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Testimony in Support for Meaningful Juvenile Crime Reforms and the Rights of Legal Gun Owners

Posted on March 14, 2022

Chairmen Winfield and Stafstrom, Vice Chairs Flexer and Blumenthal, Ranking Members Kissel and Fishbein, and Distinguished Members of the Judiciary Committee, I write to you today in strong support for meaningful juvenile crime reforms and the preservation of the rights of legal gun owners.

The passage of several bills within today’s agenda will have an important impact in implementing meaningful crime reforms and in protecting the rights of legal gun owners. Juvenile crime rates are rising at an alarming rate across the state, placing a burdening workload on our police officers and comprising the safety of our communities. According to data published by the FBI, the rates of car thefts in Connecticut has increased from 11% to 41% between 2019 and 2020. Many perceive this increase to be a direct result of inadequate teen crime legislation. Implementing meaningful teen crime reforms will have an important impact in combating the compounding negative effects of crime by ensuring that juvenile suspects are detained longer and seen by a judge the next business day. Advocacy for this legislation will ultimately result in greater accountability and consequences for those that commit crime, as well as greater relief and safety for our communities.

Bill proposals for meaningful crime reforms must also be passed in tandem with legislation that preserves the rights of legal gun owners. The second amendment of our constitution has safeguarded the rights of citizens to lawfully possess and use arms for self-defense since its ratification in 1791. The preservation of this amendment during a time in which residents feel fearful and threatened by increasing crime is of the utmost importance.

I appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony on the bills proposed within today’s public hearing. I urge the Judiciary Committee to pass such legislation to implement meaningful crime reforms and protect the rights of legal gun owners.