Supreme Court could scale back Connecticut’s gun carry laws

As the U.S. Senate nears a vote on new gun control laws, the Supreme Court could scale back Connecticut’s strict open carry law within days. The move would lead to more guns in public.
At Blue Line Firearms & Tactical in Monroe, you can find a wide variety of handguns.
"A lot of concealed, smaller firearms for concealed carry,” said owner Richard Sprandel.
To carry a pistol in public, you have to obtain two permits – a temporary one from your city or town, then a five-year state permit. Both require a criminal background check and a basic pistol safety course, a process that can take up to 12 weeks. Blue Line offers the course once a month.
"We want everyone to be safe, so that's the one good thing about having to take an NRA basic pistol safety course,” said Sprandel. “You don't just have someone coming in that has no experience with firearms."
But within days, the Supreme Court could overturn carry permits altogether -- or at least expand where gun owners can carry in public. Justices indicated restrictions could remain in “sensitive areas” like subways and schools.

“It could throw the entire regulatory structure out the window,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. "I don't think any reasonable person thinks it's smart, or wise, or safe, to carry a firearm into a school."
NY State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen is the Supreme Court’s biggest gun control case since 2008. The court is deciding whether New York state law goes too far in restricting when handgun owners can carry in public. In New York, permit applicants must prove a “special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.”
Our state’s law is similar, but less restrictive. Connecticut is one of only nine "may issue" states -- meaning authorities can reject your application if you're "not a suitable person” to carry a firearm.

The Bruen plaintiffs argue that all carry permit laws should be struck down because "the need for armed self-defense" exists everywhere -- not just at home.

Gov. Ned Lamont says such a broad ruling could lead to a flood of firearms in public.
"I think the idea that anybody can carry any time they want to, without a permit -- which are the rules in Texas -- I don't think you want that translated onto 49 other states,” Lamont said. “It'll be a lot more dangerous."

But one legal analyst believes Connecticut’s laws are safe.
"Based on the oral argument, I think there's very little chance that the court would issue a ruling that sweeping,” said Quinnipiac School of Law professor Stephen Gilles.
Gilles expects New York’s law to fall because it makes carry permits nearly impossible to obtain, but he concedes Connecticut’s “may issue” status could pose a challenge here.
“If Connecticut had to defend its law after New York's law was struck down, I think Connecticut would need to convince a local federal court that the discretion that the officials have, really is limited, said Gilles. “They have to have a basis for finding the person poses a real risk of danger."
Sprandel says the current system works.

"We're so used to how it is here, you know, going through the process,” he said. "It's a big responsibility, and we like responsible gun owners."
The Supreme Court ruling could come anytime in the next three weeks.