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Connecticut throws 'assault weapon' registration party, (almost) nobody comes

January 27, 2014
12:02 AM MST

If Connecticut's government gun grabbers find out where the 'missing' 90% of the 'contraband' guns and magazines are, it's likely to be the last thing they find out
If Connecticut's government gun grabbers find out where the 'missing' 90% of the 'contraband' guns and magazines are, it's likely to be the last thing they find out
Photo Oleg Volk. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

At the beginning of the year, this column noted sadly that some Connecticut gun owners had spent the waning days of 2013 "rushing," "scrambling," and enduring long lines in the bitter cold, to register their so-called "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines (defined by gun ban zealots as having a capacity of 11 or more rounds), in compliance with the state law requiring their registration by the end of the year. Despite the inescapable evidence that the purpose of registration is to enable confiscation, thousands of gun owners submitted to this intolerable act of governmental domination.

With the numbers now available, however, it becomes apparent that many of us--and perhaps all of the forcible citizen disarmament jihadists in the Connecticut government--underestimated the state's gun owners' spirit of defiance, and perhaps by an enormous margin. The number of guns and magazines registered was so paltry, in fact, that state lawmakers are trying to spin the situation as a case of willing registrants trying to register on time, but failing to do so, because the post office closed at noon on New Year's Eve, thus causing them to be late. From the Hartford Courant:

Amid concerns about gun owners who failed in their last-minute attempts to register now-illegal assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, lawmakers are considering granting an amnesty period for people who missed the registration deadline.

The comprehensive gun-control bill enacted last spring required owners of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to register the guns and declare ownership of the magazine if they wished to keep them.

Rather than admit (perhaps even to themselves) that tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands?) of Connecticut gun owners have chosen to defy their power, willing to become felons in the process, they are treating the unimpressive numbers as an accident, and considering "generously" giving gun owners another opportunity to register, although Governor Malloy's administration is not even willing to do that, according to the same article:

The governor's office responded Tuesday with a letter to legislative leaders in which they maintained the law prevents them from processing the late applications.

"We said, well, it's too late," said Michael Lawlor, Under Secretary for Criminal Justice and Policy Planning for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

So just how paltry are the numbers of those gun owners willing to submit to this atrocity, and how can anyone be so certain that it dramatically underrepresents the number of contraband guns and magazines (and owners)? CT Newsjunkie quotes Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (so named because, presumably, that name sounds less alarming than "Department of Forced Defenselessness") announcing that 2013 saw the registration of 50,016 "assault weapons," and 38,290 "high capacity" magazines. Yep--almost 12,000 more guns than magazines (how likely does that sound--especially considering the fact that <some people registered "dozens" of magazines?).

While by no means a hard number (which would be impossible to come by), Connecticut's Office of Legislative Research, using numbers provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, reported in 2011 that there could be tens of millions of so-called "high capacity" magazines in the state--and that number could only have grown since then--of which fewer than 40,000 are registered, as now required by draconian law.

The same article estimates hundreds of thousands, perhaps as many as half a million or more, firearms that would qualify as "assault weapons" under Connecticut's newly expanded definition of the term-- suggesting a 90% non-compliance rate with the registration.

Whether or not some kind of gun registration amnesty becomes law (over the governor's objections), it appears clear that the Connecticut government is about to discover that passing forcible citizen disarmament laws is the easy part. It's the enforcement that tends to be difficult--and dangerous. That is precisely as it should be.