While the ACLU does not take issue with efforts to restrict the types of weapons available for purchase, we do believe that attempts to regulate the possession of firearms can sometimes implicate other constitutional rights. Legislation introduced like H 5262 and H 5554 would impose mandatory minimum sentences to newly created crimes involving firearms, while H 5154 would deny parole to any person convicted of a crime in which a firearm was used to commit the offense. The ACLU argued that mandatory sentences are ineffective, costly and eliminate individualized consideration of the offender and the circumstances of the offense. Additionally, H 5730 would require a national criminal record check for gun permit applicants. However, the bill does not provide any standards as to how the results of that background check will be used.
None of these bills moved out of committee by the end of the Legislative Session. To understand more about our position on these bills, you can read our testimony here.