Thousands of gun owners in Connecticut technically committed a Class D felony when they chose not to register their semi-automatic rifles with the state last month. Gun control laws passed in April, in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, required Connecticut residents to register all military-style rifles with the state by January 1, 2014.
According to estimates, only about 15 percent of rifles owned by Connecticut citizens were registered by the New Year. The Courant reported, “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.”
Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, told The Courant, “I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register. f you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don’t follow them, then you have a real problem.”
Despite the fact that the new law was widely covered by Connecticut media, many citizens likely did not register their guns simply out of ignorance. Scott Wilson, president of the Second Amendment advocacy group Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said, “There are a lot of people, they just do not know about this law. There are people finding out now after the fact.”
Other Connecticut residents, however, did not register their firearms on purpose. Guglielmo met one man at a town hall meeting who knowingly did not come forward and register his military-style rifle. Guglielmo said, “He made the analogy to prohibition. I said, ‘You’re talking about civil disobedience, and he said ‘Yes.'”
It is unclear if those who violated the new law will be held accountable, given that determining the exact number of new felons is a “guessing game.”
Written by Kristin. Follow her on Facebook