Connecticut gun owners decry proposed hike in pistol-permit fees

Connecticut gun owners are not happy that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed to drastically increase pistol-permit fees, arguing that if he gets his way only the wealthy will be able to afford to own pistols.

Malloy has proposed to jack up the fees by 400 percent, from $75 to $300, arguing it will help to decrease the state budget deficit, WTNH reports.

The governor noted that the hike was not proposed as a provocation against gun owners but that the hikes are intended to prevent the state from losing money on the permits.

“Given the amount of work that has to be done with respect to licensure we probably were not, in fact, we weren’t covering our costs,” said Malloy.

At a Tuesday evening Connecticut Citizens Defense League meeting in Middletown, many gun owners voiced their concerns. Elizabeth Drysdale said she attended the event because she wants to be able to protect her two daughters without breaking the bank.

“I’m a single mom in Waterbury, Connecticut, which is a pretty crime ridden urban area and so this is going to hit me pretty hard; the proposed increase in fees,” said Drysdale.

Drysdale continued: “It’s also going to hit my parents, my dad is a Vietnam era veteran and my mom and him are both retired on a fixed income and this is going to hit them equally hard it’s going to be a double whammy for them.”

A couple hundred people attended the CCDL meeting, but there were far less gun rights advocates at a Tuesday afternoon hearing in the Connecticut Capitol at which the hikes were discussed. Scott Wilson, president of CCDL, said the small turnout for the hearing was due to the fact it wasn’t announced ahead of time and accused the governor of trying to push back door gun control.

“It’s no secret that Governor Malloy has never been a friend of gun owners in the State of Connecticut since he has been the governor, and we think that if he can increase the fees to eliminate some gun owners in the future by not being able to afford the permit fees, the governor would consider that a win,” said Wilson.

The CCDL is scheduled to have a news conference later this week regarding the issue.