From The Honorable John Shaban, R-135th: on TV -


If you have questions or concerns about how the Federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) & CT Healthcare Exchange will impact you, consider attending an upcoming informational panel that seeks to explain how the changes will affect residents.
The forum will be held Wednesday, October 9, at 8:00am in the 2nd floor Board Room of the William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center, located at 5151 Park Avenue in Fairfield.
Experts in areas of healthcare, insurance and small business will be there to answer questions for small business owners, the self-insured, independent contractors, senior citizens, people with pre-existing conditions, state HUSKY participants and anyone who is currently uninsured.
The following panelists will be on hand:

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to the event moderator, State Rep. Tony Hwang, at

If you have any questions or concerns related to state government, contact me any time at 800-842-1423 or


John Shaban
e-mail rec'd 3:30pm Oct. 3, 2013


Today I will cast one of the most difficult votes since I became a legislator -- An Act Concerning Gun Violence and Children’s Safety.  As a father, gun owner and resident of northern Fairfield County, these issues and the tragedy that prompted this discussion weigh on me as they do all citizens of Connecticut.  

Notably, the bill is not simply a “gun bill,” it addresses school security, mental health reforms and new gun control measures as one package.  From the beginning of these discussions, my consideration and calculus has been to focus more on people than devices – and specifically, how can we best protect our children and neighbors from those who chose to use a gun to commit violence, without vilifying law abiding citizens who chose to own a gun under their inalienable rights.  This has been a difficult process. 

Indeed, the initial discussion focused on broad firearms bans, confiscation and/or taxation of all forms of guns and devices regardless of owner, and regardless of whether the measure would have any impact on gun violence.  I believe that a naked ban on “assault weapons” would disproportionally impact law-abiding citizens instead of criminals, and alone would do little to protect our children or thwart the primary source of gun violence – the trafficking and use of illegal handguns. 

After hundreds of hours of public testimony, committee meetings and bipartisan meetings, however, the shape of the bill package rightfully evolved a stronger focus on school security and mental health.  At the same time, the gun control portion of the bill moved away from blanket bans and confiscations and properly toward the enforcement of illegal gun trafficking laws and effective background checks.  Thus, while there are still some troublesome gun control measures in the bill, most of these measures have been reduced to minor burdens and/or inconveniences rather than improper bans and confiscation.  

Thus, as a gun owner, lawyer and legislator, I believe that the resulting gun restrictions -- both the common sense ones and the problematic ones -- are acceptable (and Constitutional) when viewed, as they must be, in conjunction with the larger package containing the reforms in school security and mental health treatment.  (Indeed, a republican motion to “divide the question” was defeated on a party line vote.)  I support the final bill because, in total and on balance, I think it will effect a positive change despite its remaining imperfections. 

Here are some highlights of the new law: 

On mental health:  The new law provides for insurance parity by requiring faster coverage decisions concerning mental health and substance abuse treatment. We will also train educators in mental health “first aid,” and add new resources for schools and pediatricians to assist children and families with mental illness. 

On school security:  We will fund a competitive grant program to enable every school district to develop safety infrastructure.  We will also require the development of school security and safety plans, and establish methods to address disturbing/threatening behavior in schools. 

On gun control:  We create universal background checks, stronger safe storage laws, ban certain types of ammunition, increase sentences for gun violence, and most significantly, reinstate our illegal gun trafficking enforcement task force while also establishing the nation's first statewide dangerous weapon offender registry.  We also revoke the early release program for a host of violent criminals. I believe that these measures will enhance public safety. 

Next, while the bill will enhance our current assault weapons law by curtailing future purchases of certain weapons and magazines holding more than 10 bullets, it will not affect the confiscation, taxation or banning of any existing weapon or magazine.  The current owners of the weapons and magazines that would be otherwise banned going forward can keep and use these devices, but must now register as both a method to protect their right to keep the device and to prevent these devices from getting into the wrong hands.  Of course, these last two provisions are the most problematic for many legal gun owners and from an efficacy perspective.

Of course no legislation is perfect.  Still, I believe that this compromise package will serve to protect to our citizens and help those who need help, while imposing as little burden as possible on our citizens’ inalienable rights to bear arms.  While some may disagree with my vote, no one should doubt my dedication and commitment to carefully consider these difficult issues.

Q. Will I have to surrender any of my currently owned firearms, magazines, or ammunition
A. No. The bill does not provide for the confiscation of any property lawfully
owned prior to the effective date of the bill.

Q. What will I need in order to purchase a long gun?  
A. After April 1, 2014, you will need a pistol permit, an eligibility certificate, or a long gun eligibility certificate to purchase a long gun in Connecticut.

The new long gun eligibility certificate is similar to the existing eligibility certificate. To apply for a long gun eligibility certificate, a person must be 18 or older,
successfully complete a firearms safety course and background check, and must not have been involuntarily confined to a hospital for a psychiatric disability within
the past 5 years or voluntarily confined to a hospital for a psychiatric disability within the past 6 months.

Q. What will I need to purchase ammunition?
A. After October 1, 2013, you will need a pistol permit, eligibility certificate, long gun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate along with a valid form of
identification in order to purchase ammunition in Connecticut.

To obtain an ammunition certificate, any person 18 or older may request that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection perform a national criminal
history records check to determine if such person is eligible to possess a firearm in Connecticut. After a successful records check, the Department will issue an
ammunition certificate that is good for 5 years.

Q. Will there be any limits as to the quantity of legal firearms or ammunition that I can purchase?
A. No. The bill does not limit or restrict the amount of legal firearms or ammunition that may be purchased by an eligible buyer.

Q. What are the limits on detachable magazines? How many rounds can I carry?
A. Upon passage of the bill, you will no longer be able to purchase detachable magazines that accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition in Connecticut. If prior to
passage, you own detachable magazines that accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition you may keep those magazines as long as you file a declaration of
possession with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The declaration will let the Department know you lawfully possessed the large capacity
magazines before the bill went into effect.

Persons who lawfully possess large capacity magazines prior to the passage of the bill can carry their magazines at home and at target ranges or shooting clubs filled
to capacity. The magazines may also be used at a person’s place of business or other property owned by that person as long as the magazine does not contain more
than 10 rounds of ammunition. Large capacity magazines can also be transported between these places if they contain no more than 10 rounds of ammunition. 

Q. Are there changes being made to the permit application process or fee structure?
A. The process for obtaining a pistol permit remains the same; however, applicants going forward will only be able to apply for a temporary permit to carry in the town
where they are a bona fide resident. In the past, you could apply for a temporary permit to carry in either your town of residence or place of business. Also, you may
only apply for a temporary permit to carry a pistol or revolver once every twelve months.

There are no increases in any existing fees. There are fees related to the new long gun eligibility certificate and the ammunition certificate. Both certificates will cost
$35 every five years.

Q. Will there be a new firearm ammunition tax?
A. No. There are no new taxes included in the bill. 

Q. Will there be a new insurance requirement for firearms owners?
A. No. There is no mention of insurance requirements for firearms owners in the bill. 

Q. Are police, military and corrections officers who are exempt in their professional capacity also exempt in the private capacity?
A. Yes. The exemptions for police, military and corrections officers apply on and off duty. 

Q. How does the bill change private transactions?
A. The bill will requires a background check for all firearm sales, including private transactions. Parties seeking to privately transfer a firearm will need to provide proof
that they are eligible to buy or sell a firearm, and they will need to have a background check performed by either the Department of Emergency Services and Public
Protection or a federal firearms license dealer.

Q. Will those who currently own a firearm be required to undergo retroactive “universal” background checks?
A. Only those who possessed newly designated assault weapons prior to passage of the bill will have to apply for a certificate of possession for assault weapons.
The application for the certificate of possession requires a background check.

Q. How will online gun purchases be changed?
A. The laws that apply to the purchase or sale of firearms or ammunition under Connecticut law apply to online purchases. Businesses selling firearms or ammunition
online to Connecticut residents will need to verify that a person is eligible to purchase a firearm or ammunition in order to sell it.

Q. How many guns are you banning?
A. The bill lists a number of specific firearms that upon passage of the bill will no longer be available for purchase in Connecticut. It will be unlawful to possess these
firearms unless you owned the firearms before the effective date of the bill, and you apply for a certificate of possession to have them.

Q. What types of rifles are banned?
A. The bill adds rifles with the following features to the assault weapons ban: Any semiautomatic centerfire rifles (regardless of when they are manufactured) that
accept a detachable magazine and have any one of the following: (1) folding or telescopic stock, (2) a grip that is below the action of the weapon, (3) forward grip,
(4) a flash suppressor or a grenade or flare launcher. It also limits semiautomatic centerfire rifles that have a fixed magazine with the ability to accept more than ten
rounds or any semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

Q. What types of handguns are banned?
A. The bill adds handguns with the following features to the assault weapons ban: Semiautomatic pistols (regardless of when they are manufactured) with a detachable
magazine and have any one of the following: (1) An ability to accept a detachable magazine that attaches at some location outside of the pistol grip, (2) a threaded barrel
capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward pistol grip or silencer, (3) a shroud, or (4) a second hand grip. It also limits any semiautomatic pistol that has a fixed
magazine that accepts more than ten rounds.

Q. What types of shotguns are banned?
A. The bill adds shotguns with the following features to the assault weapons ban: Semiautomatic shotguns that have BOTH a folding or telescopic stock and a grip that
is below the action of the weapon. Shotguns that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine will now be banned. In addition, shotguns with a revolving cylinder will
also be illegal.

Q. Are any rimfire rifles banned?
A. Rimfire rifles are not affected by the new law. There are semiautomatic pistols that fire rimfire ammunition that may fit within the definition of an assault weapon
depending on the features of such pistol.

Q. What will the impact of the banned weapons be to the gun industry in Connecticut?
A. Manufacturers of assault weapons located in Connecticut will be able to continue to engage in the manufacturing of assault weapons in this state. Manufacturers
may also continue to sell rimfire rifles, shotguns and rifles that meet our new definition. Section 53-202i of the Connecticut General Statutes expressly exempts the
assault ban provisions from the manufacture of such weapons.

Q. Will antique weapons firearms be subject to the assault weapons ban?
A. The current definition of what constitutes an antique firearm remains unchanged under the bill.

Q. What are penalties if registration or certificates not done?
A. Persons who lawfully possess a newly designated assault weapon will have until January 1, 2014 to apply for a certificate of possession for that firearm. People in
possession of newly designated assault weapons who fail to register their firearms will have committed a Class A misdemeanor for a first time violation. Subsequent
violations of the law will be classified as a Class D felony.

Persons who are in lawful possession of large capacity magazines (magazines that exceed 10 rounds of bullets) that have been acquired prior to the effective date of
the bill, will have until January 1, 2014 to declare each large capacity magazine. Failure to declare any large capacity firearms past that date will have committed an
infraction for a first offense and a Class D felony for subsequent offenses.


In response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook the Connecticut legislature has created a Bi-Partisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety. This task force will be charged with creating legislation that will effectively and meaningfully improve the safety of our citizens and, specifically, our children.

A large part of their effort will be to listen to you, the public, and your ideas. With this in mind, the task force has scheduled a series of public hearings specific to each working group. If there is a specific topic of importance to you I encourage you to sign up to give testimony or attend the public hearing to listen to the other ideas that are circulating.

The schedule of the Public Hearings is below:

School Safety Working Group Public Hearing
Friday, January 25th, 2013
Legislative Office Building
9:30am, Room 2C

Gun Violence Prevention Working Group Public Hearing
Monday, January 28th, 2013
Legislative Office Building
10:00am, Room 2C

Mental Health Working Group Public Hearing
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Legislative Office Building
10:00am, Room 2C

Full Bi-Partisan Task Force Public Hearing
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Newtown High School

You can submit testimony in person or by email by sending it to For more information regarding the Task Force and scheduled public hearings please visit the website located at

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (860) 842-1423 or if you have any questions.

At the LWV of Weston Debate Oct. 13, 2012


Let us think about the answer:  With the Weston FORUM, the Daily Weston,  Channel 12 personality who lives in Easton,and a full house of interested folks from Weston, Redding and Easton filling every seat, and while everyone agreed the questions were great, guess who couldn't stop hitting home runs with his answers - which were fresh and clear and to the point?

We watched it again and John was awesome!!!  No comment by us on quality of opponent's reply's - we are more generous than some, because it was OBVIOUS that John's opponent was reading his comments (see above, left).  Below, link to video.


Debate held Saturday, October 13, 2012, 10:30a.m. to 12 Noon, at Weston Library
WATCH THE LWV OF WESTON DEBATE NOW:  Watch for where John's opponent reads from his notes!!!
1 hour 35 minutes 4 seconds.Best viewed with Internet Explorer, which will automatically open Windows Media Player and start playback without waiting for the download to complete.

For cable and dsl users:  (234 Megabytes)
For dial-up modem users: (36 Megabytes)



Today the non-partisan State’s Victim Advocate appeared before the Judiciary Committee and other legislators for a hearing to discuss the controversial Risk Reduction Earned Credits (RREC) Program, and the role it may have played in two recent murders. 

The REEC Program was pushed through last year without public hearing and embedded in the budget bill.  Over unanimous Republican opposition, the majority launched a program that retroactively awards criminals who committed crimes such as rape, arson, kidnapping or child molestation with sentence reduction credits regardless of whether they actually participated in required programs or otherwise exhibited good behavior.  Even worse, the credits actually reduce the prisoner’s sentence (i.e., not merely early release) thereby preventing some of those being released from being placed on parole and supervised.   

The divisive law has again sparked outrage following two separate instances where prisoners released early under the REEC Program committed grievous crimes shortly there after. 

For example, in June of this year a 70-year-old small business owner was shot and killed at his Meriden convenience store – the person arrested for this crime had just been released early, and without parole supervision, after being awarded 199 days of credits while serving time for robbery.  In August, an East Hartford store clerk was also murdered -- the man arrested for this crime was released early after his sentence for robbery and assault was reduced by the retroactive RREC credits.  These and other crimes committed by such RREC prisoners prompted the outrage and the hearing.  

As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I along with other lawmakers join with the State’s Victim Advocate to ask Governor Malloy to suspend the RREC Program and to thereafter conduct an investigation into how the Program is impacting public safety.   


COMMENTARY: Time for the state to get finances in order

Written by John Shaban, State Representative-elect
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 12:40

In preparation for taking office next month, I have been attending commission meetings and orientation sessions at the Capitol to ready myself for the tasks at hand. With me at every meeting has been a notable attendee — the proverbial 800-pound gorilla that is our state’s financial crisis.

The primary and overarching mission of the General Assembly and new governor is, quite simply, to get Connecticut’s finances back in order. Indeed, all other issues — public safety, education, public services, etc. — are inextricably linked to, and negatively affected by, this financial crisis. We now have projected structural deficits of near $3.5 billion a year for the next three years — i.e., almost a 20% yearly
shortfall. Add to this over $70 billion in unfunded pension and benefits liabilities, an insolvent unemployment fund, and the attendant borrowing/interest costs from each, and the picture is not pretty. While there is plenty of blame to go around, these monstrous debts and deficits have been created by three main causes: Overspending, overborrowing and overpromising.

Bottom line, we can no longer grow the government to serve political ends and thereafter patch the resulting budget gaps by bonding expenses or using gimmicks like one time federal “stimulus” grants (which are, of course, also funded by borrowing). Our government must stop promising to be all things to all people, and must recognize that private sector growth is the cure for both our private unemployment woes and public fiscal problems. If we reduce spending, taxes and regulation, and simultaneously promote predictability, businesses and jobs will return along with the revenue needed to fund programs that for too long have been running on borrowed money.

Regrettably, Gov. Rell’s proposed transition budget — which suggests many of the painful cuts that are needed — has been met with resistance by some who helped cause the problem. Still, I am encouraged by Governor-elect Malloy’s promise to reduce the size and cost of our government, and his stated willingness to make the hard decisions that are needed. I hope the legislators in the Democratic majority will follow suit. Over all, though, I am optimistic about our state’s future, and look forward to working with my new colleagues from both parties to send that gorilla home.