Connecticut Considers Expanding ‘Red Flag’ Law, Eliminating Expiration on Gun Confiscation

Connecticut state representative Steve Stafstrom is one of the bill’s sponsors. (Photo: Steve Stafstrom Facebook)

The Connecticut state legislature is considering expanding the state’s “red flag” law to allow family members and “medical professionals” to the list of people who can request that a judge confiscate a person’s firearms.

The proposal also eliminates the expiration date on red flag orders and would force the person whose guns were seized to prove they are no longer a danger to themselves or others.

Connecticut’s current red flag law, which has been on the books since 1999, only allows police officers and prosecutors to petition a judge for a confiscation order. Proponents of the bill want family members to be able to take matters into their own hands.

“We simply can no longer have a system that’s dependent solely on the response of a 911 dispatcher and a police department as the only resource someone has when they’re in a crisis,” Connecticut resident Jennifer Lawlor said at the hearing, according to the Associated Press.

“Family members are often the first to recognize when their loved one is in crisis, so it is crucial they have a way to directly petition the court to temporarily remove guns from those who could be a risk to themselves or others,” she continued.

SEE ALSO: New Paper Suggests ‘Red Flag’ Laws Will Discriminate Against People of Color

The bill defines “family member” to include a laundry list of relations and non-relations, including step-family members, in-laws, people living in the same house, dating partners, former legal guardians, and someone who has a child in common with the person in the complaint.

“Medical professionals” can include registered nurses, psychologists, and social workers.

Opponents of the bill argue that the proposal would allow people to use red flag orders to harass members of their family with whom they have a grudge.

“My fear is all it would take would be one word from a spurned partner to the judge whose going on one side without any evidence,” Connecticut resident Dr. Walter Kupson said at the hearing.

Others worry that the bill will disincentivize people from seeking medical treatment for fear that their psychologist will seek an order to confiscate their firearms.

SEE ALSO: Virginia Uses Red Flag Law for the First Time to Confiscate Firearms

“I want to urge you to deeply consider the impact this bill will have on mental health in our state. I have, on several occasions, spoken with women gun owners who were afraid to get basic counseling for very common issues like post partem blues, eating disorders or marriage counseling for fear that there will be an impact on their right to self-defense,” said Holly Sullivan, President of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.

“Under this bill, I am certain that more women will avoid seeking basic mental health over the concern they will be disarmed unfairly,” Sullivan added.

After 180 days, the person whose firearms were confiscated can petition the court to release their firearms. But they must “prove by a preponderance of the evidence at a hearing of the court” that they “no longer pose an immediate risk of personal injury to themselves or other individuals.”

If the court denies the petition, the person may not file a subsequent petition until at least 180 days after the date on which the court denied the petition.

The Judiciary Committee has not yet voted on the bill.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Mark March 14, 2021, 6:48 am

    look at this communist bitch who thinks he needs to take the peoples 2nd amendment rights away !!! this is what these parasites are doing in this country !! Wake up Americans and get rid of these communist dirtbags !!!!

  • Jim March 13, 2021, 8:39 am

    So if you happen to have an anti-firearm family doctor or any MD who is opposed to firearms can say that this person should not own firearms then the Government can seize your firearms? Oh heck NO!

  • Griffendad March 12, 2021, 9:06 am

    So all Republicans will be judged instantly insane.

  • alex March 12, 2021, 8:18 am

    land of the free and home of the brave,two phases bastardized to the high heavens! we aren’t free anymore and we certainly aren’t brave either or we wouldn’t be sitting on our asses letting this shit go on! we screwed up royally on jan 6th,we should have finished what they started jan 6th and drug all but five of these bastards out by their ankles and strung them up,we’ll never get back what we’re losing now unless people start fighting back! soooooo i guess it’s bend over time america,a senile old pervert is going to put the shoes to us,and we’re letting him do it.

    • le biron March 12, 2021, 10:54 am

      Gee, makes sense, this is an easy way for the deep state to take our guns! Republicans are asleep at the wheel! Nuts!

  • StevO March 12, 2021, 8:10 am

    Great. Now a next door neighbor that has a problem with you can call the police and register a complaint with them saying that you are incompetent to own a gun.

  • Bob Christensen March 12, 2021, 8:07 am

    Nothing “infringy” about that, right?

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