Public Hearing For Stafstrom’s Open-Carry Legislation

Steve Stafstrom
Steve Stafstrom at lectern, co-sponsored legislation with State Rep. William Tong, left.

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.

From Stafstrom:

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.



  1. Driving is a privilege not a right, you get pulled over by the cop, he/she asks for your license. You fork it over if you have one and if you have it with you. Most of the time you would not question why do you want to see my license but what did I do Officer?

    The second amendment aside you still have a carry permit to carry a gun in public. It is nothing against a person who is carrying a gun in the open, it is to be sure they have the permit to do so. Simple, right?

    I have a carry permit but would not carry my gun in the open. If I did carry it in the open and a cop asked me for my permit, I would carefully hand it over. If I was fishing and was asked by the game warden for my license, I would hand it over. I do not see why people who have gun permits are so against this.

    What would stop anyone, criminal or not from carrying a gun in the open knowing a cop can’t ask for their permit? This loophole in the current law needs to be changed.

    If the governor has his way there might not be too many people renewing their permits or getting them with the fees he wants to charge. Did anyone see the new tax being tossed around, they want to tax you on heating oil and natural gas now.

  2. This could be a defense lawyer’s dream, “Now officer, when you pulled out your gun on the defendant did you have your gun permit with you, and did you show it to the defendant?”

  3. *** Rights or no rights, I personally would feel safer if open-carry cowboys would have to show their permit to carry if asked by the police. And if you don’t want to be asked, then just conceal the weapon, no? ***

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