First in a Series on Connecticut’s Gun Laws
Connecticut Ranked Fourth Highest for Strong Gun Laws
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV) ranks Connecticut fourth among the 10 states with the strongest gun laws. California is ranked first, New Jersey second, and Massachusetts third (http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-laws-matter-2012-understanding-the-link-between-weak-laws-and-gun-violence/ ).
The Law Center’s rankings are based on 29 criteria which can be downloaded from http://smartgunlaws.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Point-Assignment-Methodology.pdf. The criteria focus, among other things, on whether background checks and mental health reporting are required by state law, whether the law has loose or strict regulation of assault weapons, and the extent to which state laws limit the issuance of pistol permits or allow pistols to be carried with no permits.
States with the Weakest Gun Laws
Nine of the ten states with the weakest gun laws are either in the West, the Midwest, or the South (South Dakota, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, Montana, Wyoming, Kentucky, Kansas, and Oklahoma) The tenth state with the weakest gun laws— it actually ranks fifth among the ten— is Vermont which, among other factors, allows its citizens to carry concealed guns without a permit.
Strong Gun Laws = Low Death Rates
LCPVG finds a direct correlation between strong gun laws and low gun death rates. Seven of the 10 states with the strongest gun laws are also among the 10 states having the lowest gun death rates. Connecticut is among those seven:
Top 10 States with the Strongest Gun Laws
Top 10 States with the Lowest Gun Death Rates
Strengths in Connecticut’s Gun laws
LCPGV cites ten strengths in Connecticut’s gun laws. Among other factors, Connecticut
- Requires background checks before a handgun can be transferred between individuals who are not licensed firearm dealers;
- Conducts its own background checks rather than relying on the FBI;
- Requires owners to report the loss or theft of any firearm; and
- Allows local governments to deny as well as issue concealed carry permits.
Weaknesses in Connecticut’s Gun Laws
According to LCPGV, Connecticut does not
- Limit the number of firearms that can be purchased at any one time; or
- Regulate ammunition sales.
Since Connecticut does not regulate ammunition sales, any qualified person can buy any number of high-capacity magazines (“clips”) capable of holding 10, 20, 30, 50, or as many as 100 rounds.
An advertisement in a December 2010 issue of a gun magazine pictures five high-capacity magazines. Two of them can hold 100 rounds; the other three hold 75 rounds.
In the next post we will take a closer look at Connecticut’s firearms laws.
Sources and Notes
LCPGV’s Connecticut State Law Summary can be accessed at http://smartgunlaws.org/connecticut-state-law-summary/, This page has links to Connecticut’s firearms laws.
The advertisement for high-capacity ammunition clips can be viewed on p. 4 of an online publication of the Violence Policy Center headquartered in Washington, D.C. (http://www.vpc.org/studies/accessories.pdf).