Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents could soon be considered felons by the state if they continue to ignore restrictive new gun control laws passed last year shortly after an armed rampage at an area elementary school left more than two dozen dead.
Last April, Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a slew of new firearm restrictions that require, among other items, residents to register powerful assault weapons and high-capacity magazine with the state. Connecticutians had until the end of last year — almost one year to the day after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre — to license their arsenals. Only a fraction has followed the new law, however, and they could all soon face serious consequences if the state decides to take action.
On Thursday this week, journalist Dan Haar of Connecticut’s The Courant newspaper wrote that state police had received only 47,916 completed registration forms by the end of last year. According to his reporting, that statistic is just a sliver of what it should be.
If the state has received 50,000 registrations by now, Haar wrote, then that could represent as little as 15 percent of the assault weapons now classified by the state as warranting new paperwork under last April’s law.
“No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000,” Harr wrote.
“And that means as of Jan. 1, Connecticut has very likely created tens of thousands of newly minted criminals — perhaps 100,000 people, almost certainly at least 20,000 — who have broken no other laws By owning unregistered guns defined as assault weapons, all of them are committing Class D felonies,” he added.