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Lawmakers, Malloy Administration Discuss Amnesty For Gun Owners

by Hugh McQuaid | Feb 11, 2014 6:11pm
(8) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Public Safety

Hugh McQuaid Photo

Rep. Stephen Dargan

Lawmakers and members of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration met Tuesday to discuss what to do with several hundred gun registration forms that did not quite meet the deadline to comply with a new law.

The issue involves a small group of gun owners who mailed paperwork registering or declaring their possession of rifles and ammunition magazines banned by the state under a law passed last year in response to the Sandy Hook shooting.

Some post offices closed early on Dec. 31 and about 226 assault weapon applications and 506 high-capacity magazine declarations received by the state were postmarked shortly after the deadline.

The Malloy administration has been using the postmark as the threshold for processing the paperwork. Last month, the governor said state police retained the late paperwork, but he insisted that the legislature would need to pass a bill in order to process the forms.

However, some lawmakers maintain the administration has the discretion to accept and process the forms without more legislation.

After the Tuesday meeting, Andrew Doba, a spokesman for the governor, said the administration was still reviewing its options.

Rep. Stephen Dargan, co-chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said the question impacts a small group of people who tried, but did not quite make the deadline.

“We’re trying to figure a way to accommodate the small number of people. Do we do it legislatively? Can we do it administratively?” he said. “Whatever our focus is, it has to be narrow in scope because it might open it up to other people’s concerns.”

Some oppose the idea of allowing those forms to be processed. Soon after Malloy left the door open to offering amnesty to the gun owners who attempted to comply with the law, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, a lead proponent of last year’s legislation, asked its members to contact the governor’s office and oppose a grace period.

However, if officials were intent on offering amnesty, the group wanted to see the proposal in the form of a bill, which they saw as an opportunity to eliminate an exemption in the state’s gun control statutes pertaining to weapons manufactured before 1993.

In a letter, the group asked supporters to “email your State Senator and State Representative. Tell them that if there is to be a compromise on late registration of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, they must also repeal” the exemption.

Hugh McQuaid Photo Others feel legislation would be unnecessary to address the issue. Rep. Craig Miner, co-chairman of the legislature’s Sportsmen’s Caucus, compared the issue to people missing the deadline to file their taxes.

“Most people wait till the last minute to pay their taxes, get their cars registered or any number of things,” he said. “. . . I have argued that for the small population of individuals who appeared to me to have applied for the very certificates that we asked them to apply for . . . That that be handled, as more often than not is done, through an internal process.”

Miner said he was also concerned with another — likely far larger — population of individuals who chose not to comply with the law. A Monday article in the Hartford Courant suggested that gun owners chose not register as many as 350,000 rifles.

“For people who fall outside that window, they had an opportunity. I personally would like to suggest we offer them another opportunity,” Miner said. “. . . But I think that would definitely have to be the subject of some legislation.”

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(8) Comments

posted by: Chien DeBerger | February 11, 2014  7:14pm

The Boston tea party fighting against taxation without representation, Lexington when British troops came to disarm the colonials. All part of civil disobedience to tyrannical laws. Thin maybe the democrats have gone too far? A lot of democratic gun owners are in that number.

posted by: CTsheepdog | February 11, 2014  11:04pm

Wouldn’t it be more relevant to ask why 0% of illegal gun owners did not register their rifles or 10+ round magazines?

posted by: Ex-Conn res | February 12, 2014  1:23am

Has anyone asked what is the purpose of having to register assault type rifles or magazines? Other than future taxation or confiscation, what is the point? Would it have stopped Adam Lanza? No. The whole thing lacks of common sense and logic. I’m glad I don’t live in Conn. anymore.

posted by: GBear423 | February 12, 2014  8:42am

GBear423

Typical, Malloy wasting tax dollars to “discuss” if they should apply common sense. Process the unConstitutional registrations and move on to the next item that oppresses law abiding over-taxed Connecticut residents… idiot.

posted by: Joebigjoe | February 12, 2014  12:27pm

Good point CT Sheepdog

I actually registered but am shocked at that numbers of guns out there that they feel were not registered. I knew there would be many that would not but that number is far greater than what I thought.

After that psycho woman in West Hartford trying to torture/ kill her mother the other day I’m waiting for a group like the Newtown Alliance to form that calls attention to all the cases of violent mentally ill people hurting and killing others in this state since Lanza did his thing and fight these anti gun people with the same focus on violent nut jobs. We now have the facts and the timeframe that people can understand to make a heck of a point on how these legislators went after the wrong thing purposely, and now look at the result.

posted by: dano860 | February 12, 2014  12:58pm

It is more profitable to turn them into criminals than allowing them to be the law abiding citizens they are.
Joey and Annie, grab your despicable, banned yet harmless assault weaponry and take them to a relatives or friends home in another State.

posted by: BCBS | February 13, 2014  2:06pm

The deadline in the law is JANUARY 1, 2014 not Dec 31. They were not open Jan 1 so the deadline was Jan 2.  The last 8 hours of 2013 there was absolutely no way to file. The last 12 if you mailed it. The law states JAN 1, 2014. No legislation, no more additions to the list. As the OLR report states it was the legislatures clear intention to exempt the classic pre bans. This is just a ruse for further restrictions. Further bans PROVE THEM TO BE LIERS.

posted by: Joebigjoe | February 14, 2014  4:30pm

Hey Ron Pinciaro and Newtown Action Alliance. You may previal in the end on the assault weapon aspects of having to register them, but your cause and everything you stand for as it relates to protecting ourselves in and OUT of our homes, just went POOF. If the 9th circuit thinks this way you’re in big trouble.

http://www.humanevents.com/2014/02/14/ninth-circuit-court-blows-a-hole-in-gun-control/