HB 5154

Version: Committee+Bill
Author: Public Safety and Security Committee

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Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

Introduced by: (PS)

AN ACT CONCERNING MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND WELLNESS TRAINING AND SUICIDE PREVENTION FOR POLICE OFFICERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

1 Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2019) (a) No law enforcement 2 unit, as defined in section 7-294a of the general statutes, shall 3 discharge, discipline, discriminate against or otherwise penalize a

4police officer, as defined in said section, who is employed by such law

5enforcement unit solely because the police officer seeks or receives

6 mental health care services or surrenders his or her firearm,

7ammunition or electronic defense weapon used in the performance of

8the police officer's official duties to such law enforcement unit during

9the time the police officer receives mental health care services. The

10provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable to a police officer

11 who (1) seeks or receives mental health care services to avoid

12disciplinary action by such law enforcement unit, or (2) refuses to

13submit himself or herself to an examination as provided in subsection

14(b) of this section.

15(b) Prior to returning to a police officer his or her surrendered

16firearm, ammunition or electronic defense weapon used in the

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17performance of the police officer's official duties, such law enforcement

18unit shall request the police officer to submit himself or herself to an

19examination by a licensed clinical social worker, master social worker,

20professional counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist who is on the list

21published (1) under subsection (a) of section 2 of this act if the police

22officer is employed by the state, or (2) under subsection (b) of section 2

23of this act if the police officer is employed by a municipal police

24department. The examination shall be performed to determine

25whether the police officer is ready to report for official duty and shall

26be paid for by such law enforcement unit.

27(c) No civil action may be brought against a law enforcement unit

28for damages arising from acts or omissions of a police officer with

29respect to the police officer's use of his or her personal firearm during

30 the time period the police officer has surrendered to the law

31enforcement unit his or her firearm, ammunition or electronic defense

32weapon used in the performance of the police officer's official duties or

33for a period of six months from the date the police officer surrendered

34to the law enforcement unit his or her firearm, ammunition or

35electronic defense weapon used in the performance of the officer's

36official duties, whichever is longer.

37Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than October 1,

382019, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection,

39the Police Officer Standards and Training Council established under

40section 7-294b of the general statutes and representatives from labor

41organizations representing state police officers in this state shall

42develop and maintain a list of licensed clinical social workers, master

43social workers, professional counselors, psychiatrists or psychologists

44in this state. Such list shall be published on the Department of

45Emergency Services and Public Protection's Internet web site.

46(b) Not later than October 1, 2019, each municipal police department

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49licensed clinical social workers, master social workers, professional

50counselors, psychiatrists or psychologists in this state. Such list shall be

51published on the municipality's Internet web site.

52Sec. 3. Section 53a-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the

53following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2019):

54 (a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm,

55ammunition or an electronic defense weapon when such person

56possesses a firearm, ammunition or an electronic defense weapon and

57(1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or after

58October 1, 2013, or of a violation of section 21a-279, 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-

5961a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d

60committed on or after October 1, 2013, (2) has been convicted as

61delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined

62in section 46b-120, (3) has been discharged from custody within the

63preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime

64by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (4)

65knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective

66order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person,

67after notice has been provided to such person, in a case involving the

68use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another

69person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-

7015a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the

71use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another

72person, (5) (A) has been confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a

73hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section

7417a-495, within the preceding sixty months by order of a probate court,

75or with respect to any person who holds a valid permit or certificate

76that was issued or renewed under the provisions of section 29-28 or 29-

7736f in effect prior to October 1, 2013, such person has been confined in

78such hospital within the preceding twelve months, or (B) has been

79voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for

80persons with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495,

81within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric

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82disability, [and not] unless the person (i) was voluntarily admitted

83solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent

84person as those terms are defined in section 17a-680, or (ii) is a police

85officer who was voluntarily admitted and had his or her firearm,

86ammunition or electronic defense weapon used in the performance of

87the police officer's official duties returned in accordance with section 1

88of this act, (6) knows that such person is subject to a firearms seizure

89order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice

90and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, or

91(7) is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a

92firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4). For the purposes of this section,

93"convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court

94of competent jurisdiction, "ammunition" means a loaded cartridge,

95consisting of a primed case, propellant or projectile, designed for use

96in any firearm, and a motor vehicle violation for which a sentence to a

97term of imprisonment of more than one year may be imposed shall be

98deemed an unclassified felony.

99(b) Criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition or an electronic

100defense weapon is a class C felony, for which two years of the sentence

101imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court, and five

102thousand dollars of the fine imposed may not be remitted or reduced

103by the court unless the court states on the record its reasons for

104remitting or reducing such fine.

105Sec. 4. Section 53a-217c of the general statutes is repealed and the

106following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2019):

107(a) A person is guilty of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver

108when such person possesses a pistol or revolver, as defined in section

10929-27, and (1) has been convicted of a felony committed prior to, on or

110after October 1, 2013, or of a violation of section 21a-279, 53a-58, 53a-

11161, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-

112181d committed on or after October 1, 1994, (2) has been convicted as

113delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense, as defined

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114in section 46b-120, (3) has been discharged from custody within the

115preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime

116by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to section 53a-13, (4) (A)

117has been confined prior to October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons

118with psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the

119preceding twelve months by order of a probate court, or has been

120confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with

121psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the

122preceding sixty months by order of a probate court, or, with respect to

123any person who holds a valid permit or certificate that was issued or

124renewed under the provisions of section 29-28 or 29-36f in effect prior

125to October 1, 2013, such person has been confined in such hospital

126within the preceding twelve months, or (B) has been voluntarily

127admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with

128psychiatric disabilities, as defined in section 17a-495, within the

129preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability,

130[and not] unless the person (i) was voluntarily admitted solely for

131being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person as

132those terms are defined in section 17a-680, or (ii) is a police officer who

133was voluntarily admitted and had his or her firearm, ammunition or

134electronic defense weapon used in the performance of the police

135officer's official duties returned in accordance with section 1 of this act,

136(5) knows that such person is subject to (A) a restraining or protective

137order of a court of this state that has been issued against such person,

138after notice has been provided to such person, in a case involving the

139use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another

140person, or (B) a foreign order of protection, as defined in section 46b-

14115a, that has been issued against such person in a case involving the

142use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another

143person, (6) knows that such person is subject to a firearms seizure

144order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice

145and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to such person, (7)

146is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a

147firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4), or (8) is an alien illegally or

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148unlawfully in the United States. For the purposes of this section,

149"convicted" means having a judgment of conviction entered by a court

150of competent jurisdiction.

151(b) Criminal possession of a pistol or revolver is a class C felony, for

152which two years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or

153reduced by the court, and five thousand dollars of the fine imposed

154may not be remitted or reduced by the court unless the court states on

155the record its reasons for remitting or reducing such fine.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Statement of Purpose:

To promote mental health and wellness training and suicide prevention for police officers.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

H.B. 5154