Thursday, April 4, 2013

CT - Gun offender registry would be concealed from public

Original Article

Either we should have an online registry for all ex-felons, or none!


By Ed Jacovino

HARTFORD - The bipartisan package of gun control, mental health, and school security measures that cleared the General Assembly overnight also creates a statewide registry of people convicted of a slew of gun crimes.

But that list would be kept for police use only, and wouldn’t be publicly available under the state’s freedom-of-information laws -- even though much of the data on the registry would be public information anyway.

That’s unlike the state’s sex-offender registry, which residents can access online to see whether any people convicted of sex crimes live in their neighborhood or near their child’s school.

The legislature has a lengthy list of bills before it to shut down transparency in this state,” said Chris Van de Hoef, a lobbyist for the Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association. “Add this registry, which is loaded with information I assume the public would be interested in, to the list of information the legislature wants to keep secret.”

Supporters of the gun control legislation, including Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, described the registry as the first of its kind in the country. City police chiefs have asked for it for years, and now the legislature has delivered, he said.

The registry would take effect in January. People convicted of crimes using a deadly weapon would have to file their fingerprints, criminal record, and home and email addresses with the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection within 14 days of being released from any prison sentence.

Those on the list would have to re-register every year by going to their local police departments and verifying or changing the information. And people on the registry who change their name or move also would have to notify the state about the change.

During debate on the bill Wednesday, Sen. Robert J. Kane, R-Watertown, questioned why the list would be private.

Why wouldn’t we have that information available to our public?” he asked.

Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, indicated he would be open to making the list public in a future bill. But that would have to be debated at another time, he said. The bill the Senate approved limited access to the registry to police.

The purpose of this was as a tool for law enforcement,” Williams said.

Kane responded, saying the list should be public.

I think it’s important because we’re talking about bad guys here,” he said. “I think the public has a right to know.”

See Also:


deathklok said...

Just make the list public now. Why wait until some fugnut on this registry goes and shoots a child to name this law? Either way the sad truth is this will eventually be used to shame people and not be helpful in preventing crime.

shiners said...

Baby steps.

Step 1: Make up something reasonable in the name of safety, but keep things confidential to not make any huge waves. this will guarantee support and the passing of the law
Step 2: Wait until someone gets killed... someone always gets killed.
Step 3: Make a huge deal how you wanted the list to be public at first and that if it was, the killing would have never happened, because criminals always obey laws.
Step 4: "If it saves just one person, it would have been worth it." (Technically, if one person died, we would save the Earth from billions of gallons of pollution, so this person is not very "green" but probably drives a Prius)
Step 5: Introduce a law to make the list public
Step 6: Restrict where those people can live
Step 7: Prevent them from getting jobs
Step 8: Make sure every step they take has to be planned or else they risk getting sent to prison
Step 9: Make sure penalties for guideline violations are lifetime sentences
Step 10: Make them live in a ghetto.
Step 11: Send them to the gas chambers
Step 12: Burn the bodies in giant crematoriums

This may have gotten away from me a little bit.

Macintosh said...

Police departments don't need legislative permission to create a database of people with gun related crimes because criminal conviction records are public records. The reason that the legislature needed to be involved was to make the legislators appear tough on gun crime. Secondly, in order to keep the list private the legislature has to provide an explicit exemption to the Freedom of Information Act. Lastly, the scary part, is that the legislature is compelling registrants to provide updated personal information ... Just like sex offender registrants. The Supreme Court ruled that compelling sex offenders to provide up to date personal information was the same as publishing court records about a past offense. The Supreme Court was wrong because of the simple fact that providing up to date personal info was not an element of fact in a past crime. Up to date info is "new info" and even a moron can make that distinction. The government doesn't have the Constitutional authority to compel a person to do anything once they have completed their sentence.

The good news is that by making more people register their personal info the greater number of court challenges there will be over the government's right to do so.

Mark said...

Nice going Macintosh! I could not have said it better! Does anyone believe that registries are some sort of beginning for something bigger? Before its over, I believe that almost all Americans will be registered for something. Since registries deal only with "STATUS," it is my view that it is the courts who are the real villains with their tortured reasoning and cowardly decisions that allow these type of laws to flourish like cancer.

FRegistryTerrorists said...

I think people should also comment where the original article is. It would be great if every time an article like this came out, about a thousand people would post negative comments about the Sex Offender Registries. People need to see that there is a serious backlash against the moronic Sex Offender Registries. Make it a war, people! The people on the other side of the war are not going to stop harassing Registered people just because you are nice to them. So attack them.

SOIssues said...

We agree.