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Gun shops hurt by forced legal changes to open hours

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HARTFORD --  The State Police Special Licensing Department sent out a notice to gun shop owners in Connecticut that the hours to submit background checks will be changing on August 3.

Currently, sellers can submit background checks to the department to authorize until 7 p.m. during the week. the notice says on August 3 it will be changed to 5 p.m.

Gun shop owners said this will hurt their businesses as most buyers come into their shops between 5 and 7 p.m. once they get out of work.

"Concern with the new hours for special licensing authorizations, is first from a business standpoint, that more than 60% of our daily firearm sales occur between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.," said Chuck Platz who owns the Armory Gun Shop in Salem.

Platz added, "When our customers are getting off work and coming into the store to shop. Second, the team at the state police special licensing division that processes the background check authorizations work very hard and are already stretched thin with the current workload. Our concern is that without having the ability to process authorizations after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,  there is going to be a tremendous amount of weekend authorization requests on Saturday & Sunday - already the two busiest days of the week. This is going to lead to an increased workload on the special licensing department, as well as frustrations for customers and store owners.”

Jim Zoppi has been selling guns for 48 years and unlike Cabela’s, he does not sell clothing or boats and once 5 p.m. comes around he might as well close up shop.

He said people want to buy a gun when they’re in the store, and once they walk out the door he believes the sale is lost.

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