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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Gun Control: A Police Chief’s Perspective

By James Lomuscio

As state and federal legislators debate proposed gun control legislation—everything from limiting ammunition magazine capacity to reinstituting a national ban on assault weapon, which are already banned in Connecticut—Wesport Police Chief Dale Call says he spends much time on an issue much closer to home: pistol permits.

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Police Chief Dale Call: Issuing pistol permits “causes the most consternation.”  Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“I think that issuing permits for chiefs of police is probably one of those things that causes the most consternation for us because we have very limited things to look at,” said Call, a 29-year veteran who took over as chief in October 2011. “And let’s face it, it’s our name that is on that permit.”

According to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Division of the State Police, there are 719 pistol carry permits in Westport. That number is considerably less than the 900, 60-day temporary permits on file that have been signed by Westport police chiefs over the past 12 years.

The reason for the discrepancy, Call said, is not that 121 were denied permits, but that they moved out of town, and local police departments do not track permit holders who move; it is up to the permit holder to notify the state.

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