State Representatives Ben McGorty (R-122) and Jason Perillo (R-113) are opposing an effort by Governor Dannel Malloy to increase pistol permit fees, raising the application fee for the five-year permit from $140 to $370, and the renewal fee from $70 to $300. Testimony concerning the proposed fee hike was heard by the legislature’s Finance Committee.
“We know this governor is hostile to the rights of responsible firearms owners, and this attempt to make pistol permits prohibitively expensive is just another transparent maneuver to ensure fewer and fewer people can exercise their Second Amendment rights,” said Rep. McGorty. “This would make Connecticut residents pay one of the highest fees in the nation for such a permit. It’s an attempt to price people out of legal gun ownership.”
“This is a proposal that jeopardizes the Constitutional rights of state residents to bear arms,” said Rep. Perillo. “By suggesting such a massive fee hike, Governor Malloy is essentially saying that he feels only wealthier people should have the right to own firearms, and that middle-class people should struggle to legally own them. Most people see this for what it is – the governor lashing out at a constituency that doesn’t support him, and targeting their wallets. What it really does is ensure that some of the state’s most vulnerable and less affluent residents will be unable to protect themselves as is their right.”
Governor Malloy has indicated that the fee increase would bring Connecticut more in line with New York City’s fee schedule. The Shelton legislators noted that this would not be an area the state should seek to emulate New York City, particularly in consideration of the permit fees in neighboring states; New York state charges between $100 and $130 depending on county, Massachusetts charges $100 for a six-year permit, and Rhode Island charges $40. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont do not require any permit at all.
Roughly 250,000 state residents currently possess a state-issued pistol permit. The Malloy administration estimates that the fee hikes will produce an extra $11.6 million per year.
“If Governor Malloy thinks this is an adequate way to help close the perpetual budget deficits his poor economic policies produce, he is greatly mistaken,” Perillo said.
“It is an onerous and unfair burden on citizens wishing to exercise their Constitutional rights and we will oppose it at every turn,” McGorty added.