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Police: About 50,000 Assault Rifles Registered By Connecticut Gun Owners

by | Jan 17, 2014 6:34pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share

Hugh McQuaid Photo Gun owners in Connecticut registered about 50,000 assault rifles before the Jan. 1 deadline, state public safety officials reported Friday as they drew close to completing the task of processing reams of related paperwork.

That rough estimate comes more than two weeks after the deadline to register banned rifles and ammunition magazines — steps required by last year’s gun control legislation passed in response to the Sandy Hook shooting.

The bill increased the number of guns prohibited in Connecticut and banned ammunition magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds. Residents who owned the newly-banned items before the law were required to register or declare them to the state prior to Jan. 1, if they wanted to keep them.

In the days leading up to the deadline, gun owners formed long lines outside state police offices to present the required documents in person. Others choose to mail the paperwork.

Since the beginning of the month it has been unclear exactly how many weapons and magazines were registered. Employees of Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the State Police Special Licensing and Firearms Unit have been sorting through piles of declarations and registration applications, which were postmarked on or before Jan. 1, but continued to arrive in the days following the deadline.

From Dec. 26 to Jan. 9 — the end of the most recent reporting period — members of the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit were paid $8,078 in overtime compensation related to the project. That number is expected to rise when more recent pay data is reported.

On Friday, Scott DeVico, a legislative program manager and spokesman for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said hand counts indicate that gun owners registered 50,016 assault weapons and declared 38,290 ammunition magazines. He noted that the numbers could fluctuate and won’t be finalized until they’re entered into the department’s computer system.

It is also unclear how many gun owners own the banned weapons and magazines, but chose not to comply with the registration requirement.

Devico said processing the paperwork has been a big project, which the department successfully handled with the resources available to it.

“As evident by the long lines and the buckets of mail we received, this was a very big, but successful, process. The employees of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection take our responsibility of implementing the laws of the state of Connecticut very seriously and should be commended for the work they performed to implement this process,” DeVico said in an email.

The last minute push to comply with the new registration requirements is not the first time the department and the state police have been swamped with paperwork related to the 2013 gun control law. In May, a month after the bill passed, state police officials told lawmakers that their backlog for applications to transfer firearms had exploded from around 1,000 to 62,000.

At the time, Reuben Bradford, who is now the outgoing commissioner of the department, defended the speed at which his agency was handling the increased workload generated by the law.

“For the record, we are dealing with these backlogs with the same number of people. We’ve been given no additional help,” he said last year.

DeVico said the agency has since added personnel.

“We have hired 11 additional staff with additional positions approved and on the way. We are grateful for all of the resources given to us by [Gov. Dannel P. Malloy] and the Legislature to carry out the mission of the Department,” he said.

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(17) Archived Comments

posted by: dano860 | January 17, 2014  11:23pm

They registered semi-automatic rifles and magazines that the State deems as “high capacity”.  All of the true full automatic or selectable firearms were registered long ago and the owners have special permits to posses them.
It’s laudable that they were able to do a job that wasn’t necessary. The midnight legislation, the one that had zero public hearings, the one that was a knee jerk reaction has now that set up law abiding citizens for the potential of being hit with criminal charges.
They may as we’ll wrote legislation that bans ‘scary black firearms’ they really did nothing but alienate the base of firearm owners. They won’t forget that in the voting booth.
The registering of firearms does nothing to catch or stop the real criminals.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | January 18, 2014  1:56pm

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”—Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942, quoted in Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations, Second Edition (1973), Pg. 425-426. Translated by Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens. Introduced and with a new preface by H. R. Trevor-Roper. The original German papers were known as Bormann-Vermerke.

posted by: Historian | January 18, 2014  10:41pm

That means there are more armed citizens than police and reservists in Ct.  Interesting.

posted by: justsayin | January 19, 2014  4:59pm

So we added 11 union jobs to oversee law abiding citizens who have done no wrong, impressive. Do these jobs go away when the backlog declines? So what did this exorcise accomplish.

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | January 20, 2014  8:07am

Keep in mind that there are perhaps 30% of the population in the state with some type of firearm legally (and constitutionally).  The owners of “scary” rifles are only a fraction of the total.  We have made them potential felons for little or no benefit in public safety. 

There are still shoes to drop in the Sandy Hook Investigation.  I was a little surprised to find that the Sandy Hook Commission was left in the dark during the extended State Police investigation. 

This had to be to prevent details (mental health, school security) that interfered with the gun control push.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | January 20, 2014  8:17am

50,000 armed gun-nuts.  What can go wrong with that?

posted by: Greg | January 20, 2014  1:20pm

“50,000 armed gun-nuts.  What can go wrong with that?”

What an absolutely insensitive and offensive comment.  50,000+ gun nuts in this state and there isn’t the mass bloodshed daily from scary black rifles this commenter and Susan Bigelow want in order to advance their political agenda.  Sorry that 50,000 gun owners follow the law and don’t hurt anyone, that doesn’t make for good press and snarky comments.

posted by: Lawrence | January 20, 2014  8:27pm

Not That Michael Brown,

I generally agree with and applaud your comments. I like the irony of your online name.

But your above comment is ignorant and insulting to the extreme. Liberals have a completely irrational fear of firearms, generally based on willful ignorance and unfamiliarity.

Case in point: these 50,000 so-called ‘assault weapons’ have likely been owned for a decade or longer, yet never been used to commit a crime. Have you ever heard of an ‘assault weapon’ being used to commit a crime in CT before Sandy Hook?


So, based on your comment, what can go wrong? Absolutely nothing. That is what history and the FACTS have shown.

So, please—ask around, find a friend who legally owns a firearm, ask him/her to take you to a shooting club, find out how firearms work (NOT like the movies!), shoot a gun, and find out you can learn something and enjoy yourself without a) ever committing a crime or b) injuring another human being.

Imagine that. A new perspective based on FACTS and EXPERIENCE.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | January 21, 2014  7:49am

Let me correct one portion of my earlier comment: 50,000 ‘assault-weapon-nuts.’  What can go wrong with that?

posted by: Christine Stuart | January 21, 2014  9:15am

Christine Stuart

50,000 is assault rifle declarations and not people.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | January 21, 2014  10:08am

@Christine Stuart - Thank you for that correction.  But, I get the impression, from @BHirsh for example, that there are a few other assault rifles that are not registered.  I stand by my 50,000- nut number.

posted by: Nonbeliever | January 21, 2014  12:12pm

Assault rifles and assault weapons are two different things. Assault rifles are select fire weapons and are banned in the state except for military/police use (privileged class). Assault weapons are defined by law and can be rifles, pistols, or shotguns. This article is factually inaccurate and misleading.

posted by: dano860 | January 22, 2014  4:17pm

It seems a little odd that we are told to are told NOT to judge (a certain religion) by the actions of a few lunatics but we are encouraged to judge all firearm owners by the actions of a few. Pretty strange how that works, huh?

posted by: TanVampire | January 24, 2014  10:57am

96% of Connecticut gun owners REFUSE to comply to register their “assault weapons” & “high capacity” magazines

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | January 24, 2014  11:32am

Let me further correct my earlier comment: 50,000-PLUS ‘assault-weapon-nuts.’  What can go wrong with that? Re: @TanVampire

posted by: Barry bin Inhalin | February 13, 2014  9:49am

IF the goal was to prevent th enext school shooting, the entire thing is a J-O-K-E.  IF the goal is to create a list of firearms to confiscate, the jackboots are +1.

posted by: Joebigjoe | February 13, 2014  11:57am

Dano great point. I need to memorize that one.

What really bothers me is why are we so different in this state when it comes to the way people feel compared to other parts of this country.

Look at this. There is no way that we could get half the people they do to think this way. They had Columbine and we had Newtown, yet out there it appears people realize that there is evil in the world and we need a last line of defense, and here people want to think there is no evil other than inanimate objects that are held by non-evil people.

As Republicans in the Colorado legislature prepare to argue in favor of allowing teachers to carry firearms on campus, a Quinnipiac University poll shows that “fifty percent of Coloradans support allowing teachers and school officials [with a concealed carry permit] to carry guns on campus.”

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