Controversy brews over new gun bill in CT

Bridgeport police said Wednesday that they support a new bill drafted by a local lawmaker that would require people who open-carry handguns to show police their permits to police when asked.



Chief AJ Perez says he is in strong support of the bill because he believes the sight of a civilian openly carrying a handgun is enough to cause the public to panic.



State Rep. Steve Stafstrom says the objective of the bill is to help ensure the safety of law enforcement officers.



Perez says if an officer asks to see a person's gun permit, which is technically the property of the state, that person should have no problem showing the officer the permit.



However, open-carry advocates like Michael Picard say law-abiding gun owners should be asked to show their permits only if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime.



"It's not just me that thinks it's unreasonable, it's the Supreme Court," Picard says. "The Supreme Court says that the government can't stop you and ID you without reasonable suspicion of a crime first."



Stafstrom says while similar bills have been defeated in the past, he is hopeful the measure will be enacted sometime this year and says there will be a public hearing before the final vote.


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