A Washington-based gun advocacy group is lashing out at Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget plan to increase pistol permit fees, arguing the state is trying to balance the budget on the backs of gun owners.
According to the Bellevue, Wash.-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Malloy's proposed budget quadruples the state pistol permit fee for a five-year renewal from $70 to $300.
New permit application fees would rise to $370 from $140.
Citizens Committee Chairman Alan Gottlieb suggested Malloy is "robbing" gun owners "to help make up for his own fiscal failure as the state's chief executive."
A background check fee also would increase from $50 to $75, Gottlieb said.
The Citizens Committee has more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide.
Malloy has been an advocate for tighter gun control laws, particularly following the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, which claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 children.
Implementing a fee structure that is comparable to pistol permitting fees set by the New York Police Department is projected to raise an additional $9 million for the state for Connecticut, said Kelly Donnelly, the governor's director of communications.
In addition, Donnelly said via email, Malloy signed sweeping gun control reforms in 2013 that have led to increased demand for pistol permits, long gun certificates and ammunition certificates.
"Raising the fee will cover the costs of the Connecticut State Police associated with these workload increases," Donnelly said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to include comments from the governor's office.