During a Board of Firearms Permit Examiners meeting on November 14, 2013, Detective Barbara Mattson of the Connecticut State Police disclosed the name and the active permit status of at least one Connecticut State Pistol Permit holder on the public record. This disclosure, prohibited by CGS 29-28(d), is both illegal and irresponsible.
Detective Mattson can hardly feign ignorance to the illegal nature of her disclosure since the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection recently won an appeal to their refusal to disclose permit applicant information under the Freedom of Information Act. The state argued against the plain text of the statute that only exempts persons issued a pistol permit, and the court applied that confidentiality to all applicants as well.
Detective Mattson did not disclose an applicant’s information, nor did she disclose the information of someone in an appeal. She disclosed the permit status, by name of a third party permit holder. This type of disclosure potentially harms or endangers members of the public, and the state police are expected to follow these laws that they enforce on the rest of us.
Rachel M. Baird and Associate of Torrington, Connecticut, on behalf of Connecticut Carry and the Connecticut residents we represent, issued a very direct letter to state officials. The state officials, including the State Police, the Attorney General and the Board of Firearms Permit examiners were informed and warned of this illegal conduct by a senior State Trooper from the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. They have been asked to provide notice to all relevant agencies and personnel to make sure that they understand that the confidentiality of pistol permit holders must be upheld.
Important questions about these disclosures have also been asked, such as: What action does the state intend to take in response to a prohibited disclosure? When and where will the state deem it expedient to name permit holders in public?
How is the DESPP able to disregard the law for its own members but state in court that the same action is serious and prohibited by law and so serious that applicants for permits cannot be disclosed despite the contrary plain text of the law?