General Assembly Raised Bill No. 6355
January Session, 2021 LCO No. 2682
Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY
Introduced by:
(JUD)
AN ACT CONCERNING RISK PROTECTION ORDERS OR
WARRANTS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 Section 1. Section 29-38c of the general statutes is repealed and the
2 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2021):
3 (a) Upon complaint on oath by any state's attorney or assistant state's
4 attorney or by any two police officers or other complainant who is a
5 family or household member or a medical professional, to any judge of
6 the Superior Court, that such [state's attorney or police officers have]
7 complainant has probable cause to believe that [(1)] a person poses a risk
8 of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or to other individuals,
9 [(2)] (1) the judge may issue a risk protection order prohibiting such
10 person from acquiring or possessing a firearm or ammunition, and (2)
11 as part of or following the issuance of such order, if there is probable
12 cause to believe that (A) such person possesses one or more firearms,
13 and [(3)] (B) such firearm or firearms are within or upon any place, thing
14 or person, such judge may issue a warrant commanding a proper officer
15 to enter into or upon such place or thing, search the same or the person
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16 and take into such officer's custody any and all firearms and
17 ammunition. Such state's attorney or police officers [shall] may not
18 make such complaint unless such state's attorney or police officers have
19 conducted an independent investigation and [have] determined that
20 such probable cause exists and that there is no reasonable alternative
21 available to prevent such person from causing imminent personal injury
22 to himself or herself or to others with [such] a firearm.
23 (b) A risk protection order or warrant may issue only on affidavit
24 sworn to by the complainant or complainants before the judge and
25 establishing the grounds for issuing the order or warrant, which
26 [affidavit] shall be part of the [seizure] court file. In determining
27 whether grounds for the application exist or whether there is probable
28 cause to believe [they] such grounds exist, the judge shall consider: (1)
29 Recent threats or acts of violence by such person directed toward other
30 persons; (2) recent threats or acts of violence by such person directed
31 toward himself or herself; and (3) recent acts of cruelty to animals as
32 provided in subsection (b) of section 53-247 by such person. In
33 evaluating whether such recent threats or acts of violence constitute
34 probable cause to believe that such person poses a risk of imminent
35 personal injury to himself or herself or to others, the judge may consider
36 other factors including, but not limited to (A) the reckless use, display
37 or brandishing of a firearm by such person, (B) a history of the use,
38 attempted use or threatened use of physical force by such person against
39 other persons, (C) prior involuntary confinement of such person in a
40 hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, and (D) the illegal use
41 of controlled substances or abuse of alcohol by such person. If the judge
42 is satisfied that the grounds for the application exist or that there is
43 probable cause to believe that [they] such grounds exist, such judge shall
44 issue a risk protection order or warrant naming or describing the
45 person, and, in the case of the issuance of a warrant, the place or thing
46 to be searched. The order or warrant shall be directed to any police
47 officer of a regularly organized police department or any state police
48 officer. [It] The order or warrant shall state the grounds or probable
49 cause for [its] issuance and, [it] in the case of a warrant, the warrant shall
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50 command the officer to search within a reasonable time the person,
51 place or thing named for any and all firearms and ammunition. A copy
52 of the order or warrant shall be given to the person named [therein] in
53 the order or warrant together with a notice informing the person that
54 such person has the right to a hearing under this section and the right to
55 be represented by counsel at such hearing.
56 (c) [The applicant for] (1) In the case of a warrant, the municipal or
57 state police agency that executed the warrant shall file a copy of the
58 application for the warrant and all affidavits upon which the warrant is
59 based with the clerk of the court for the geographical area within which
60 the search [will be] was conducted no later than the next business day
61 following the execution of the warrant. Prior to the execution and return
62 of the warrant, the clerk of the court shall not disclose any information
63 pertaining to the application for the warrant or any affidavits upon
64 which the warrant is based. The warrant shall be executed and returned
65 with reasonable promptness consistent with due process of law and
66 shall be accompanied by a written inventory of all firearms and
67 ammunition seized.
68 (2) In the case of a risk protection order, not later than the next
69 business day following the service of the order, the municipal or state
70 police agency that served the order shall file with the court a copy of the
71 order and a return of service stating the date and time that the order was
72 served. Prior to the service and return of the order, the clerk of court
73 shall not disclose any information pertaining to the application for the
74 order or any affidavits upon which the order is based. The order shall
75 be served and returned with reasonable promptness consistent with due
76 process of law.
77 (d) Not later than fourteen days after the service of a risk protection
78 order or execution of a warrant under this section, the court for the
79 geographical area where the person named in the order or warrant
80 resides shall hold a hearing to determine whether the risk protection
81 order should continue to apply and whether the firearm or firearms and
82 any ammunition seized should be returned to the person named in the
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83 warrant or should continue to be held by the state. At such hearing the
84 state shall have the burden of proving all material facts by clear and
85 convincing evidence. If, after such hearing, the court finds by clear and
86 convincing evidence that the person poses a risk of imminent personal
87 injury to himself or herself or to other individuals, the court may order
88 that the risk protection order continue to apply and that the firearm or
89 firearms and any ammunition seized pursuant to the warrant issued
90 under subsection (a) of this section continue to be held by the state [for
91 a period not to exceed one year, otherwise] until such time that the court
92 shall order the lifting of the risk protection order and the firearm or
93 firearms and any ammunition seized to be returned to the person named
94 in the warrant pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. If the court finds
95 that the person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or
96 herself or to other individuals, the court shall give notice to the
97 Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services which may take
98 such action pursuant to chapter 319i as [it] the department deems
99 appropriate.
100 (e) A risk protection order shall continue to apply and the firearm or
101 firearms and any ammunition held pursuant to subsection (d) of this
102 section shall continue to be held by the state until such time that the
103 person named in the order or warrant can prove by a preponderance of
104 the evidence at a hearing of the court that such person no longer poses
105 an immediate risk of personal injury to themselves or other individuals.
106 The person named in the order or warrant may first petition the court
107 for a hearing at least one hundred eighty days after the hearing held
108 pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. If the court denies a person's
109 petition under this section, the person may not file a subsequent petition
110 until at least one hundred eighty days after the date on which the court
111 denied the petition.
112 [(e)] (f) Any person whose firearm or firearms and ammunition have
113 been ordered seized pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, or such
114 person's legal representative, may transfer such firearm or firearms and
115 ammunition in accordance with the provisions of section 29-33 or other
116 applicable state or federal law, to [any person eligible to possess such
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117 firearm or firearms and ammunition] a federally licensed firearm dealer.
118 Upon notification in writing by such person, or such person's legal
119 representative, and the [transferee] dealer, the head of the state agency
120 holding such seized firearm or firearms and ammunition shall within
121 ten days deliver such firearm or firearms and ammunition to the
122 [transferee] dealer.
123 [(f) For the] (g) For purposes of this section, "ammunition" means a
124 loaded cartridge, consisting of a primed case, propellant or projectile,
125 designed for use in any firearm, and (1) "family or household member"
126 means a person who is a: (A) (i) Spouse, (ii) parent, (iii) child, (iv) sibling,
127 (v) grandparent, (vi) grandchild, (vii) step-parent, (viii) step-child, (ix)
128 step-sibling, (x) mother or father-in-law, (xi) son or daughter-in-law, or
129 (xii) brother or sister-in-law of the person subject to a complaint
130 pursuant to this section; (B) person residing with the person subject to
131 the complaint; (C) person who has a child in common with the person
132 subject to the complaint; (D) dating or intimate partner of the person
133 subject to the complaint; or (E) legal guardian or former legal guardian
134 of the person subject to the complaint, and (2) "medical professional"
135 means any person who has examined the respondent and who is (A) a
136 physician or physician assistant licensed under chapter 370, (B) an
137 advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378, (C) a
138 psychologist licensed under chapter 383, or (D) a clinical social worker
139 licensed under chapter 383b.
140 Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 46b-15e of the general statutes is
141 repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October
142 1, 2021):
143 (a) (1) The Chief Court Administrator shall revise and simplify the
144 process for filing an application for relief under section 46b-15. The
145 Chief Court Administrator shall ensure that any person seeking to file
146 an application for relief is provided with a one-page, plain language
147 explanation of how to apply for relief under section 46b-15.
148 (2) The Chief Court Administrator shall develop and make available
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149 to the public educational materials concerning the [warrant process] risk
150 protection order and warrant processes set forth in section 29-38c, as
151 amended by this act, relating to a person who poses a risk of imminent
152 personal injury to himself or herself or to other individuals. The Chief
153 Court Administrator shall develop and make available to the public in
154 hard copy and electronically on the Internet web site of the Judicial
155 Branch a form to enable a person to apply to have a risk protection order
156 issued naming a family or household member or medical professional,
157 each as defined in section 29-38c, as amended by this act, and a one-
158 page, plain language explanation of how to apply for such order.
159 Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 29-28 of the general statutes is
160 repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October
161 1, 2021):
162 (b) Upon the application of any person having a bona fide permanent
163 residence within the jurisdiction of any such authority, such chief of
164 police, warden or selectman may issue a temporary state permit to such
165 person to carry a pistol or revolver within the state, provided such
166 authority shall find that such applicant intends to make no use of any
167 pistol or revolver which such applicant may be permitted to carry under
168 such permit other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable
169 person to receive such permit. No state or temporary state permit to
170 carry a pistol or revolver shall be issued under this subsection if the
171 applicant (1) has failed to successfully complete a course approved by
172 the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the
173 safety and use of pistols and revolvers including, but not limited to, a
174 safety or training course in the use of pistols and revolvers available to
175 the public offered by a law enforcement agency, a private or public
176 educational institution or a firearms training school, utilizing instructors
177 certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Energy
178 and Environmental Protection and a safety or training course in the use
179 of pistols or revolvers conducted by an instructor certified by the state
180 or the National Rifle Association, (2) has been convicted of (A) a felony,
181 or (B) on or after October 1, 1994, a violation of section 21a-279 or section
182 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178
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183 or 53a-181d, (3) has been convicted as delinquent for the commission of
184 a serious juvenile offense, as defined in section 46b-120, (4) has been
185 discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after
186 having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or
187 defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (5) (A) has been confined in a hospital
188 for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495,
189 within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or (B) has
190 been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for
191 persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495,
192 within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric
193 disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a
194 drug-dependent person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680,
195 (6) is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a
196 case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force
197 against another person, including an ex parte order issued pursuant to
198 section 46b-15 or 46b-16a, (7) is subject to a firearms seizure order issued
199 pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c, as amended by this act, after
200 notice and hearing, or a risk protection order issued pursuant to section
201 29-38c, as amended by this act, (8) is prohibited from shipping,
202 transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC
203 922(g)(4), (9) is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States, or
204 (10) is less than twenty-one years of age. Nothing in this section shall
205 require any person who holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver
206 on October 1, 1994, to participate in any additional training in the safety
207 and use of pistols and revolvers. No person may apply for a temporary
208 state permit to carry a pistol or revolver more than once within any
209 twelve-month period, and no temporary state permit to carry a pistol or
210 revolver shall be issued to any person who has applied for such permit
211 more than once within the preceding twelve months. Any person who
212 applies for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver shall
213 indicate in writing on the application, under penalty of false statement
214 in such manner as the issuing authority prescribes, that such person has
215 not applied for a temporary state permit to carry a pistol or revolver
216 within the past twelve months. Upon issuance of a temporary state
217 permit to carry a pistol or revolver to the applicant, the local authority
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218 shall forward the original application to the commissioner. Not later
219 than sixty days after receiving a temporary state permit, an applicant
220 shall appear at a location designated by the commissioner to receive the
221 state permit. The commissioner may then issue, to any holder of any
222 temporary state permit, a state permit to carry a pistol or revolver within
223 the state. Upon issuance of the state permit, the commissioner shall
224 make available to the permit holder a copy of the law regarding the
225 permit holder's responsibility to report the loss or theft of a firearm and
226 the penalties associated with the failure to comply with such law. Upon
227 issuance