The Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen
ACTIVE, INVOLVED, KNOWLEDGEABLE, PROFESSIONAL, AND TENACIOUS
WORKING FOR YOU!
CCS Provides the ONLY Full-time lobbying presence during regular and special legislative sessions, DEP and State Police Regulation process, and in cities/towns proposing sportsmen restrictions. Wrote/passed numerous proactive sportsmen’s bills dealing with corrections to the pistol permit laws, firearms, fishing, hunting, trapping, land acquisition, transfer of sportsmen’s fees from the General Fund to the DEP, and have consistently defeated anti-sportsmen bills.
In 2011, the Coalition submitted several bills including: eliminate the duplicative dealer “Bound Book”; State Firearms Preemption; Handgun Reciprocity; “Castle Doctrine”, TIP Program Funding, Falconry & others. None Passed. BILLS DEFEATED: Ban Lead Fishing Sinkers; Registration of ALL Firearms; Transfer of the Board of Firearms to the State Police; BAN “Large Capacity Magazines” (10 Rounds); Seizure of Ammo in Domestic Violence/Restraining Order cases; Establish a “Gun Offender Registry”; & Firearm Range Safety Standards. BILLS PASSED: Renewal of Pistol Permits by Mail; Parent penalty for ineligible Minor in Possession/Use of a firearm; Expand Recreational Immunity to Municipalities, etc.; BUI plus mandates 1 day/year FREE fishing; State Forestry Program expanded. BILLS PASSED/We OPPOSED: Elimination of the Boating Fund; Transfer of firearms under Restraining/Protective Order only to FFLdealers for Sale. No Animal Rights bills Passed.
In 2010, the Coalition submitted several gun bills to include reinstituting the State Auction of Firearms and a bill to eliminate a duplicative dealer “Bound Book” which died the last day of the session. All Anti-gun bills filed were DEFEATED: a Registration program for ALL long guns; Several bills to delete the independent Board of Firearms Permit Examiners as an agency and become subservient to the Department of Public Safety. Bills PASSED: Reduced the 2009 100% DEP license fee increase by 65% and established a Credit in 2011 for those who paid the 100% increased fee; Hunting of Deer by Pistol or Revolver; a group fishing license for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations for persons: With a service-related or other disability receiving services with the VA; receiving mental health, retardation or autism, or addiction services from state agencies; or receiving care from the Department of Children and Families. Insured an Animal Rights bill which Passed concerning Confinement and Tethering of dogs did not affect hunters. No negative Sportsmen legislation passed.
In 2009, the Coalition submitted NO gun bills, but many anti-gun bills were filed. Defeated: First-in-the-nation proposed legislation with potential to shut down shooting ranges in the state. Required registration for owner/operators w/Dept of Public Safety; would allow new regulations & facility shut down without cause simply by deeming it “unsafe;” could put almost every range out of business immediately for non-compliance if the noise level measured at the boundary of the property exceeded 60 decibels. Sportsmen communications killed this bill before it could be assigned a number and printed! “Microstamping” of semiauto pistols; Mandatory concealment of a pistol/revolver when carried. PASSED: Prohibits those under 16 years from firing machine guns; Sunday Bow Hunting Passed Environment Committee 19-8, but was not called in the House. Marine Sportfishing License @ $10, Non-Resident $15; No Net Loss protecting current Hunting Areas; Prohibits use of computer software to remotely control a firearm or weapon to hunt a live animal or bird. Defeated: Ban on leghold and conibear-style Traps; Commercial Fishing for Striped Bass; Numerous Animal Rights bills affecting hunters including Humane Education, Confinement and Tethering of dogs. Fees, Taxes, DEP appropriations ongoing.
In 2008, the Coalition submitted NO gun bills, but many anti-gun bills were filed. Defeated: “Microstamping” of semiauto pistols & made all handgun disqualifiers applicable to long guns; “Microstamping” ammunition for handguns & “assault weapons” be coded & ammunition & individuals purchase records maintained; Prohibit firearms in buildings/grounds of the DMV; Extension from 8 to 12 weeks for processing a temporary pistol permit. Sunday Hunting not addressed. Passed: Establish moose and bear hunting seasons, methods, permits, penalties. The Marine Sportfishing License, Increase in Conservation Police, Park Funding, other funding died due to Govs Budget restraints. Lyme Disease Study died. The $3 million Motorboat Fuel Tax allocated DEP was maintained. No negative Sportsmen legislation passed.
In 2007, many anti-gun bills were filed. “Lost & Stolen Firearms” Passed after 4 years of our opposition. Penalties for fail to report within 72 hours of when you “discover or should have discovered” is an infraction, not more than $90 and no impact on Pistol Permits. Several bills regulating Ammunition Sales, One gun a month, Ballistic Fingerprinting and others were defeated. Sunday Hunting again Passed Environment Comm. 19-8, but not called by the House. The Marine Sportfishing License Passed Environment 26-3; Finance Comm. 31-22 but not called by the House. Disclosure of the Presence of a Gun Club/Hunting Preserve to Prospective Real Estate Purchasers/Lessees, Passed. $400,000 for the Gun Trafficking Task Force Passed. 7 ENCON Police were in the Budget but deleted on final passage. The $3 million Motorboat Fuel Tax allocated DEP was maintained.
In 2006, the Coalition submitted NO gun bills, however many anti-gun bills were filed. Again Defeated: “Lost & Stolen Firearms” Imposing penalties for fail to report within 72 hours. The revised bill was expanded to subject gun owners to criminal investigation/jeopardy of prosecution even if they report the theft, giving the court the ability to decide whether the firearm was stored in a manner that provided “substantial and unjustifiable risk” that it would be stolen. Worse, if the police recovered the firearm before the gun owner discovered it missing/made a report, it would be considered automatic evidence of violation, as well as an illegal transfer. Conviction of the “illegal transfer,” which is a felony, would permanently end your right to own a firearm! A modified proposal passed the Senate on a 30-5 vote but was defeated 79-66 in the House. Sunday Hunting Passed Environment Committee 19-8 and a 27-8 vote in the Senate, it was not called by the House. Passed: Roadkill Bill allowing retention of Bear and Moose as with Deer/Car incidents. Motorboat Fuel Tax was maintained. No negative Sportsmen legislation passed. The 2006 SportPAC election activities, in concert with the NRA-Political Victory Fund, were completed.
In 2005, 1 gun bill passed, after objectionable language was stripped, in conjunction with the State Police disallowing mentally prohibited persons in CT from purchasing a firearm in another state by their inclusion in the NICS system; Defeated new dealer license fees, a ban on .50 caliber firearms, universal registration for long guns and a ban on private transfer of long guns; “Lost and Stolen Guns” was again defeated; Sunday Hunting failed although we have a positive vote count for ’06; Motorboat Fuel Tax – $1 million added; Again, an adverse Trapping amendment died; a comprehensive DEP Regulations package Passed benefiting all hunters; Minimum water flow Passed benefiting river fishermen; Boating bills Passed reducing the nuisance of excessive motorboat noise and increasing boating safety. No negative Sportsmen legislation passed, and our priority Sunday Hunting bill will be back.
In 2004, for the first time in many years, NO GUN BILL PASSED either good or bad. We promoted the CT Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus which strongly supported bills we submitted: Forestry Management – Passed; Minimum Staffing of COs – 2 added; Motorboat Fuel Tax – $$ maintained; and Sunday Hunting – No action. Again supported changes to Invasive Species bills – Passed. Supported continuing the Departments of Agriculture – Passed. Continued a lawsuit against Orange CT for a Restrictive Hunting Ordinance. The 2004 SportPAC election activities, in concert with the NRA-Political Victory Fund, are ongoing.
In 2003, we again defeated a Firearms Evidence Databank bill (Ballistic Fingerprinting-cartridge case/bullet forensics similar to MD & NY law); Our major gun priorities – Reciprocity and Restrictions due to Misdemeanor Convictions failed. A Major DEP bill – “Powers of the Commissioner” – dealing with Endangered Species, Deer & Geese and several Coalition beneficial Hunting redefinitions Passed. Again, adverse Trapping amendments died. Passed: Boating While Intoxicated, and we again defeated registration of non-motorized boats. Supported a Wildlife State License Plate, and an Invasive Species bill – Passed. No negative Sportsmen legislation passed, and our priority gun bills will be back. Sponsored the CT Power Boat Show (Hartford) and assisted in establishing the CT Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
In 2002, few guns bills were addressed. Our major priority, Providing affirmative defense to prosecution and confiscation of “Assault Weapon” TYPE firearms passed; defeated .50 Cal. Prohibitions again. Defeated: a bill restricting hunting with dogs; restricting fishing access to Candlewood Lake; registration of non-motorized boats. Reluctantly supported a 40% License Fee Increase bill (10-year cycle) which Passed. DEP and Sportsmen suffered a $2 million loss in the new Budget. The 2002 SportPAC election activities, in concert with the NRA-Political Victory Fund, were successful. SportPAC gave over $6,000 in campaign contributions.
In 2001, anti-gun legislators again brought forth a host of bills which were defeated, including an expansion of the “Assault Weapon” ban, Creating a Firearms Evidence Databank (Ballistic Fingerprinting – cartridge case/bullet forensics similar to MD law), Adversely changing the membership of the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, One gun a Month, Prohibition on Guns in Public Buildings, Adoption of the “Smith & Wesson Agreement” measures, and Others. A seriously restrictive Hunting amendment died. Passed: A compromise bill including a beneficial “Single State Permit System”, restrictions on .50 Cal. armor piercing & incendiary bullets, and technical revisions; an additional $1 million in tax transfer to fisheries (FY 02); beneficial changes to Nuisance Wildlife Control law. No seriously negative Sportsmen legislation passed, and with our priority bills we did well.
In 2000, no adverse Sportsmen legislation passed, and with our priority bills we did well. We passed our major priority-the Task Force on Illegal Gun Trafficking; defeated “Prohibition on Guns in Public Buildings”, an amendment adopting the “Smith & Wesson Agreement”, and an onerous Firing Range bill. Beneficial State Police bills we supported died. Passed: a “Hunting Safety” bill approved by major sportsmen’s groups; a total purse seine “menhaden prohibition”; farmland preservation; and an additional $1 million in motorboat fuel tax transfer (FY 01) was gained. In June, a Special Session of the Legislature was called and “Prohibition on Guns in Public Buildings” again surfaced and was killed. The 2000 Elections held Nov 7, 2000. SportPAC election activities, in concert with the NRA-Political Victory Fund, were successful. SportPAC gave over $6,000 in campaign contributions.
In 1999 CCS initiated 12 bills dealing with firearm corrections, hunting, and fund transfers to preclude license fee increases. Again, anti-gunners raised “Sat. Nite Specials,” 1-gun-a-month, “Smart Guns.” The Littleton, CO shootings compounded our problems. As in 98, a compromise was developed deleting most onerous provisions and passing “CT Instant Check” and several other corrections. No hunting bills passed and two seriously restrictive Hunting bills died. Transfer Funding for Fisheries was increased 4-fold. Firearm safety devices sales tax exemption passed. Increased boating fees and Titleing were killed.
In 1998, due to the Lottery shooting, anti-gun legislators resurrected all onerous bills defeated in ‘97, plus new issues and combined them into one bill. A compromise bill passed with most of the onerous provisions deleted. Range Protection passed, release of the FOI Permit List removed, and positive minor gun corrections passed. A fund transfer passed ($250K to 500K/yr.) to support Fisheries & Boating Division operations. Falconry passed.
- “Hunters For the Hungry,” has consistently proved successful in helping the needy.
- Our Legal Defense fund WON a hunting discharge ordinance court case in E. Hartford ,and won an appeal. Our Legal Defense Fund donated $5,000 to Metacon Gun Club legal battle affecting every shooting range in CT and the Northeast. It has also donated to other clubs for similar cases.
- SportPAC election activities, in concert with the NRA-Political Victory Fund, were successful. SportPAC gave over $6,000 in campaign contributions. All subsequent Special Elections in which we participated were won.
- The Coalition continues providing the ONLY consistent Sportsmen’s lobbying at the Capitol, DEP Regulation hearings; Advisory Councils presence, and with state agencies.
- CCS is the only recognized spokesman group for our issues, with radio/TV/print media.
- CCS co-sponsors the successful Northeast Fishing and Outdoor Expo, at the Hartford Convention Center. The Expo is the only CT Sportsmen’s Show and promotes sportsmen’s credibility. CCS also co-sponsors The CT Power Boat Show.
Membership is the basis for any successful organization. It provides revenue for operations: Legislative, State Agency, and Municipal lobbying; Alerts; media representation; member communications; administration; SportPAC Candidate Ratings; website/e-mail; and special events. All are essential to concerned sportsmen if we are to retain and further develop sportsmen’s influence and presence.
Our opposition is becoming better organized – we urge you stay active and support sportsmen’s efforts! Success and continuation of sportsmen’s activities depends upon members such as YOU!
The Coalition is THE Sportsmen’s Advocate in Connecticut.
We need YOUR SUPPORT to continue providing services to protect and promote your rights and outdoor activities. Without your Support, we may lose the activities we have and cherish today!