CT: HB-5448 An Act Concerning Security of Certain Election Workers and Election-Related Locations (2024)

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HB-5448 An Act Concerning Security of Certain Election Workers and Election-Related Locations

Raised Bill [doc]

Public Hearing 03/13
Statement of Purpose:

To (1) allow certain election workers to request that their residential addresses be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, (2) establish a criminal prohibition on the possession of a firearm or deadly weapon within one thousand feet of certain election-related locations, and (3) establish a criminal prohibition on, and a civil cause of action for, threatening or harassing
See the following new statute language being proposed. Appears to ban possession of a firearm or deadly weapon within 1,000 feet of a polling place, not licensed or privileged to do so.
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2024) (a) A person is guilty of possession of a weapon near an elections site when, knowing that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so, such person possesses a firearm or deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes, within one thousand feet of any (1) polling place on the day of an election, primary or referendum, (2) location designated for the conduct of early voting during the period of early voting prior to an election or primary, (3) location designated for same-day election registration on the day of a regular election, (4) central location designated for the counting of absentee ballots, early voting ballots or same-day election registration ballots at an election, primary or referendum, as applicable, (5) place where a recanvass is being conducted, or (6) drop box designated for the deposit of absentee ballots during the period beginning on the first day of issuance of absentee voting sets and ending at the close of the polls at an election, primary or referendum.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm by a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3 of the general statutes, while engaged in the performance of such peace officer's official duties.
(c) Possession of a weapon near an elections site is a class D felony.
 
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See the following new statute language being proposed. Appears to ban possession of a firearm or deadly weapon within 1,000 feet of a polling place, not licensed or privileged to do so.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2024) (a) A person is guilty of possession of a weapon near an elections site when, knowing that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so, such person possesses a firearm or deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes, within one thousand feet of any (1) polling place on the day of an election, primary or referendum, (2) location designated for the conduct of early voting during the period of early voting prior to an election or primary, (3) location designated for same-day election registration on the day of a regular election, (4) central location designated for the counting of absentee ballots, early voting ballots or same-day election registration ballots at an election, primary or referendum, as applicable, (5) place where a recanvass is being conducted, or (6) drop box designated for the deposit of absentee ballots during the period beginning on the first day of issuance of absentee voting sets and ending at the close of the polls at an election, primary or referendum.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm by a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3 of the general statutes, while engaged in the performance of such peace officer's official duties.
(c) Possession of a weapon near an elections site is a class D felony.

If you are a prohibited person or you live in a state where you have to be licensed to carry and didn't GET one, then you already are breaking the law by carrying a firearm and so this law is frivolous. Unless there is some trickery in the definitions, it really just makes something that is already illegal a little bit more illegal. It has no effect on a free stater or a licensee in a slave state.
 
Some updates on this anti gun bill. The update joint favorable substitute bill has been posted. Links below. Further links to the Joint Favorable report is also linked below. New Sec 2 language, still bad, also posted below. They dropped the 1,000 feet to 250 feet. They did add an exemption for private property not part of election site and if firearm is not loaded, in locked container in a motor vehicle, along with some language about school property (public/private).

H.B. No. 5448 AN ACT CONCERNING SECURITY OF CERTAIN ELECTION WORKERS AND ELECTIONS-RELATED LOCATIONS.

GAE Joint Favorable Substitute [doc]

GAE Joint Fav. Rpt

Revised Sec 2 language:
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2024) (a) A person is guilty of possession of a weapon near an elections site when, knowing that such person is not permitted by law to do so, such person possesses a firearm or deadly weapon, as such terms are defined in section 53a-3 of the general statutes, within two hundred fifty feet of any (1) polling place on the day of an election, primary or referendum, (2) location designated for the conduct of early voting during the period of early voting at an election or primary, (3) location designated for same-day election registration on the day of a regular election, (4) central location designated for the counting of absentee ballots, early voting ballots or same-day election registration ballots at an election, primary or referendum, as applicable, (5) place where a recanvass is being conducted, or (6) drop box designated for the deposit of absentee ballots during the period beginning on the first day of issuance of absentee voting sets and ending at the close of the polls at an election, primary or referendum.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm:
(1) On private property that is not part of any elections site described in subdivisions (1) to (6), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section;
(2) That is (A) not loaded, and (B) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack, that is on a motor vehicle;
(3) In the case of any elections site described in subdivisions (1) to (6), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section that is in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, by a person (A) for use in a program approved by school officials in or on such school property, (B) in accordance with an agreement entered into between school officials and such person or such person's employer, or (C) while traversing such school property for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting or for other lawful purposes, provided such firearm is not loaded and the entry on such school property is permitted by the local or regional board of education;
(4) By a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3 of the general statutes, while engaged in the performance of such peace officer's official duties; and
(5) By a person passing within two hundred fifty feet of an elections site described in subdivisions (1) to (6), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section only for as long as necessary to be within such two hundred fifty feet while on the way to a place or location other than such elections site.
(c) Possession of a weapon near an elections site is a class D felony.
Edit to add: Several additional documents posted.
File No. 414 [doc]
Fiscal Note For File Copy 414
Bill Analysis For File Copy 414
 
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Per CCDL email this morning (4/16/24):

CCDL: Polling Places to be Gun Free Zones! Second Action Needed!​


HB5448 - AN ACT CONCERNING SECURITY OF CERTAIN ELECTION WORKERS AND ELECTIONS-RELATED LOCATIONS

Not to the surprise of any of us, but anti-gun politicians have PASSED HB5448 from the Government Administration and Elections Committee and it is ON ITS WAY to the Judiciary Committee, where we have a REAL CHANCE at STOPPING this law. Timing is crucial here and we need to act IMMEDIATELY.

Due to YOUR RESPONSE to our last action alert email, where 1,200 members acted and sent messages to their representatives, the bill’s language has been watered down, but we need to stop it! However, Representative Matt Blumenthal and Senator Mae Flexer WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to repress your rights. The updated language is available here.

This fight is far from over and we MUST continue to pressure legislators and let them know we are not standing down.

CLICK HERE to let your representative know you disagree with being disarmed and creating more gun-free zones. It couldn’t be any easier to make an impact in this fight.

Thank you for taking less than 5 minutes out of your day to help ensure we aren’t further stripped of our right to carry a firearm in Connecticut.

We also need members to contact legislators on the Judiciary Committee individually as well. Once you have completed the click-through we ask that you CALL a Senator or a Representative sitting on the committee in effort. We hope to make this straight-forward as we can by offering names and phone numbers of sitting committee members. Many of these numbers are not direct lines and you may have to ask for the specific representative and most likely leave a message with an aide. Please ask for a call back by the specific committee member.

Consider that this bill:
  • Disarms Americans as they participate in tradition that defines what it means to be an American
  • Deters gun owners from voting
  • Creates redundant policy as open carry is already illegal and intimidation with a firearm would be already be impossible under current law.
  • Creates unintentional felons. The Secretary of State’s website can’t even tell us where all of these locations are. How will gun owners even know they’re in violation?
  • Is a blatant over reaction to a problem that cannot even be shown to exist in our state.
Below is the list of committee members and their contact information. Remember, calls are more effective than emails, but any communication is important. They need to know this issue is important to you.

Co-Chair Senator Gary Winfield (D)
(860)240-0475
[email protected]

Co-Chair Representative Steven Stafstrom (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Vice Chair Senator Mae Flexer (D)
(860)240-8634
[email protected]

Vice Chair Representative Michael Quinn (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]

Ranking Member Senator John Kissel (R)
(800)842-1421
[email protected]

Ranking Member Representative Craig Fishbein (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Matt Blumenthal (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]

Representative Pat Callahan (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Christine Conley (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]

Representative Jeff Currey (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Hubert Delany (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Patricia Dillon (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Jason Doucette (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Doug Dubitsky (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Josh Elliott (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]

Senator Herron Gaston (D)
(860)240-0591
[email protected]

Representative Jillian Gilchrest (D)
(860)842-8267
[email protected]

Representative Bob Godfrey (D)
(860)240-8500
[email protected]

Representative Carol Hall (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Senator Stephen Harding (R)
(800)842-1421
[email protected]

Representative Rick Hayes (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Greg Howard (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Dominique Johnson (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Maryam Khan (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative David Labriola (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Senator Matt Lessor (D)
(860)240-0511
[email protected]

Senator Ceci Maher (D)
(860)240-0068
[email protected]

Senator Patricia Billie Miller (D)
(860)240-0589
[email protected]

Representative Tom O’Dea (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Melissa Osborne (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Cara Christine Pavalock-D’Amato (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Robyn A. Porter (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]

Senator Rob Sampson (R)
(800)842-1421
[email protected]

Representative Travis Simms (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]

Representative Donna Veach (R)
(800)842-1423
[email protected]

Representative Toni E. Walker (D)
(860)240-8585
[email protected]

Representative Derell Wilson (D)
(800)842-8267
[email protected]
 
Possible Victory on HB 5448 (Gun Free Zone Election Locations): The Gun Free Zone Language Reportedly Removed (04/23/24)

Yesterday it appears the Judiciary committee stripped out section 2 from the HB 5448 Bill. Section 2 was the section that setup 250 foot gun free zone around many location related to elections.

CCDL has posted a short video clip on Facebook of Rep. Blumenthal indicating during the judiciary session yesterday that section 2 would be removed from the bill.

The revised bill has yet to be posted.


Edit to add: See the following CT-N video at appox the 54 minute mark to see Rep. Blumenthal discuss then make a motion to remove Sec. 2 in it's entirety from the bill:
CT-N: Judiciary Committee April 22nd Meeting to Consider Bills Referred from the House and Senate

One can listen to several Democrats talk about wanting more gun control and wanting to revisit it at a later time.
 
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