Friday, March 25, 2011

Connecticut Hearing On Bill Requiring Confiscation Of Firearms Magazines Holding More Than 10 Rounds

The Connecticut General Assembly held its first hearing this week in its effort to ban and confiscate all firearms magazines with a capacity of over 10 rounds. If passed, the bill would require forfeiture to the state of all of these magazines no later than 90 days after the law‘s effective date. If the owner does not remove the magazine from the state or turn it in for destruction, that person would be prosecuted for a five year felony and a $5,000.00 fine. After the 90 day effective date only police could have magazines banned for private ownership. this is a flagrant violation of the Second Amendment and Due Process.  

Of course, like with all firearms laws only the law abiding would obey them. However, New Jersey passed a law banning “assault” rifles in the 1990's, and requiring their being turned in to the state. We know how well that “turn in” law worked. Of course, there are the criminals who see violation of laws, including firearms laws, and being sent to jail for breaking those laws are just a cost of doing business. Jail time is just a way to boost their street "Cred" reputation.

About 200 letters from individuals and elected officials were sent to the committee to be entered into the record. We took a close look at about the first 100 letters sent to the hearing committee. With the exception of three letters out of the first 100 they were all opposed to the bill becoming law. Because of citizen's overwhelming opposition to the bill in the first 100 letters, we only took a glance at the other 100. They showed the same result. 

Among those supporting the confiscatory bill in the first 100 letters were the usual suspects. Support was shown in a letter from  Police Chiefs Anthony Salvatore and James Strillacci of the Connecticut Chiefs of Police organization. Also voicing wholehearted support were Mayors Bill Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport, Mayor Pedro Segarra, City of Hartford, and Mayor John Stefano, Mayor of New Haven. These Mayors are all proud members of  Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Although these magazines aren’t illegal yet, in their wisdom they believe they should be.

One group coming out of the proverbial left field supporting the ban and confiscation was the Connecticut League of Women Voters.

On the positive side, hats off to Connecticut Representative Christopher D. Contu. His letter  to the Hearing Committee called this yet another assault on the Second Amendment. He believes that this bill is a knee jerk reaction to the Giffords Arizona shooting. Apparently the letter from the police Chiefs do not speak for all law enforcement in Connecticut. Countering the letter from the Connecticut Chiefs of Police, Contu said that some of the most vocal opponents of the confiscation scheme that he has talked to are members of state and local law enforcement organizations. They have told him that this law would only punish law abiding citizens while failing to protect the citizens from violent criminals determined to do harm or cause havoc. He added that, “While large capacity magazines hold a larger amount of ammunition in one clip (sic), banning them would not make a determined shooter any less deadly.” Contact his office and thank him for his defense of the Second and Fourth Amendments. 

There will be no grandfathering of current ownership of these magazines. As determined as a few powerful people are to ban and confiscate these magazines, Connecticut's gun owners must be more determined to stop this bill from becoming law. No one is "credited" as being an original sponsor of this bill. It appears that the Senate judiciary Committee itself raised the bill for consideration to give political cover to the culprits responsible for initiating it.  

Here’s the onerous Bill.   
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General Assembly

Raised Bill No. 1094
January Session, 2011

LCO No. 3773

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

Introduced by:


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) As used in this section, "large capacity magazine" means any detachable ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition, but does not include: (1) A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds, (2) a .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device, or (3) a tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.
(b) Any person who possesses a large capacity magazine shall be guilty of a class D felony.
(c) Any person who (1) prior to the effective date of this section, lawfully possessed a large capacity magazine, and (2) not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, removes such magazine from this state or surrenders such magazine to an organized local police department or the Department of Public Safety for destruction, shall not be subject to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) of this section.
(d) The provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity magazine by:
(1) Members or employees of organized local police departments, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Correction or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States for use in the discharge of their official duties;
(2) A person, corporation or other entity that manufactures large capacity magazines for persons specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection or for export in accordance with federal regulations;
(3) Any person engaged in the business of selling or transferring large capacity magazines in accordance with state and federal regulations who possesses such magazines solely for the purpose of such sale or transfer; or
(4) A gunsmith who possesses such large capacity magazine for the purpose of maintenance, repair or modification. 


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