reclaim Connecticut about the public safety impact.
“In a post-Sandy Hook era, when CT passed the most comprehensive gun control package, which was Public Act 13-3, and continues to create additional regulations and laws, it is quite troublesome to know that the lead agency in charge cannot even handle the workload that they have now.”
“It poses a grave risk,” Ohler said. “I’m very concerned about the overall safety of our police officers.”
MESSAGE TO MALLOY
Ohler also had a message to Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.): speak out.
“I can say with confidence that [Malloy] did not know” about the backlog, Ohler said, “and as an outspoken voice for gun control, he should be speaking out.”
MESSAGE TO GUN OWNERS
Ohler also had an important message for gun owners: if you purchased or transferred a gun in the last three months, contact the SLFU.
“I would advise anyone who has purchased a firearm or transferred a firearm in the last three months to contact the [SLFU] to verify if in fact their firearm was registered properly in the state police database,” Ohler concluded.
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