Why Conn. Assault Weapon Owners May Now Be Felons

Tens of thousands haven't registered

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 13, 2014 2:10 PM CST

(Newser) – The vast majority of assault weapon owners in Connecticut appear to have totally ignored the state's new law requiring them to register the guns. Police received 47,916 permit applications by the Dec, 31 deadline, reports Dan Haar at the Hartford Courant, which sounds like a lot—until you realize that by some estimates there are many as 350,000 assault weapons in the state. That means that tens of thousands of people have now committed Class D felonies—in some cases, possibly without having realized it.

The state's top criminal justice official says authorities won't aggressively hunt down violators. "A lot of people, they just do not know about this law," says the head of a gun advocacy group. Many are calling on the state to reopen registration with a broader outreach campaign. But that might not bring in everyone; one senator said a constituent had told him that his friends were actively refusing to register. "He made the analog to prohibition. I said, 'You're talking about civil disobedience,' and he said, 'Yes.'" Click for the full story.

Timothy Coley, left,  of Bristol Conn. and Josephy Boniface of East Granby Conn. talk during a gun rights rally at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford Conn. on Saturday April 20, 2013.
Timothy Coley, left, of Bristol Conn. and Josephy Boniface of East Granby Conn. talk during a gun rights rally at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford Conn. on Saturday April 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Journal Inquirer, Jared Ramsdell)
In this Jan. 16, 2013 photo,  assault weapons and hand guns are seen.
In this Jan. 16, 2013 photo, assault weapons and hand guns are seen.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register. If you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don't follow them, then you have a real problem. - Tony Guglielmo, the top GOP senator on the public safety committee

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