Connecticut – Confusion Reigns as Gun Control Law Takes Effect

Meanwhile NRA Continues the Fight.

Connecticut State Police
Connecticut State Police admitted to NRA that the (confiscation) letter was authentic and that it had been sent to a number of individuals whose registration paperwork was received after the deadline.

Charlotte, NC –-(  On April 4, 2013, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) signed Senate Bill 1160 into law, unleashing one of the most draconian gun control laws in the nation on his constituents.

Among other things, the 140-page law bans large classes of firearms and magazines that had been obtained lawfully by tens of thousands of Connecticut residents.

Limited grandfather provisions apply to those who registered otherwise banned items before January 1, 2014.  Others in possession could face felony penalties for violations.  President Obama himself was in Connecticut four days after this bill became law, praising it as a model for the nation.

Throughout the Connecticut lawmakers’ efforts to attack law-abiding gun owners, your NRA has been actively involved in fighting to vindicate the Second Amendment rights of Connecticut’s citizens.  Shortly before the bill was rammed through the state legislature with no opportunity for public debate or even for adequate committee review, the NRA helped organize a huge lobby day protest rally in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen.  Thousands turned out peacefully to protest the proposed legislation and the incursions on their rights that would undoubtedly result from it.

I will not register my guns
I will not register my guns

The NRA is currently backing a lawsuit, Shew v. Malloy, to challenge the constitutionality of several provisions of the law, including its expanded bans on semiautomatic firearms and its restrictions on magazine capacity.  Some have wondered why the NRA has not appeared as a named plaintiff in the suit.  Simply put, experience has often shown that NRA is more effective in lending its expertise and resources, rather than its name, to litigation.  Many within the legal elite have been slow to embrace the fundamental, individual rights protected by the Second Amendment, and getting a fair hearing on these matters is difficult enough.  When NRA participates in a legal case as a plaintiff, its involvement attracts a traveling media circus eager to criticize and attempt to discredit whatever it does.  This can further inhibit courts from giving the merits of the case a thorough and impartial hearing.  Unlike some groups who will eagerly tout their participation in any “gun rights” case, no matter how ill-advised or unlikely to succeed, the NRA is more interested in advancing our Second Amendment freedoms through litigation, rather than just using lawsuits for publicity or fundraising purposes.

In any event, a federal district court judge has, for now, upheld the contested provisions of the law.  An appeal is already underway.  The court’s ruling, while unfavorable on the law, contained important factual findings, including that the newly-banned firearms and magazines are, in fact, commonly owned and legally used nationwide, including in Connecticut.  These findings could well make a difference as the case makes its way through the appeals process.

While relief through the court system is at best a long and incremental process, the effort continues with NRA’s full support.

Meanwhile, reality is setting in for Connecticut lawmakers and enforcement officials, who now must deal with the effects the new law is having on ordinary persons who have never been at odds with the law.  As in other states that have recently enacted draconian gun control measures, SB 1160 has caused good jobs and honest business interests to leave the state, unwilling to shoulder the blame for acts committed by criminals that tore at the heart of the business owners and their employees along with all of the good people in Connecticut.

Even supporters of the law now widely acknowledge that tens of thousands of existing firearms and untold numbers of magazines have not been registered as required.  In other words, Connecticut’s politicians have created from whole cloth an entirely new class of criminals.  These are otherwise ordinary people who work at legitimate jobs, pay taxes, and undoubtedly in many cases are raising families and running businesses that employ others and contribute to the general welfare of the state.

These are individuals who have never used firearms unlawfully and have no intention of ever doing so.  They had merely chosen to protect their homes and families and pursue their sporting interests with what federal judges are now recognizing as common firearms used in-state and throughout the nation for lawful purposes.  At the time they acquired the firearms, they were perfectly lawful.  Now, these people have become the scapegoats for the heinous acts of a handful of criminals.  Now, they are the pawns in a larger political fight going back decades, when gun control supporters realized that handgun bans would not work, and other avenues would have to be used to condition the public to accept gun bans.

Only last week, multiple reports surfaced of a disturbing letter that had reportedly been sent to Connecticut gun owners who tried to register their firearms but whose paperwork arrived at the Connecticut State Police (“CSP”) after the deadline.  That letter, dated January 2, 2014, and containing the signature of a State Police lieutenant, gave recipients four choices for disposition of their firearms, none of which indicated they would be given a pass for their late submission.  Rumors swirled, as some claimed this was the precursor to a later campaign of outright confiscation, even by those who tried to comply with the registration aspects of the law but failed because of early Post Office closures or mistakes in paperwork.

The Connecticut State Police did nothing helpful to alleviate these concerns.  As one rumor after another was reported in breathless media accounts, your NRA was diligently working behind the scenes to learn the truth.  Our experience was consistent with other reports that have since emerged, in that answers received from CSP officials seemed to vary with whoever happened to answer the telephone.  Some said a letter was being drafted but had not been sent.  Others denied the existence of the letter categorically.  Finally, after NRA personnel identified themselves as such and demanded to speak with high ranking officials, confronted these officials with the CSP’s inconsistent answers, and insisted on knowing the truth, the CSP reversed course and admitted to NRA that the letter was authentic and that it had been sent to a number of individuals whose registration paperwork was received after the deadline.  Nevertheless, the officials insisted it was not a warning of later confiscation but a “public service” to advise gun owners whose registrations were rejected of their options.

Media reports also indicate that the CSP in some cases is willing to grant limited “amnesty” to persons who are believed to have completed the registration requirements prior to the deadline but whose paperwork was received late because of circumstances beyond the registrant’s control.  We find none of this reassuring.  Simply put, the rule of law has broken down in Connecticut and the Malloy administration’s and CSP’s credibility on this issue has been severely compromised.  Nobody seems to know what the state’s intentions are toward residents who have committed purely technical violations of the law, whether or not they unsuccessfully attempted to register their firearms on time.  While we agree that evidence of unsuccessful attempts at registration should not be used to prosecute the registrants, the process of choosing who is and is not eligible for “amnesty” seems to be wide open, with no oversight to ensure consistency or fairness.

In short, Connecticut’s approach to this issue is a glaring example of arbitrary and capricious enforcement of what was bad public policy in the first place.

The only safe choice for those Connecticut gun owners who have not successfully registered their firearms (whether or not intentionally) is to assume enforcement action remains a very real possibility with very serious consequences.  Nevertheless, we certainly hope the Malloy administration and the CSP will devote their limited resources to focusing on truly dangerous individuals who have no regard for any laws or the lives or well-being of others.  They are the proper targets of law enforcement efforts, and not responsible gun owners who were in perfect compliance with the law until a rushed and deeply flawed bill was passed with no chance for public input.

Dump CT Governor Malloy
Dump CT Governor Malloy

As for the legislature, they should repeal this ill-considered, politically-motivated law with the Orwellian title of “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety.”  Children are not safe when their parents are classified as criminals subject to arrest and imprisonment for the earlier acquisition of property that was undertaken lawfully and in good faith and which threatens harm to no one in the present.  Children are not safe when the next knock at the door could be an armed squad of policemen who are serving warrants against a class of citizens who have done nothing to harm others but have summarily been condemned as “armed criminals.”

The rule of law is in tatters in the “Constitution State,” and whatever ambiguities remain or misadventures may yet come to pass, one thing is crystal clear: Governor Malloy and those who voted for SB 1160 in the state legislature are responsible for them.

In the meantime, Connecticut gun owners can be sure that the NRA is standing with them to fight this injustice every step of the way.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

  • 24 thoughts on “Connecticut – Confusion Reigns as Gun Control Law Takes Effect

    1. I sympathize with you all. This wouldn’t fly in Kentucky. That’s why there’s forts up in the hills, just in case of this.

    2. The next election will straighten this out. Where will these traitors hide after tossed into the streets.

    3. Has everyone forgotten the Dick Law?
      The Dick Act of 1902 also known as the Efficiency of Militia Bill H.R. 11654, of June 28, 1902 invalidates all so-called gun-control laws. It also divides the militia into three distinct and separate entities.

      The three classes H.R. 11654 provides for are the organized militia, henceforth known as the National Guard of the State, Territory and District of Columbia, the unorganized militia and the regular army. The militia encompasses every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45. All members of the unorganized militia have the absolute personal right and 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms of any type, and as many as they can afford to buy.

      The Dick Act of 1902 cannot be repealed; to do so would violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws which would be yet another gross violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The President of the United States has zero authority without violating the Constitution to call the National Guard to serve outside of their State borders.

      The National Guard Militia can only be required by the National Government for limited purposes specified in the Constitution (to uphold the laws of the Union; to suppress insurrection and repel invasion). These are the only purposes for which the General Government can call upon the National Guard.

      Attorney General Wickersham advised President Taft, “the Organized Militia (the National Guard) can not be employed for offensive warfare outside the limits of the United States.”

      The Honorable William Gordon, in a speech to the House on Thursday, October 4, 1917, proved that the action of President Wilson in ordering the Organized Militia (the National Guard) to fight a war in Europe was so blatantly unconstitutional that he felt Wilson ought to have been impeached.

      During the war with England an attempt was made by Congress to pass a bill authorizing the president to draft 100,000 men between the ages of 18 and 45 to invade enemy territory, Canada. The bill was defeated in the House by Daniel Webster on the precise point that Congress had no such power over the militia as to authorize it to empower the President to draft them into the regular army and send them out of the country.

      The fact is that the President has no constitutional right, under any circumstances, to draft men from the militia to fight outside the borders of the USA, and not even beyond the borders of their respective states. Today, we have a constitutional LAW which still stands in waiting for the legislators to obey the Constitution which they swore an oath to uphold.

      Charles Hughes of the American Bar Association (ABA) made a speech which is contained in the Appendix to Congressional Record, House, September 10, 1917, pages 6836-6840 which states: “The militia, within the meaning of these provisions of the Constitution is distinct from the Army of the United States.” In these pages we also find a statement made by Daniel Webster, “that the great principle of the Constitution on that subject is that the militia is the militia of the States and of the General Government; and thus being the militia of the States, there is no part of the Constitution worded with greater care and with more scrupulous jealousy than that which grants and limits the power of Congress over it.”

      “This limitation upon the power to raise and support armies clearly establishes the intent and purpose of the framers of the Constitution to limit the power to raise and maintain a standing army to voluntary enlistment, because if the unlimited power to draft and conscript was intended to be conferred, it would have been a useless and puerile thing to limit the use of money for that purpose. Conscripted armies can be paid, but they are not required to be, and if it had been intended to confer the extraordinary power to draft the bodies of citizens and send them out of the country in direct conflict with the limitation upon the use of the militia imposed by the same section and article, certainly some restriction or limitation would have been imposed to restrain the unlimited use of such power.”

      The Honorable William Gordon

      Congressional Record, House, Page 640 – 1917

    4. “In other words, “we’ll send a Connecticut state police SWAT team to your door if you are reporting a home invasion — not to arrest the perpetrator attacking you and your family but to arrest and, if necessary, kill you.””

      Whats up with this statement, I tried to get confirmation from the governors office and basically got no comment, If this is true the time for talking is over, Lock and Load.

    5. Gun control does work! It worked great for Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. Gun control (confiscation) allowed them to murder millions of defenseless citizens. Evidently, Connecticut citizens don’t want to add to that tally.
      Nullification of unconstitutional laws has worked in the past. IF the state government is stupid enough to order the arrest and prosecution of non-compliant citizens, jurors need to find them “not guilty” by ruling on the illegality of the law, not their non-compliance.
      Nullify, nullify, nullify.

    6. With 350,000 in non-compliance mode, those boys had better get busy building a bigger prison! Or possibly get the morgue ready for an influx of dead cops, since those Connecticut boys aren’t going down easy!

    7. The NRA is there every step of the way? What the hell is that about? You guys in Conn. now have the responsibility of enforcing the Constitution, there is no fight there, it’s an illegal law just like Obamacare but this time if you don’t take up the stance of Patriot and militia then you are turning your back on the rest of America. You need to take a stance with the cops and let them know they are on the right side if they refuse to comply with Mallory. If they go along with the state on this then they’ve turned their back on God also. It’s by God’s law we have the second, not the govts.

    8. Dan Malloy, another OzzBama minion. You notice the great and powerful OzzBama took the opportunity to call out this treasonous act as the model for our nation. What the hell nation is this man referring to? I guess it must be one that we conservative fear the most OBAMALAND………

    9. If we have only HALF the courage those patriots did at Lexington and Concord we all would be in the catbird seat.

    10. Take a good look at the men in Uniform saluting at the top of this article , because these men are the SWORN ENEMIES of the citizens of Connecticut , and as the progressive advances continue this will become the same in every state , with Maryland New Jersey and Kalifornicate are in process of stepping across that line RIGHT NOW . FEDERAL AND STATE COPS AND AGENTS ARE FAST BECOMING MORE OF A THREAT TO AMERICAN CITIZENS THAN THE TERRORISTS EVER WERE .

    11. Well of course, let them arrest all 100,000 non compliant law abiding gun owners, the state of Connecticut would be poorer than a third world country.

      You cannot use tax money to imprison 100,000 tax payers 😀

    12. They want to confiscate the very weapons they will carry to take them. Use a real rifle like a 30-06, 300 Win Mag, 270 Rem, etc. They wil pay dearly. They go thru bullet resistant clothing like butter. organize groups of like minded individuals now.

    13. This is what happens when you elect Democrats. Your government is comprised of would be little dictators who should be tarred, feathered and rode out of town on a rail along with the badge carrying buffoons who attempt to enforce the unconstitutional laws of these would be tyrants.

    14. I expect, should it ever get to the shooting stage, to be one of the first casualties. I am unschooled in military matters and will probably be an easy target, yet I can still function as the Canary in the Coalmine.

      And I may do some good accidentally 😉

    15. I drew my line in the sand a LONG time ago. Were I to be faced with a similar dilemma, with the possibility of armed Brownshirts coming to my door, I would load every magazine I have, carry weapons with me everywhere I would go, and be prepared to shoot the first ba$tard that attempted to take my Freedom, and my life.

      I have no illusions as to the outcome; they’ll get me. The question they should ask themselves is: Will I make it home tonight? And I’ll do my best to make sure it is not a one-for-one swap.

      Liberty or Death!

    16. Who can forget the scoffing and sneering assertion: “Nobody wants to take your guns.”?

      Obviously, we were just paranoid. What else would you expect from a bunch of knuckle dragging, mouth breathing conservatives gun nuts?

      Heh… did anybody really doubt the bastards were lying?

    17. This sounds like Hitler and his Black shirts squads from 1942. How they controlled the jews and then killed them off and anyone else that opposed them. People of Conn. Vote the dictator out of office.

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