There is a lot of talk right now in the media, on social media, amongst friends and around dinner tables about the topic of open carry and showing your permit when confronted by law enforcers. If you believe the fear, uncertainty, doubt and outright lies being sold by anti-rights groups, media and politicians, you would think that this is some kind of issue revolving around the right to bear arms. You might be led to believe that people who choose to bear arms as a lifestyle want some kind of special treatment. But you would be wrong. And it isn’t completely your fault either. You are being lied to and intentionally misinformed.
Anti-rights groups are trying to sell a lie that includes people with fishing permits needing to show their fishing permit upon request. There is nothing in law in Connecticut that requires any such thing absent reasonable articulable suspicion. A better analogy would be that operating a motor vehicle in Connecticut requires that operators maintain and possess their operator license. In 2017, as of this date, there have been approximately 53 fatal accidents within the state, with a percentage of these fatal accidents being caused by drivers operating under suspension, revocation or under the influence. Seeing the public safety issue present with these drivers, why can’t Law Enforcement Officers pull over, detain and search anyone that they see on the road to check and make sure that they have a license and that they are not under the influence? Because you have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure as recognized in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1, Section 7 of the Connecticut constitution.
And that is the actual issue here. No one is arguing about whether or not a police officer has the power to demand a pistol permit from someone carrying a firearm that is suspected of a crime. The argument is whether or not the mere carrying of a firearm either provides that suspicion or overrides the requirement for reasonable articulable suspicion. And that argument has been settled already; this is settled law.
HB 6200 is not a Second Amendment issue. HB 6200 is a Fourth Amendment issue. Our position is consistent with and has been repeatedly upheld in courts across the country. Terry v. Ohio was one of the major cases that really laid down the Reasonable Articulable Suspicion requirement when a citizen is being detained by a law enforcement officer. Even more recently, Florida v. J.L. also really narrowed this argument down and established that the requirements for reasonable articulable suspicion set forth in Terry v. Ohio do not suddenly disappear when a firearm is involved.
The media, politicians and anti-rights groups who have been spreading these lies and falsehoods should all be ashamed of themselves for not performing their due diligence with the facts surrounding this issue.
This bill is not about safety, as there have been zero actual public safety incidents regarding open carry. Instead, this is a flanking move to attack and chill all personal rights by attacking the right to be free against unreasonable searches and seizures.
“The collectivist propaganda machine is alive and well here in Connecticut, where anti-rights groups, media sources and politicians alike sell outright lies to the people of Connecticut without fear of reprisal or rebuttal. Connecticut Carry seeks to end that machine and bring truth back to discussions around the right to bear arms.” – Connecticut Carry President Rich Burgess