While the Connecticut General Assembly Conservative Caucus agrees that “violent and threatening people should not possess firearms,” its members want to know why Governor Ned Lamont (D) and Democrat state lawmakers passed a law that is “automatically erasing many of the criminal convictions” that could now allow violent and threatening individuals to buy a gun.
In an op-ed published Friday at CT Examiner, the caucus members observed the hypocrisy of Connecticut Democrats crying out “something must be done” following the horrific shooting massacres that have recently plagued the nation, but then turning around to pass a law that automatically deletes many criminal convictions that would block a person from purchasing a gun.
“Face it,” the conservative caucus asserted. “In Connecticut it is tough to be convicted for any crime. Many first and second arrests end up being dismissed. Therefore, any actual conviction is most likely not the product of a first time run-in with the law, but a ‘repeat offender.’”
While state and federal law acknowledge some of these convictions provide information on the level of the convicted’s concern for others and, consequently, may block a person from obtaining a firearm, the Connecticut conservatives noted the Democrats’ Public Act 21-32, passed in 2021, “provides for automatic erasure of numerous felony convictions (10 years post-conviction).”
Misdemeanor convictions, the caucus members observed, can be automatically erased seven years post-conviction.
The Democrats’ law, therefore, undermines background checks, creating the situation whereby many who have been convicted of violence and threatening behavior in the past are now eligible to possess firearms without having first to appear before the Board of Pardons and Parole.
The Connecticut conservatives observed State House Republicans attempted to amend the legislation, seeking to remove from automatic erasure convictions for felonies, such as “assault in the second degree,” “robbery in the third degree,” and “interfering with an officer.”
“While all Republicans voted for the amendment, the Democrats voted it down 81-67,” the caucus members noted.
“Amazingly, the Democrats also voted to automatically erase many felony hate crime convictions,” they added, pointing out State House Republicans tried to block that move as well.
While Connecticut Democrats publicly decry gun violence, they simultaneously have made guns “legally available to people previously convicted of heinous, disqualifying crimes,” the conservative lawmakers asserted.
“[I]t is the members of the Conservative Caucus, and the other House Republicans, that are the ones trying to keep guns out of the hands of violent and threatening people – for the safety of the public, which Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Democrats ‘claim’ to be protecting through their non-stop onslaught on lawful gun owners and ownership,” the caucus members asserted.
The Connecticut General Assembly Conservative Caucus includes State Representatives Mike France, chair (R‑Ledyard); Craig Fishbein, vice chair (R-Fox Hollow); Mark Anderson, secretary (R-New Hartford); David T. Wilson, treasurer (R-Woodbury); and State Reps. Tim Ackert (R-Columbia), Anne Dauphinais (R-Wauregan), Doug Dubitsky (R‑Hanover), Kimberly Fiorello (R-Stanwich), John Fusco (R‑Southington), Rick Hayes (R‑Thompson), Brian Lanoue (R-Griswold), Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-Wolcott), John Piscopo (R-Torrington), Joe Polletta (R-Oakville), Kurt Vail (R-Stafford Springs), and Donna Veach (R-Kensington).
State Representative Mike France (R-Ledyard), chairman of the Connecticut General Assembly Conservative Caucus, is running to unseat 16-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-02) in the state’s 2nd Congressional District.
In May, Cook Political Report moved Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District “towards Republicans.”
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