Legislators, Gun Owners Pan Malloy’s Proposed Fee HikesFebruary 15, 2017
A range of legislators, citizens, interest groups, and business owners are not pleased with the permit fee hikes, one of which amounts to a 328% increase.
Last week, Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) proposed his biennial budget. Some of the budget items earning the most heat from lawmakers and citizens early on is Malloy’s proposed gun fee increases.
Malloy’s budget calls for increasing the “initial permit” for a pistol from $140 to $370 (a 164 percent increase) and increasing the five-year renewal fee from $70 to $300 (a 328 percent increase). Background check fees would also go up, from $50 to $75.
A wide variety of groups and individuals have panned Malloy’s proposal. A quick review below:
From the Hartford Courant:
“That’s a huge increase,” said Sen. L. Scott Frantz, a Greenwich Republican. “That’s a 400-and-something percent increase in a fee. How do we justify that?”
…State Rep. Brian Ohler, a Litchfield County Republican, said Connecticut’s rate would not be close to some surrounding states, including fees of $100 every six years in Massachusetts, $40 every four years in Rhode Island, and only $10 in some areas of New York state that are outside of New York City. He described the proposed increases as “shocking” and “a revenue windfall” for the state.
And from CT News Junkie:
Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R- East Haddam, said she’s confused why the administration would be talking about the additional workload in relationship to the fee increase “if the money is just going into the general fund.”
She said gun owners have seen an increase of “850 percent over the last five years of their fees.”
From News 12 Connecticut:
Bob Montlick, owner of Bob’s Gun Exchange, says he fears some of his customers will be priced out.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” he says. “A lot of the working class people struggle. Skeet shooters, trap shooters– they save up money every week for months and months.”
From CT News Junkie:
Gun owners, according to Connecticut Citizens Defense League [CCDL] President Scott Wilson, expect their presence will get louder as the proposal moves forward.
More than a dozen gun owners sat quietly behind Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro as she explained the governor’s proposal.
CCDL is Connecticut’s premier Second Amendment rights group.
Of course, everyday citizens are most impacted by the changes. From the Courant:
But Joan M. Liska, a senior citizen from Middletown, said paying the fee increase will be difficult for her because she is now on a limited income. Liska said she never owned a gun in her younger days, but now carries one every day.
“I do carry for self-defense,” Liska said. “I’m not as physically capable of defending myself as I was when I was younger. The state of our culture isn’t what it was. … If I give up my permit, that leaves me defenseless.”
Will Malloy’s fee hikes survive the legislative session? Early indicators suggest they won’t, but the legislature will have months to debate these measures and more.
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