Gun enthusiast groups hold press conference addressing the proposed spike of firearm costs

HARTFORD —  Gun enthusiast groups are raising strong opposition to a proposal that raises the fees associated with getting a firearm.

On February 17, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, held a press conference that addressed the impact of the proposed firearms fee hike.

Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget proposal includes increasing the state portion of the pistol permit renewal fee from $70 to $300 and increasing the costs of new permits from $140 dollars to $370. It’s estimated to bring in $9 million to the state’s general fund annually.

Malloy is also proposing an increase in state fees from $50 to $75 for background checks. That is estimated to bring in $2.6 million annually to the general fund. All of this is in an effort to help close a $1.5 billion state budget gap.

State Representative, Doug Dubitsky, said this proposal separates the rich from the poor.

“Where is the argument that only rich people should be able to exercise their constitutional rights?,” said Dubitsky. “This proposal would eliminate the ability of anybody of lesser means of exercising their constitutional rights.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Malloy said all the costs are justified. Republicans in the legislature plan to unveil a counter proposal in the coming weeks.