Mariusz Niedzwiedzki via shutterstock
HARTFORD, CT – Gun owners will see huge increases in permit fees that would raise millions of dollars to help the state combat its two-year, $3.6 billion deficit.

As part of his budget, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing to increase the state portion of the pistol permit fee from $70 to $300. He also is proposing the cost of the initial 5-year pistol permit fee from $140 to $370.

The increase in fees for gun owners will bring in another $9 million to the state annually, according to the governor’s budget estimates.

Additionally, Malloy is proposing to increase background check fees from its current $50 to $75.

That increase, the governor’s budget estimates, would bring in another $2.6 million annually to the state’s coffers.

Malloy’s proposals were immediately panned by the president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.

“We feel that the increase of Pistol Permit fees 400 percent is astronomical,” Scott Wilson, CCDL president said. “This will have a deep impact on those who only wish to protect their own lives, and the lives of their families. Many Connecticut gun owners are struggling with the current economic conditions in our state.”

Wilson added: “If a cost increase of this measure goes through in the governor’s budget, we will consider this an infringement on the 2nd Amendment. If Connecticut residents are forced to pay exorbitant fees in order to purchase and/or carry a firearm for protection, it legitimately ceases to be a right anymore.

“This proposal is simply Governor Malloy trying to cover his failed policies on the backs of Connecticut gun owners,’’ Wilson said.