President of Crime Prevention Research Center Dr. John Lott, Jr., is blasting lawmakers for raising handgun permit fees in Connecticut, arguing the hikes will endanger the poor who may no longer be able to afford guns.
In a Hartford Courant opinion piece, Lott calls out Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for proposing to raise initial handgun permit fees from $140 to $370, which would be the highest initial fee in the country. There would also be a $300 renewal fee gun owners would have to pay every five years.
Lott argues poor minorities will suffer the most from these hikes, as many would no longer be able to afford to legally purchase firearms. Poor people living in crime-ridden areas are especially in need of guns, Lott argues, as police cannot be everywhere at once to protect them.
Lott also attacks Democratic lawmakers in Colorado for not voting to exempt people living below the poverty line from taxes on private gun transfers and calls out Democrats in general for not supporting the production of inexpensive handguns, which Lott says are favored by gun owners on a tight budget.
Gov. Malloy has argued the increased fees will decrease Connecticut’s $3.6 billion deficit, but Lott estimates the hikes in permit prices will actually decrease state and local revenue, as he argues significantly less people will buy permits due to their high cost.
If the hikes are indeed imposed, only the affluent will be able to afford guns in Connecticut, Lott posits, leaving poor people with fewer self-defense options.