HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — After big businesses like Mossberg, General Electric, and others decided to pull up tent stakes and head to friendlier places, Gov. Malloy of Connecticut realized he was left with a huge gaping hole in his state budget. And according to his recent budget proposal, he plans on making up part of that difference by more than doubling the price of gun permits and concealed carry handgun permits.
Malloy’s proposed budget would increase the state portion of the pistol permit fee from $70 to $300 and the initial 5-year pistol permit fee from $140 to $370. Background check fees would also increase from $50 to $75.
Gov. Malloy’s budget chief, Ben Barnes, said the increase in costs more closely align with neighboring New York City — where a concealed carry permit can cost up to $350. He said that these increased fees are estimated to bring in an additional $11 million a year into the state coffers.
That’s, unfortunately, just a drop in the bucket considering how many businesses are leaving Connecticut for tax-friendlier places. It also doesn’t address the real ramifications of these budget measures: making gun ownership and legal concealed carry unaffordable for poor people and those on fixed incomes.
“This fee is onerous and it will have no purpose but to prevent poor people from exercising their constitutional rights,” State Rep. Doug Dubitsky (R-Chaplin) said. “Rich people can afford an extra $300. This is designed to differentiate between rich people and poor and prevent poor people from exercising their constitutional rights.”
For reference, if you took a brand new Glock 43 (~$430 MSRP) and bought it in Connecticut, you would end up paying
$430 pistol + $300 pistol purchase fee + 6.35% sales tax = $757.31.
That doesn’t include any additional magazines, ammunition, hearing protection, eye protection, or cleaning gear.
Not only do these fees stack up to prevent even middle class citizens from affordably pursuing their own constitutional rights, it makes it harder for them to pick up the actual equipment they’ll need to properly care for, store, and use that handgun at the range.
And this is all before they even pursue their concealed carry permit!
If Gov. Malloy’s new budget proposal goes through, gun ownership is out of the question for quite a large number of people in Connecticut.
Why New CT Gun Fees Would Make Gun Ownership Unaffordable
The Per Capita median income for Connecticut is $39,430 (2015). That means each person in Connecticut roughly brings in $39,430 a year. That’s $3285 per month before federal, social security, health insurance, and state taxes. After most taxes and deductions are removed, that leaves your average person $2135 per month to live. Rent ain’t cheap in Connecticut! The average person in Connecticut pays somewhere in vicinity of $1200-1500/mo for a 1-2 bedroom apartment. So, after taxes and rent, the common man is left with about a thousand bucks left to feed himself, put gas in his car, make his car insurance payments, and pay his phone bill.
That’s not a whole lot left over.
Under those conditions, the common man would probably only be able to feasibly save a couple hundred bucks a month. Let’s say the common man, in this case, is able to save $200 a month. Under this new revised budget, it would take this Connecticut common man four months to save enough money to purchase a Glock 43 — after taxes and pistol purchase permit.
If he wanted to carry that pistol for his own personal protection, he’d need to wait another three months to save the money needed for the pistol permit course, permit application and background check.
For review, under Gov. Malloy, that would be $370 permit application, $75 background check, and probably $125 for the pistol permit course. That comes out to $570, not including gas or bullets.
So, for your common man of Connecticut who makes in vicinity of $39,000 a year, doesn’t have kids or a family to take care of, or large financial obligations, he would have to save money for seven months to afford to carry a concealed handgun legally in his home state.
If that’s the trend, I’m guessing us folks in New Hampshire are going to start getting financial refugees from Connecticut pretty soon.