On Monday the Hartford Courant posted an article about the progress in Connecticut’s attempt to register all military-style rifles with state police by December 31. The effort has not gone well.
The article reports:
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.
This law instantly created between 20,000 and 100,000 new criminals–people who did not register their rifles. The article reminds us, “By owning unregistered guns defined as assault weapons, all of them are committing Class D felonies.”
The article reports:
The law was adopted after the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Its main provision was a dramatic expansion of guns classified as assault weapons banned for sale in the state. The ban now includes any semiautomatic firearm — that is, one that reloads a round after each pull of the trigger — if it has even a single military-style characteristic, such as a pistol grip.
Any semiautomatic firearm banned for sale could remain legal if its owner registered it by Dec. 31. Those that were made before the state’s first assault rifle law in 1993, and were not deemed to be assault weapons in that law, do not have to be registered.
The AR-15, a type of rifle, not a brand, is among those that must be registered and represents 50 percent to 60 percent of all rifle sales in the United States in recent years, federal figures show.
Sorting out the number of potential new felons is a guessing game. State police have not added up the total number of people who registered the 50,000 firearms, Vance said. So even if we knew the number of illegal guns in the state, we’d have a hard time knowing how many owners they had.
As logical as gun registration may seem to lawmakers, its history is not a positive one. Historically gun registration has been the prelude to a seizure of guns by a tyrannical government. An unarmed population is much more easily controlled than an armed population. There is also the small matter of the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. It will be interesting to see of Connecticut attempts to enforce its new gun registration law.
I really don’t understand a lot about the concept of assault rifles, but I do wonder about a statement in the Hartford Courant article. The article states that this law was passed in response to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I totally agree that what happened at Sandy Hook was a terrible tragedy, but is there anything in this law that is actually related to that event or that would have prevented that event?