Did Connecticut Just Enact Another Gun Law Without Taking A Vote?

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/08/28/did-connecticut-just-enact-another-gun-law-without-taking-a-vote/

EDITOR’S NOTE: This report will be updated as more confirmed information becomes available.

(8/29/17 — 3:45 p.m.) Update: A spokesman at the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection advised a New Boston Post reporter this afternoon to contact the department’s special licensing and firearms division. An employee who answered the phone there said she could not provide any additional information but said gun owners and sellers should “keep doing what you’re doing” and to expect to hear a specific announcement soon. Asked where the announcement would come from, the employee answered, “from us.”

(8/29/17 — 1 p.m.) Update: Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen’s office has responded to our inquiry, and has informed the New Boston Post that the AG “is not working on any sort of interpretation or guidance regarding laws on semiautomatic weapons,” and added that “no announcement is imminent from our office.”

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HARTFORD — Connecticut executive officials may be once again ramping up gun control efforts and this time, according to several sources, have apparently gone outside of the legislative process to abruptly halt the sale of so-called “pre-ban assault weapons.”

Sources with knowledge of the proceedings have told the New Boston Post that the new directive is being enacted seemingly overnight, while several gun shop owners have confirmed in off-the-record conversations that they were tipped off by friends in law enforcement and advised to dump their pre-ban inventory. The owners who spoke to the New Boston Post say they immediately sold firearms that met the classification.

The alleged directive follows a series of sweeping gun control legislation passed by lawmakers in the Nutmeg State following the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. In April 2013, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law legislation that added more than 100 different firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban. A section of the legislation, however, allowed for the sale or transfer of banned assault weapons if they had been manufactured prior to Sept. 13, 1994 — the date that a since expired federal ban on assault weapons took effect.

The Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League, a pro-Second Amendment group, sought extra clarification and in October 2013 received a letter from then-state Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford that confirmed the exemption:

 

Several gun shop owners have informed the New Boston Post, however, that this exemption is being dumped, without a single vote from the Legislature.

One gun shop owner who spoke under condition of anonymity — he said he was tipped-off by contacts inside the Connecticut State Police and did not want to violate their trust — claimed that he received a call from a contact at 6 p.m. on Monday advising him to “get rid of everything you have” in terms of pre-ban gear.

The shop owner said he had until 7 p.m. to sell everything he had that qualified under the pre-ban exemption. A Vietnam War-era AR-15, he noted, usually sells for roughly $2,000 — he claims he sold them for a fraction of that sum.

“I sold out my entire inventory in under one hour just to move it out of there, and took a considerable loss,” he added.

A message left with Attorney General George Jepsen’s office on Monday night requesting confirmation and a comment was not immediately returned. (UPDATE 11/29 — Jepsen’s office says they have no knowledge of such developments)

The potential development could echo a similar scenario that took place a little more than a year ago in Massachusetts, when Attorney General Maura Healey issued a new directive banning so-called “copycat” assault weapons that had previously been exempt from the state’s ban.

Healey’s directive is currently being challenged in federal court.

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