August 13, 2015

Summary of Suitability Issue in Kuck v. Danaher

OLR Report 2015-R-0136 summarizes the issues discussed in a recent federal district court decision as to whether a state law requiring a person be found “suitable” to hold a gun permit violates the 2nd Amendment.

The case involved M. Peter Kuck, whose application to renew his gun permit was denied when he refused to submit a passport or birth certificate as part of the renewal application, and James Goldberg, whose gun permit was revoked as a result of his arrest for 2nd degree breach of the peace. Both men were deemed unsuitable to hold a permit, which is required to carry handguns in Connecticut. In their court challenge, the men alleged that the determination that they were not suitable to hold a gun permit violated their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The court said that although the term “suitable” [as used in the gun permit statute] is not statutorily defined, “Connecticut courts have made clear that the purpose of imposing a suitability requirement is to ensure that persons who potentially would pose a danger to the public if entrusted with a handgun do not receive a permit.” Applying the intermediate scrutiny standard of review used by most district courts in determining the constitutionality of firearm regulations, the court concluded that the challenged statute was not unconstitutional.

Click here to read more about the case and the court’s decision in the full report.