Bridgeport State Rep. Steve Stafstrom is co-sponsoring legislation “To require individuals who openly carrying a pistol or revolver to produce their permit upon request of a law enforcement officer if the firearm is visible to such officer.” See the bill here. A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday 10 a.m. in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Written testimony can be submitted here.
Stafstrom, vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, calls the proposed legislation “a common sense bill which will allow law enforcement to confirm that individuals openly carrying firearms in public are doing so lawfully. Despite the rhetoric from the NRA, this is not a gun bill–it’s a public and police safety bill.”
The issue came into focus in Bridgeport last year when a stand-off between city police and a patron packing a gun played out in a Subway shop on Main Street Downtown.
Under current state law police must have reasonable suspicion that a person openly carrying a firearm will use it before asking to produce a permit.
The need for this bill is clear, especially after recent incidents around the State, including at a Downtown Bridgeport sandwich shop, where individuals openly carrying guns refused to cooperate with law enforcement officials. Current law already requires citizens who are armed in public to carry their handgun permit with them. However, unfortunately, currently law does not allow a police office to ask to inspect that permit. It is only common sense that the law be amended to require a person openly carrying to produce the permit to confirm they are lawfully carrying, and not a threat to public safety or the officers themselves.