October 1, 2018

Statement of Senator Beth Bye on Connecticut’s New Bump Stock Ban and the One-Year Anniversary of the Las Vegas Massacre

State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) issued the following statement today regarding the new state law taking effect today, Monday, October 1, 2018, to ban the sale, possession or use of “bump stocks” in Connecticut (Public Act 18-29, see below) and the one-year anniversary of the massacre in Las Vegas—the deadliest mass shooting in American history—when a single man with bump-stock enhanced rifles fired 1,100 rounds in 10 minutes, murdering 58 people and injuring another 851 from the gunfire and ensuing panic.

“Once again Connecticut has taken yet another step to keep its residents safe from the absolute plague that is gun violence in America. It doesn’t matter if you’re in school, at church, on a military base, in a restaurant, your office, at a movie theater, at a concert, in a government office—mass shootings have almost become a part of the fabric of our everyday lives. And we can’t allow that to happen. We have to fight it at every turn, and banning bump stocks in Connecticut is one more way to do that. And I want to remind the Connecticut public that passage of this new law was not unanimous by any means. Nearly four dozen members of the General Assembly voted against banning bump stocks in Connecticut. In the Senate circle I heard Connecticut compared to communist China. I heard concern that paintball enthusiasts wouldn’t be able to use ‘trigger cranks.’ I heard a recognition of the ‘horrific massacre’ in Las Vegas, but then the alarm that Connecticut needs to stop its assault on assault weapons. So despite our recent progress, we still have a ways to go with some people when it comes to common sense and public safety in Connecticut.”


SUMMARY: This act generally makes it a class D felony for anyone, except a federally licensed firearms manufacturer fulfilling a military contract, to sell, offer to sell, otherwise transfer, or offer to transfer, purchase, possess, use, or manufacture a “rate of fire enhancement” (e.g., a bump stock).

The act provides a reduced penalty (a class D misdemeanor) for a first time offender who possesses a rate of fire enhancement before July 1, 2019, and holds a valid (1) permit to carry a pistol or revolver; (2) eligibility certificate for a pistol, revolver, or long gun; or (3) ammunition certificate.

The act makes an exception for (1) anyone who moves into the state in lawful possession of a rate of fire enhancement and (2) any military personnel stationed or otherwise residing in the state who is deployed from the state on October 1, 2018, or is under deployment from this state on that date and legally possessed a rate of fire enhancement on September 30, 2018.

It requires any such person or military personnel to render the rate of fire enhancement in his or her possession permanently inoperable, remove it from this state, or surrender it to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for destruction, within 90 days of moving into the state or returning to the state from deployment, as applicable.

Under the act, the penalties described above do not apply during the 90-day period, unless the person or military personnel uses, sells, offers to sell, otherwise transfers, or offers to transfer, except as permitted, such rate of fire enhancement during this grace period.

The act gives the court specific discretion to suspend prosecution in any case where a violation is not of a serious nature and the person charged with the violation (1) is not likely to offend in the future and (2) has not been previously convicted of a violation of these provisions or had a prosecution of any such violation suspended.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018