According to a recent Connecticut Superior Court ruling, the names and addresses of not only permit holders are exempt, but anyone applying for a pistol permit are. Despite arguments to the letter of the law by American News and Information Services, Inc, the FOIC and now Connecticut Superior Court Judge Prescott have decided that the law does not apply as written, but instead a loose interpretation of the law applies. This court decision is being appealed, with Connecticut Carry contributing towards the appeal to try and cement the boundaries of Pistol Permit confidentiality in case law.
Fortunately, most Connecticut Pistol Permit holders, the bread and butter of Connecticut Carry’s membership, will not be upset by this interpretation at all. In fact, Connecticut Carry is announcing a new public campaign aimed at enforcing these decisions to the letter of the interpretation. The wide reaching ramifications of these decisions will impact many municipalities, the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, the state police and gun owners in the state. Connecticut Carry aims to make sure that the confidentiality of permit holders is applied evenly across the state and according to the law as interpreted by the Freedom of Information Commission and the Connecticut Superior Court.
To start with, this means that the following restrictions will apply:
- The Board of Firearms Permit Examiners will need to immediately cease and desist in publishing the roster that they currently publish on their website.
- Hearings in front of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners will need to become private affairs where anyone not immediately involved in a case must not be present in the hearing.
- CT-N and other media sources will no longer be able to record and disseminate board hearings as they have been doing.
- The Connecticut State Police will need to cease and desist in releasing permit information as they have done in the past.
- Municipalities will no longer be able to perform ‘suitability investigations’ that include interviewing employers and neighbors like the City of New Haven has been doing for many years now.
- Police, both in the municipal and in the state capacity will no longer be able to disclose upon arrest that a person was in possession of a pistol permit at the time of their arrest.
- Police, both in the municipal and in the state capacity will no longer be able to disclose permit statuses over public radio communications, like they currently do.
- All state agencies will need to redact their releases to make sure that they are not disclosing a permit holder’s name or address information.
- Media will need to be sure that they are not an accomplice to the crime of releasing such confidential information and disobeying an FOIC ruling.
As representatives of Connecticut Pistol Permit Holders and the new classes of people that now fall under the same statutory language (‘Assault Weapons’ and ‘Large Capacity Magazines’), Connecticut Carry will be ensuring that these laws are enforced without any preference or exemptions for political classes who bear no exemption under the laws. There will be no quarter given to State Police Detectives and other personnel who knowingly violate these interpretations of the law, especially when their only purpose is to further denigrate permit holders. We have recommended Federal criminal charges in the past and we will not hesitate to pursue all legal means to make sure that future crimes by the state are prosecuted.
Any disclosure of a person’s name or address that is a Connecticut Pistol Permit Holder or Applicant is a violation of law right now according to the Connecticut Superior Court. Anyone disclosing this kind of confidential information in the future should expect to be the subject of legal actions on behalf of the citizens of Connecticut.