U.S. state: 350,000 gun owners suddenly felons

Bob Unruh

Connecticut has created a crisis for itself: The possibility of having 350,000 new felons in the state – roughly 20 times its current prison population.

It’s all because the legislature adopted a law that bans some types of guns and weapons based on certain physical features.

U.S. state 350,000 gun owners suddenly felons

There is no grandfathering for people who already possess the weapons. The only alternative is for the owner to submit an application with identifying information such as fingerprints.

It’s estimated that up to 350,000 residents didn’t meet the state’s deadline for submitting the information.

The result? They’re felons. No one has been charged or convicted yet, but the law allows no half-measures. Even possessing the weapon makes a person a felon.

And a judge who was asked to suspend the law while a challenge to its constitutionality is debated in the courts sided with the prosecution, refusing to make the allowance.

The result could be another civil war. Branford resident John Cinque challenged two of the members of the legislature, Sen. Leonard Fasano and Rep. Dave Yaccarino, both Republicans.

“I tell everybody I’m not complying,” Cinque said. “I can’t – you have to be willing to stand up and say no. And there are a lot of us who are going to say no.”

He cited the majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller case, which said the “conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty.” “It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large,” the court said. Cinque told the lawmakers that with “the stroke of a pen, from the ivory tower with the gold top, you have decided to create me to be a felon.” “A Class D felony. For doing absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. Others were joining in the chorus led by Cinque. Connecticut Carry, a state Second Amendment organization, said: “Gun hating officials now have their laws on the books in Connecticut. They dreamed up those laws, in their tyrannical dystopias, but it was NOT the majority of the public that supported such laws.” The organization said there is “very little compliance with the new edicts, and there is absolutely no way for the state to know who is obeying the law or not.”

“State officials have made their bluffs … and the state will enforce the laws,” the group said. “We say: Bring it on. The officials of the state of Connecticut have threatened its citizens by fiat. They have roared on paper, but they have violated principle. Now it’s time for the state to man-up: either enforce its edicts or else stand down and return to the former laws that did not so violently threaten the citizens of this state.” Get “Armed Response” as well as a series of training DVDs that show you how, and more importantly when, to use a gun. The gun group said there is “nothing that will so completely destroy faith in those edicts faster than the state-provoked chaos and violence that will be required to enforce the 2013 anti-gun laws.” “Despite all the severe legal language that the government passed, there is still no open discussion of enforcing those tyrannical laws, as they stand,” the group said. “If officials of the state of Connecticut opt to get ‘froggy’ (jumping on citizens) and start to enforce the new laws (as officials have claimed a desire to do), Connecticut Carry stands ready to do whatever it takes and whatever it can do to represent and defend anyone impacted by the state’s violence.” The anti-gun forces capitalized on the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., to push forward with their agenda. Laddy Hosankolli, who also was at the meeting with state lawmakers, said the law is a “knee-jerk reaction” to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “They didn’t put anything in there to deter criminals, they don’t get the guns legally anyway,” he said. “But psychologists and grief counselors and everyone like that tell you you shouldn’t do anything for a year, so you gain perspective on the situation. Like if a loved one dies, you shouldn’t sell your house, you shouldn’t move to Florida.” The National Rifle Association division called Institute for Legislative Action warned that the law risked “turning the rule of law in Connecticut into ‘tatters.’” The organization said state officials claimed a warning letter they sent out telling owners of unregistered guns to get rid of them or take them out of state wasn’t really a threat of confiscation.

“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.” The New American reported the constitutionality remains dubious. “The whole fundamental structure of law, based on Connecticut’s Fundamental Orders (adopted on January 14, 1639) that made Connecticut ‘The Constitution State’), is being called into question,” the report said. The state’s constitution assures residents of the right to be armed. WND reported just days ago on a heated telephone conversation between a blogger and state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance. The woman on the call, who goes by the name Guerrilla girl Ashley and asked WND not to publish her last name, told Vance that her husband had received a letter from state authorities after failing to register his firearm by the statutory deadline. The instructions say gun owners have the options of selling the weapon to a dealer, rendering it permanently inoperable, removing it from the state or surrendering it to law enforcement. “My question is this: What happens if my husband decides not to do this?” Ashley asks the officer, who responds by suggesting that she contact an attorney but that his understanding is that non-compliance is a felony. “What will happen, then, if my husband refuses? Will you come to our home to arrest him?” she asks again.

Sounding calm and composed, Lt. Vance explains that “we haven’t crossed that bridge just yet.” He says her husband could be subject to arrest and that he did not have a “good answer” to the question. In either case, Vance emphasizes that he would not personally be visiting gun owners, but lower-ranking officers might. Ashley suggests that this was a “slippery slope”” that could potentially put the police in harm’s way if they go door to door in search of unregistered firearms and gun owners. “We’re in harm’s way every day,” Vance responded without addressing the prospect of door-to-door gun confiscation. The caller then asks if the officer took an oath to the Constitution. “Did I take an oath to the Constitution?” responds Vance, who earned national notoriety in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. “What bearing does that have on this conversation?” Ashley goes on to argue that enforcing unconstitutional laws, which she said are all “null and void,” would be a violation of his oath. He responded by saying that until the law was struck down by the courts, it was a “lawful law” that would be enforced. “We’re not the Gestapo, and I don’t want the inference of that,” Vance says. “Your attorney can give you advice.” The officer also recommends contacting state legislators to express any concerns about the law. “How we’re going to go about the mechanism of enforcing this law, that’s still being determined,” Vance continues. “I don’t want to talk about the Constitution, Ma’am, at all, at all,” he adds before Ashley suggests that officials were threatening families into compliance with an unconstitutional statute. “It sounds like you’re anti-American, it sounds like you’re anti-law,” Vance says, clearly becoming frustrated with the caller, who insists she is “pro-American.” Eventually, with both call participants getting riled, Ashley lashes out. “You’re going to speak to me this way, somebody that pays your salary?” she asks. “You’re a servant, you serve me. … You can refuse to follow unlawful orders!” “Just remember, you’re the servant, we’re the masters, OK?” she adds. Vance responds by saying: “I’m the master, Ma’am, I’m the master.”
Hear the recorded call: (Be aware of offensive language)

Connecticut residents who spoke with WND said the mood across the state was tense, especially after a major newspaper essentially suggested rounding up everyone who failed to comply with the new law.

“Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law,” the Hartford Courant said in an editorial.

The paper suggested that longtime fears among gun owners that background checks were being used as a tool to secretly and unlawfully create a weapons registry were not unfounded.

“A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine,” the paper continued. “If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.”

Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson Sr. told WND that he and other gun owners in the state are “very frustrated right now.”

“We have all been put through the ringer, and the law is still not clear to many,” he said. “Many that own types of firearms that are now banned, simply still do not know about this law.”

He hopes the law will be repealed or overturned eventually, and CCDL is currently focusing on a federal lawsuit, Shew v. Malloy, which is now headed to the appellate level.

The Washington Times editorialized that the state legislators “must come to grips” with the fact that “laws are more than just symbolic gestures.

“If it’s really serious, the state will have to find space to imprison 300,000 residents for the next five years,” the newspaper wrote. “Faced with 300,000 potential offenders, officials must decide whether to ignore the new law, or enforce it by sending SWAT teams to raid the homes of anyone suspected of owning the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15.”

The commentary noted the nearly 17,000 inmates now cost $620 million annually, and that “full compliance” with the gun law “would exceed the entire state budget at $55 billion.”

“Respect for the law is essential for society, but this presupposes the laws themselves are worthy of respect.”

Sometimes lawmakers have been known to deliver a huge gaffe regarding guns. One such statement came last year from U.S. Rep. Diane DeGette, a Denver Democrat in Congress who intervened in the state-level argument by displaying her perspective on gun magazines.

Her comment came at a time when far-left interests in the state legislature were trying to eliminate much of what the Second Amendment allows for Americans. Specifically she was endorsing the idea of banning ordinary gun magazines above a certain capacity.

“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now they’re going to shoot them; so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot, and there won’t be any more available,” she said.

WND columnist Jeff Knox wrote, however, that even DeGette wasn’t the top of the class regarding gun statements. He reported California State Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, “championed a new term intended to scare people into accepting more restrictions on their fundamental rights, and in the process he claimed his place as king of the gun control mountain of ignorance.” “In a televised press conference, he single-handedly brought the term ‘Ghost Guns’ into national notoriety and simultaneously crowned himself king of the gun control court jesters,” Knox wrote. “In the press conference, de León defined ‘Ghost Guns’ as homemade guns that have no serial numbers and, therefore, cannot be traced back through the manufacturer to their original purchasers. He particularly pointed at partially machined AR receivers known as ’80 percent lowers,’ which are sold as do-it-yourself projects for home gunsmiths, and the potential for guns made on high-tech 3D printers, which he erroneously claims are undetectable by airport screening devices. “But Sen. de León sealed his place in the Anti-Rights Hall of Ignorance, when he held up an illegally manufactured, illegally configured and illegally possessed AR15-style rifle and declared: ‘This is a ghost gun. This right here has the ability, with a .30 caliber clip, to disperse 30 bullets within half a second.’ He then reiterated, to make the point, ‘Thirty magazine clip in half a second,’” Knox wrote. “The YouTube video of that statement received over a million hits in just a few days. It is just so ridiculously wrong that anyone with the slightest knowledge about guns finds it totally hilarious, and is guaranteed to keep gun owners laughing for years to come. Not only does it display unbelievable ignorance, but the statement was delivered with such seriousness and importance, that it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t a parody. Add in the faces of the police officials being used as a backdrop to the senator’s press conference, and their studious efforts to maintain poker-faces while their political master spouts blathering nonsense, and the whole effect is absolutely priceless,” Knox wrote. [See de Leon’s claims on video:]

Knox explained, “For the record, .30 caliber refers to bullet diameter, not magazine capacity, and the correct term for a spring-loaded, ammunition feeding device is a magazine, not a clip.” He said the suggestion that a gun could fire 30 bullets in half a second is laughable.

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