CT Firearms Seizures

Hundreds of firearms seized under new state law

HARTFORD -- Police in Connecticut have confiscated several hundred more firearms under the state's gun seizure law since mid-2008.

State police and local police departments have seized 2,093 guns since the law took effect nearly 10 years ago, according to an updated report prepared for the legislature. The 1999 law allows police and state prosecutors to obtain warrants to seize firearms based on suspicions that gun owners might harm themselves, or others.

The legislature's research office previously reported 222 warrants had been issued from October 1999 through May 2008, and 1,713 firearms had been seized. In an updated report, the Office of Legislature Research found 55 more warrants had been issued through May 2009 and 380 more guns were confiscated. [NOTE: These numbers do not include firearms confiscated due to arrests of the bad guys.]

In one of those cases, Seymour police seized three guns from a man last August after his co-workers reported he had threatened to blow up his place of employment. A check of his computer showed visits to several Web sites dealing with workplace shootings, murders and violence.

Out of the 277 warrants issued since 1999, police seized guns in 263 cases. The targeted gun owners included 256 men and 21 women. The courts didn't deny any warrant applications between May 2008 and May 2009 and there have not been any denials since two applications were rejected in 1999

The gun seizure law arose out of a deadly shooting rampage at the headquarters of the Connecticut Lottery Corp. in 1998. A disgruntled worker shot and killed four top lottery officials and then committed suicide.

Under the law, any two police officers or a state prosecutor may obtain warrants to seize guns from individuals who pose an imminent risk of harming themselves or others.

Before applying for warrants, police must first conduct investigations and determine there is no reasonable alternative to seizing someone's guns. Judges must also make certain findings.

http://www.rep-am.com/News/430853.txt  Read Comments.

OLR Report- Essential reading, particularly disposition of firearms.  http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0306.htm

Essential reading: Statutory reference: http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dtsearch_pub_statutes.html  Particularly Section (e). In our opinion NO firearms should be retained by the CSP or other police agency. The guns should be transferred to an eligible individual for the period of time of the restraining order or the decision, to preclude destruction by a police agency after 1 year. Additionally, the guns will undoubtedly be better cared for in a friend or relatives' possession. Upon confiscation, insure you have Name, model #, serial numbers, and narrative and pictures of the condition of the firearms. If they confiscate ammunition or other accouterments also note that and demand transfer. Lastly contact an attorney familiar with firearms cases.

Finally, a question you might ask your CT legislators is why in this and previous fiscal crises the guns confiscated are not being auctioned to relieve taxpayer burdens. The CSP auctioned firearms in the late 80s until the Weicker regime who allegedly issued an Executive Oder curtailing the practice. No one has been able to find this document and it is immaterial since weve had two Governors since who are aware, but appear to have no interest in the statute and subsequent revenue. Any statement that the state selling guns is inappropriate is sheer hypocrisy! Are guns being sold by dealers - By manufacturers?  Are taxes and licenses required does the State collect this as revenue? Revenue from confiscated gun sales, with a minor amendment, we expect will produce $300,000 /year. DEP also has a similar auction statute never implemented.

Sec. 54-36e. Firearms to be turned over to state police. Sale at public auction. (a) Except as provided in sections 26-85 and 26-90, firearms, adjudged by the court to be contraband pursuant to subsection (c) of section 54-36a, or adjudicated a nuisance pursuant to section 54-33g, shall be turned over to the Bureau of Identification of the Connecticut Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety for destruction or appropriate use or disposal by sale at public auction.

  (b) Firearms turned over to the state police pursuant to subsection (a) of this section which are not destroyed or retained for appropriate use shall be sold at public auctions, conducted by the Commissioner of Administrative Services or such commissioner's designee. Pistols and revolvers, as defined in section 53a-3, which are antiques, as defined in section 29-33, or curios or relics, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Chapter 1, Part 178, or modern pistols and revolvers which have a current retail value of one hundred dollars or more may be sold at such public auctions, provided such pistols and revolvers shall be sold only to persons who have a valid permit to sell a pistol or revolver, or a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver, issued pursuant to section 29-28. Rifles and shotguns, as defined in section 53a-3, shall be sold only to persons qualified under federal law to purchase such rifles and shotguns. The proceeds of any such sale shall be paid to the State Treasurer and deposited by the State Treasurer in the forfeit firearms account within the General Fund. http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dtsearch_pub_statutes.html