Speculation about how the state of Connecticut would respond to the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of gun owners who failed to register their firearms by December 31 ended when the state police sent out this January 2, 2014 letter to all those who registered late, but who in the process gave the state sufficient information to brand them as criminals: name, address, description of weapon or magazine, and date of ownership:
We are returning your application for assault weapon certificate and/or large capacity magazine declaration because it was not received or postmarked prior to January 1, 2014 as required by law.
As a result, you have the following options for your assault weapon ...
1. Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable;
2. Sell the assault weapon to a licensed gun dealer;
3. Remove the assault weapon from the state, or ...
4. Relinquish the assault weapon to a police department or to the [state’s] Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection....
Lt. Eric Cooke, Commanding Officer, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit
This was the consequence promised by Mike Lawlor, an undersecretary of Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management, who said: “Like anything else, people who violate the law face consequences.” What Lawlor didn’t make clear is what those consequences might be for those who ignore the letter from Cooke. What happens then? Is the state ready to amp up pressure on recalcitrants? What if such pressure moves recalcitrants into the category of resisters? Is this a game of chicken that Connecticut is willing to play?
Mike Vanderboegh doesn’t think so.
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