Hartford Columnist: Why Are Connecticut Gun Licenses Secret?


Columnist Susan Campbell writes in the Hartford Courant about an attempt by a Floridian named Allan Minter to gather information on Omar Thornton, who killed himself and eight others on Aug. 3 after losing his job at a Connecticut beer distributorship. She writes, “Oddly, here’s something Minter can’t confirm: Did Thornton have a permit for his guns? Connecticut law keeps confidential the names and addresses of people issued an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver.” Campbell says she wonders why.

Earlier this year, Minter began tracking gun crimes that involved multiple victims. Campbell said he began scouring the Web and local newspapers for details about Thorton after the shooting. Thornton’s record was clean, said Minter, “up until he pulled the trigger.” Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, confirmed that pistol permits are not public record. “I have had, in divorce proceedings, someone call up and say, ‘Does my soon-to-be-ex have a pistol permit?’ and we cannot confirm that,” he said.

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