Personal Liberty Poll
Perhaps as many as 300,000 Connecticut gun owners are fighting unpopular anti-2nd Amendment legislation in the State by simply ignoring a new law which requires all owners of “military-style” rifles to register the firearms with State police. Meanwhile, gun-grabbers in the State are aghast that hundreds of thousands of residents would rather become Class D felons than abide by unConstitutional bureaucratic demands.
Following the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut lawmakers embarked on an emotionally charged anti-gun crusade which resulted in the passage of a law dramatically expanding the definition of “assault weapons” prohibited for sale in the State. In addition to classifying any semi-automatic rifle with a single tactical characteristic, such as a pistol grip, as “assault weapons” too dangerous for sale in the State, lawmakers also required that any person who currently owned a firearm in the soon-to-be-banned category to register the gun with State police before January 1.
Residents who failed to register their guns are guilty of owning an unregistered “assault weapon” under the law, a Class D felony.
By the first of the year, Connecticut State police had received around 50,000 applications for assault weapons certificates, according to The Courant. That number seems high, but firearm industry experts, including the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation, estimate that it makes up a paltry 15 percent of Connecticut owners of so-called “assault rifles.”
Conservative estimates indicate that the number of Connecticut “assault rifle” owners could be as high as 350,000. And State officials are reportedly in no hurry to compare the number of people who have registered their “assault weapons” against the list of people who underwent background checks for purchases of the newly-banned guns because of the headaches that would ensue.
One State Senator summed up the civil disobedience against the new gun laws as a big problem for supporters of the unpopular legislation.
“I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register,” said Senator Tony Guglielmo, the ranking GOP Senator on the State legislature’s public safety committee, told The Courant. “If you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don’t follow them, then you have a real problem.”
State officials are discussing options for increasing the number of “assault rifle” registrations in the States, including extending the registration period and using media to get the word out. But considering that even organizations which opposed the laws, like the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, made considerable effort to encourage gun owners to comply to avoid felony raps, populist revolt seems more likely for the law’s failure than ignorance.
That could be why State officials aren’t pushing too aggressively hunt down “assault weapon” owners who didn’t comply— though they remain focused on their goal and are threatening consequences.
“Like anything else, people who violate the law face consequences. … that’s their decision. The consequences are pretty clear. …There’s nothing unique about this,” Mike Lawlor, the State’s top criminal justice official, said. “The goal is to have fewer of these types of weapons in circulation.”
But for now, officials like Lawlor aren’t poised to do anything too brash.