The Connecticut Legislature passed its sweeping package of gun control early Thursday, vastly tightening restrictions on firearms ownership in a State already regarded by gun control advocates, long before the December 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy, as having the Nation’s fifth-toughest gun laws.
The State’s House of Representatives closed the deal shortly after 2 a.m. Eastern time, approving a broad ban on scary “assault” weapons and high-capacity magazines, along with a host of other regulations on ammunition sales and mental health checks.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy promptly signed the bipartisan bill into law, following a day of demonstrations in which 2nd Amendment supporters greatly outnumbered gun control advocates outside the State Capitol.
The new laws, which also require “eligibility certificates” for prospective gun buyers and mandate universal background checks — even for private sales — begin taking effect immediately. Other provisions, such as the creation of the Nation’s first “dangerous weapon offender” registry, will be implemented over time.
As the Legislature spent the day preparing to vote on the measure, anxious customers made a run on guns and ammunition at specialty stores throughout the State. Shops already experiencing chronic shortages sold out of weapons and ammo. One store owner called it “panic buying,” motivated by genuine fear that government was further tightening the noose around regular citizens’ 2nd Amendment powers.
The rush to interject government into private gun ownership in States where leaders invoke mass shootings and public safety fears has been offset in other States by Legislative action designed to ensure residents their right to bear arms won’t be infringed.
The contrasting approach of lawmakers in the gun-grab States and the gun rights States is stark, with 10 States recently enacting laws that actually broaden residents’ gun ownership rights. Thirty-six States have passed some form of “nullification” legislation intended to repel the enforcement of any Federal-level gun restrictions that may pass Congress.
That’s essentially a Constitutional challenge by the States, daring the Federal government to expose its own double-standard take on the Bill of Rights by inviting it to invoke the 10th Amendment’s Supremacy Clause in order to enforce gun control that violates the clear and simple language of the 2nd Amendment.