Registration leads to confiscation

Connecticut passed a law banning new sales of "assault weapons" and requiring that people who already owned them register their weapons. Residents largely failed to do so:

It's estimated that perhaps scores of thousands of Connecticut residents failed to register their military-style assault weapons with state police by Dec. 31... 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.

"Scores of thousands" is probably a low estimate. Other articles have estimated 350,000, which is also probably low. The Connecticut definition of assault weapon is a "one-feature" ban that includes hundreds of individually named models, plus anything with a pistol grip or a threaded barrel. The most common "assault weapons" are the AR-15 and the AK-47, and both have been available for about 50 years. There are lots of them around.

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.

So the author is perfectly fine with taking the background check system -- which is explicitly prohibited from being used as a registration system by federal law -- and sending police to search the homes of everyone who has bought any firearm in Connecticut for the past 50 years in hopes of finding an "assault weapon". And if they do find one...

A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even much lesser penalties or probation would mar a heretofore clean record and could adversely affect, say, the ability to have a pistol permit.

... they will throw the owner in jail for five years and ruin their ability to hold gainful employment, vote, or own any firearms at all for the rest of their life. Not because the owner did anything wrong. Not because they hurt anyone. Not because they threatened to hurt anyone. Solely because they failed to file the proper form with a faceless government employee.

That's not American. It is about as far from American as it is possible to get.

I am reminded of an old saying from John Harinton: "Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason."

Well, I will call it treason. And if the elected officials in Connecticut attempt to follow through with this suggestion, we must ensure that it doth not prosper.

This entry was published Wed Feb 19 08:54:19 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2014-02-19 08:54:19.0. [Tweet]

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