Politics: Practically no one chooses to comply with Connecticut's new gun laws
Published by: Robert Laurie on Friday February 14th, 2014
They gave a law and nobody came.
Back in December of 2012, President Obama decided that the Sandy Hook murders had presented him with a public opinion gift. He assumed that he'd be able to exploit the slaughter to further his longstanding anti-gun agenda and pass a whole swath of new anti-2nd Amendment regulations. He was very, very, wrong. At the federal level, his push resulted in nothing but a few impotent executive orders.
Regionally, of course, anti-gun crusaders did a bit better. Last April they hastily passed a slew of half-baked gun control ordinances so they could tell people they'd done ....something. It didn't matter that the laws would never solve the problem of gun violence, and they didn't care about trampling rights. They required the appearance of action.
To that end, they enacted a bunch of nonsense that required all "military-style" semi-automatic rifles be registered by December 31st of 2013. So how'd that work out?
Well, according to the Hartford Courant, it didn't. Essentially, everyone is ignoring the new law.
Everyone knew there would be some gun owners flouting the law that legislators hurriedly passed last April, requiring residents to register all military-style rifles with state police by Dec. 31. …
By the end of 2013, state police had received 47,916 applications for assault weapons certificates, Lt. Paul Vance said. An additional 2,100 that were incomplete could still come in.
That 50,000 figure could be as little as 15 percent of the rifles classified as assault weapons owned by Connecticut residents, according to estimates by people in the industry, including the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation. No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000.
It looks like, as conservatives predicted, the law has succeeded in absolutely nothing - except creating a massive new group of Connecticut felons. The vast majority of these people are - obviously - not guilty of any crime other than adhering to the letter of the United States Constitution.
And that means as of Jan. 1, Connecticut has very likely created tens of thousands of newly minted criminals — perhaps 100,000 people, almost certainly at least 20,000 — who have broken no other laws. By owning unregistered guns defined as assault weapons, all of them are committing Class D felonies.
Now, you can argue that this is exactly what the left wants. If the left can rebrand the "law abiding gun owner" as a new criminal class they can vilify them, play the race card against them, and ultimately use their non-existant "lawlessness" to further a larger gun control agenda. Except no one - on either side of the aisle - expected so many people to extend the middle-finger to the new law.
"I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register," said Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, the ranking GOP senator on the legislature's public safety committee. "If you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don't follow them, then you have a real problem."
You sure do. If, say, a few dozen "gun nuts" had decided to ignore the anti-gun crusaders' efforts, they'd be easy to portray as villains. However, we're talking about as many as a hundred thousand people who decided to say "screw you" to their state government. A few people ignoring a law can be written off as criminal kooks but a hundred thousand?
Even in legal matters, there's safety in numbers - and the state knows it. They're well aware that this is too many people to allow some kind of gun-grabbing witch hunt. As a result, for now, they don't know what they're going to do.
"A lot of it is just a question to ask, and I think the firearms unit would be looking at it," said Mike Lawlor, the state's top official in criminal justice. "They could send them a letter."
Ooooh. A letter. That'll show em!
Well done, Connecticut. Stick to your guns. Pun intended.