The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action published an update March 8 about the controversy over Connecticut's new gun law. According to the NRA-ILA update, confusing answers to pointed questions about how the state will respond to gun owners who haven’t registered their now-illegal “assault” weapons and magazines risk turning the rule of law in Connecticut into “tatters.” The NRA tried to get straight answers from the Connecticut State Police (CSP) to rumors about the January 2, 2014 letter that was sent to gun owners applying too late to register their weapons:
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.
CSP's reported willingness to grant limited amnesty in some cases has added to the uncertainty as to how events may unfold:
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 [Gov. Dannel] Malloy administration's and CSP's credibility on this issue has been severely compromised.
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.
And of course, calls for amnesty for all gun owners now in violation of the state law have also added to the confusion.
Without a prompt and consistent response, Connecticut is in danger of alienating its citizens not only from the Malloy administration but from the security implied in the rule of law that restrains evil and allows for public order. If that confidence is breached, and the rule of law, in Connecticut or anywhere else, is compromised, the whole civilized fabric of society is threatened to unravel.
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