So earlier I wrote how Connecticut was considering its alternatives following the abysmal turnout to its 1 January 2014 gun and high-capacity magazine registration. But it appears lawmakers in Connecticut are doubling down, and willing to make an example out of a small minority within the gun community, hoping it will intimidate the rest to follow-thru with the state’s anti-gun laws. The law itself is but one of several examples into the anti-gun lobby’s larger efforts of state implemented registration and the ultimate goal of confiscation.
Following the disastrous turnout with some estimates showing only between 10 and 15% of Connecticut gun owners registering their “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines, deep-seeded progressive publications like The Courant immediately lambasted gun owners who had failed to register writing,
Connecticut has a gun problem… Widespread noncompliance with this major element of a law that was seen as a speedy and hopefully effective response by Connecticut to mass shootings such as the one at Sandy Hook creates a headache for the state. Guns defined in state law as assault weapons can no longer be bought or sold in Connecticut. Such guns already held can be legally possessed if registered. But owning an unregistered assault weapon is a Class D felony. Felonies cannot go unenforced. But the bottom line is that the state must try to enforce the law. Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law. (Harr)
Earlier in the year when it became apparent just how few of Connecticut gun owners had actually complied with the registration, Democratic governor Daniel Malloy considered amnesty, and to possibly even reopen the registration process. This was because it became apparent many of the potential gun and magazine applicants had been unable to properly file their forms due to 2013 holiday closures of various offices and inclement weather. In addition a percentage of received forms were incorrectly completed and thus rejected. The hope of the governor’s office was that by extending amnesty for a second round of registration, more gun owners would line up and willingly submit. But in early February rabid anti-gun groups pushed back maintaining that amnesty should only come via legislation.
Since then, gun owners of Connecticut have begun to receive confiscation letters from the Connecticut State Police threatening similar actions to those seen in New York with the SAFE Act. The letter warns registration applicants failure to comply with the new law will result in potential prison action and fines according to the Journal Inquirer, that also obtained a signed copy of the letter. (Jacovino)* The letters – 106 to “assault weapon” owners and 108 to residents owning “high capacity magazines” – cite the applicant’s paperwork has been returned because it was not received via the 1 January deadline and thus four options are available…the same four options that were made for gun owners in New York. Oddly however, the letter is dated January 2nd, which is likely the date the letter was drafted and notarized by the undersigned police lieutenant. But clearly Connecticut lawmakers have begun using the very gun owners who attempted to comply with the registration and self-identified via the paperwork, as the initial targets for either persecution and/or confiscation. It’s a low blow with police using in essance a reverse registration process to identify who has what guns and magazines in violation of the law, even though the gun owner was attempting to do the right thing despite holiday office closures, long lines, inclement weather and the occasional improperly completed forms. It may merely be only time before state legislators and law enforcement began comparing various purchasing databases and gun registries to identify gun further owners and move to confiscate their property as well.
The efforts of Connecticut’s anti-gun lobby and lawmakers clearly show that registration and confiscation is spreading, and that states are developing their own approaches to gun control on the tails of President Obama’s failed federal efforts. Unfortunately, a lesson learned too late for the legal gun owners of Connecticut is that by ceding involvement in their state’s laws from the beginning, it leaves them with few opportunities in their political environment later on. Another lesson here for all of us is that we need to stay vigilant and involved in our local areas. Support politicians who fight for our 2nd Amendment rights like Brian Nieves of Missouri and not sit meekly bye – lest we all be forced to line up to either register or destroy more than just our 2nd Amendment rights.
Harr, Dan. “State Can’t Let Gun Scofflaws Off Hook.” 14 February 2014. The Hartford Courant. 20 February 2014 <http://articles.courant.com/2014-02-14/news/hc-ed-gun-registration-20140214_1_new-law-gun-registration-military-style-assault-weapons>.
Jacovino, Ed. “One more chance for gun owners.” 24 February 2014. Jounral Inquirer. 26 February 2014 .
*Editor’s note: The article is hidden behind a pay wall and while I don’t endorse visiting their site, other sources can be found citing the Journal and showing the letter.