U.S. Representatives Elizabeth Esty, Chris Van Hollen, Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal (all D-CT) have introduced proposed legislation that would encourage states to adopt policies to require a special, renewable permit for all revolver or pistol purchases.
The proposed bill, titled the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act of 2015 would authorize the Department of Justice to issue grants to states to help them put purchase permit policies in place.
“All states require licenses to drive a car or hunt or fish – so why not handguns, which can kill?” said Blumenthal in a statement.
To answer the esteemed senator’s question: driving a car and the taking of fish are a privilege and as such are revocable at the discretion of the issuing authority. The ownership and bearing of firearms is an inalienable right protected by the Constitution.
A study by Johns Hopkins is being used to justify the new legislation. The study shows that firearm-related homicides dropped by 40% thanks to Connecticut’s implementation of a handgun permit policy.
The study is being hotly contested.
Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center said that “In three of the four years immediately after the law was passed in 1995, Connecticut’s firearm homicide rate rose relative to the firearm homicides in Northeastern States.”
Critics of the study show that the permit policy actually slowed the already declining rate of gun-related murders.