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South Windsor Police Chief Shares Input with Legislators on Gun Control

Chief of Police Matthew Reed is one of the legislative liaisons for the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

Gun control figures to be a hotly debated issue at the state capitol this legislative session.

Among those providing input is South Windsor Chief of Police Matthew Reed, who is one of two legislative liaisons for the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

Reed recently met with state legislators on behalf of the association, which represents the state’s 100 or so police chiefs to provide input on initial discussions on gun control.

Reed said that nothing formal was proposed and the association was not advocating for any specific measure. Still, the meeting, which took place last Friday, was productive.

“It was a good exchange of ideas,” Reed said.

Under Connecticut law, chiefs of police, wardens or selectmen - depending on the jurisdiction - are “issuing authorities” for pistol permits.

Issuing authorities, according to Reed, are limited by the law in terms of what they can consider when an application for a pistol permit is filed.

Under Connecticut law, an applicant for a pistol or revolver permit must not, among other things, have been convicted of a felony, a crime involving domestic violence or certain other serious misdemeanors; have been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital within the preceding year; or be subject to a protective order.

The applicant must also: be at least 21 years old; be a legal resident of the state; and have completed a firearms training course.

All such information, Reed noted, must be self-reported by the applicant.

“You can require further documentation, but the options are limited,” Reed said.

Reed said that there are other things that permit-issuing authorities - i.e. police chiefs - could require if they were allowed to by law, such as three letters of reference or a letter from a physician or mental health professional.

Reed also said that the type of firearms that require permitting could be broadened to include long rifles and shotguns, or certain types of ammunition.

Regardless, the one thing that Reed said that he and the association are not advocating for is the out and out ban on guns.

“We’re not saying, ‘Nobody should have guns,’” he said. “But if we are going to shoulder the responsibility of vetting applicants, then we should be given a lot more latitude to scrutinize each applicant.”

Right now, Reed said that it’s more difficult to obtain a commercial driver’s license than it is to obtain a pistol permit.

Given that the issuance of permits is on the rise - in South Windsor alone, 169 were issued in 2012, compared to just 22 in 2003 - Reed said that it’s within reason to explore the permitting process.

“I think there is an appetite to make some modifications to the permitting process,” Reed said. “At least in terms of what we as an issuing authority can engage in when reviewing somebody for suitability.”

Jake Alexander January 15, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I'm speaking in public right now, no permit necessary. In any case, "gun violence" is not at "epidemic levels", it's at a 40-year low. FBI statistics show that violent crime and murder have been dropping since 1991, and we have less crime now than any time since the early 1970's. As for the NRA, I don't give them money nor do I listen to just about anything they have to say - however, they are not simply an industry puppet. People care about their fundamental human right to keep and bear arms, regardless of any industry involvement. We don't buy these things because we're slaves of the industry (hell, iPhone users are probably more slaves to Apple than we are to gun manufacturers), we buy them because we value taking responsibility for our own personal safety, or because we use them to put food on our table, or just because they're a ton of fun to shoot. Hell, we don't even buy a lot of them from US companies - a lot are imported from places like Eastern Europe (i.e. Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic), or are war surplus from WWII (there's a lot of German, Soviet, Swiss, and American WWII-era rifles available). I do find it funny that you're accusing us of being slaves to the NRA's "propaganda" while you're parroting the same tired, false "facts" used by prominent anti-gun people given airtime on commercial "news" networks. I've got actual data to support my claims, what do you have?
Peter Di Pietro January 15, 2013 at 07:26 PM
I, myself, am definitely not "anti-gun." I worship the right to one--and I am trying to fool no one there--but I am just as adamant about a stringent registration process, and knowing that those who have them, are registered and tested, too. Why would anybody be against that, unless they have something to hide; like a conviction record?
Mike M January 15, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Background checks are usually done at the point of purchase, if one is buying from an FFL. There shouldn't be any licenses or permits needed or required. You shouldn't need the police's permission to exercise a civil right - and gun ownership is a civil right - assuming one isn't a convicted felon or mentally deranged. That info should be in the NICS system. Get rid of the HIPPA and the pistol permit BS.
Jake Alexander January 15, 2013 at 08:53 PM
"What do you have to hide" is quite possibly the most dangerous phrase in the history of mankind. If you have nothing to hide, why do you object to a warrantless search of your house? If you have nothing to hide, why do you object to a cavity search every time you leave or enter your house? The government knowing about everyone who owns guns defeats the purpose of the second amendment anyways: to defeat tyranny. The second amendment is a final veto if all peaceful means fail, so that we do not need to suffer under tyrants. What could registration do other than provide a list of people to confiscate guns from? Additionally, ignoring the whole issue with the second amendment, registries do no good - Canada has scrapped their thanks to the combination of high cost and little, if any, impact on crime (in fact, information stolen from their registry has been used by thieves to target gun owners). Sen. Feinstien's proposed assault weapon ban, which includes mandatory registration under the 1934 NFA, would effectively choke the ATF with paperwork, as it would have twelve NFA examiners (for the entire country) running background checks and dealing with paperwork for millions of firearms. There's already a yearlong wait for NFA items (i.e. suppressors, short barrel rifles), and her proposal would ensure that approval takes *years*, or would cost millions more to hire enough examiners to process the paperwork in a more reasonable amount of time.
Peter Di Pietro January 15, 2013 at 09:57 PM
NICS database system needs to be refurbished and better implemented across all states, yes, agreed, but your argument is the same as,"Why should I register my vehicle, when it may be needed to escape tyranny." I feel secure knowing that a glance at a license plate will identify you, if necessary.

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