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March 9, 2023

NSSF President Backs Law-Abiding Gun Owners, Retailers Against “Extremely Expansive” Connecticut Gun Control

By Matt Manda

NSSF’s President and CEO Joe Bartozzi had a few words for Connecticut lawmakers considering Gov. Ned Lamont’s gun control proposals. Bartozzi testified and used every second to explain how wrong the governor’s proposals are and how they would only severely penalize law-abiding residents in the Constitution State.

Bartozzi was joined by NSSF’s Jake McGuigan, Managing Director for Government Relations – State Affairs. McGuigan focused on the folly of considering unworkable microstamping requirements for handguns sold in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Joint Judiciary Committee held a hearing to get feedback from the public on the governor’s antigun proposals. Gov. Lamont’s wish list for gun control is long. Some proposals have even given gun control allies pause. Residents who respect the Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves showed up in big numbers. More than 160 people testified in person and the committee received more than 5,000 written comments.

‘Extremely Expansive’

Gov. Lamont’s gun control laundry-list includes numerous proposals, some of the worst of which are a 10-day waiting period on firearm purchases, rationing handgun sales and instituting crippling bureaucracy on retailers who are the very providers of the means of exercising the Second Amendment.

“This is extremely expansive legislation that does little or nothing to deter criminals and will only impact law-abiding gun owners,” Bartozzi told the committee. The proposals amount to a throttling of Constitutional rights and would suffocate firearm retailers, straining their bottom line and possibly putting them out of business.

“The one-gun-per-month section… hinders lawful commerce in the state, particularly that of small ‘mom-and-pop’ businesses. And it further rations a federal and state Constitutional right, reducing it to a mere privilege,” Bartozzi added.

He stood up for firearm retailers facing new bureaucratic regulations that threaten their livelihoods.

“It’s important to note that retailers are the first line of defense against illegal straw purchases,” Bartozzi explained.

Bartozzi told legislators a 10-day waiting period, “… only adds another layer to exercising a Constitutional right that puts a burden on law-abiding citizens and [federal firearms licensees].”

Connecticut law already requires an extensive permit process that involves working with local police departments, submitting fingerprints and going through a background check verification. Criminals don’t do any of those things.

“We must all work together to help prevent those who exhibit reckless disregard to human life from having access to firearms… But we must also preserve the Constitutional right of tens of millions of law-abiding Americans to safely and responsibly own, store and use firearms for personal protection, hunting and recreation,” Bartozzi concluded.

Unworkable, Technically-Unfeasible

NSSF’s Jake McGuigan testified against Gov. Lamont’s proposal too, focusing on the microstamping requirement. That’s the unproven and unworkable technology using a laser to imprint a unique identifying code on a handgun’s firing pin, theoretically transferring the mark to a spent cartridge once it has fired.

Even the patentholder for the sole-source microstamping technology Todd Lizotte – who also testified at the hearing – recognizes his technology is flawed and unreliable.

“This technology is unproven and has been independently tested throughout the country to confirm that it does not work,” McGuigan explained. “Criminals aren’t purchasing at a retail level and again, we know 90 percent of the guns used in crimes are illegally obtained or stolen.”

Asked if other states have implemented or considered similar microstamping proposals, McGuigan had a long list for Connecticut lawmakers of tried-and-failed attempts.

“California has mandated that technology… but no manufacturers know how to comply. And no manufacturers have introduced any handguns with microstamping technology. I’ve been to Wisconsin. I’ve been to New Jersey. I’ve been to Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island on microstamping. None of those states have moved forward with microstamping.”

McGuigan listed several scenarios and examples demonstrating why even law enforcement hasn’t adopted the technology and that it’s law-abiding gun owners who will bear the increased cost of the mandate, not criminals.

“Let’s assume you’re implementing microstamping and it’s going to cost $200 on top of the firearm, I mean, where does it end?” McGuigan asked the committee.

“What’s the actual risk? What’s the downside?” state Rep. Steve Stafstrom asked. “So your objection to microstamping, the downside, is the cost. Is that your testimony?”

“No,” said McGuigan. “It does not work.”

More to Watch

On top of the 10-day waiting period, microstamping requirement, additional state licensing regulations and gun rationing, Gov. Lamont’s gun control proposals also include expanded mandatory storage requirements for firearms in the home, banning carrying loaded firearms in vehicles, mandatory trigger locks on all handguns sold at retail (despite them already including locking devices) and requiring that semiautomatic handguns be equipped with a mechanism to prevent firing when the magazine is removed. He also wants to ban previously registered Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) and implement unconstitutional age-based gun bans.

NSSF strongly opposes these proposals and is monitoring their movement in the Connecticut legislature.


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