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'Amnesty' Could be Granted for CT Gun Owners

Those who missed the Dec. 31, 2013 deadline to register "assault weapons" and large capacity magazine clips may have recourse, but it would take action from elected leaders in Hartford.

The capitol building in Hartford, CT. Credit: Patch File Photo
The capitol building in Hartford, CT. Credit: Patch File Photo
By Gary Jeanfaivre

There could be good news for Connecticut gun owners who missed the Dec. 31 deadline to register their assault weapons and large capacity magazine clips.

A senior state lawmaker has reportedly been in conversation with other legislators about the possibility of granting amnesty to gun owners who were unsuccessful in their last-ditch attempt to register.

The Hartford Courant reports that state Sen. John McKinney (R-28) penned a letter to the governor's office last week, asking them to process any registration forms that were postmarked Jan. 2. The reason behind his request, McKinney said, was because many residents attempted to send the forms on Dec. 31 but they were not mailed by the post office until after Jan. 1 due to the holiday.

The governor's office said that because of how the state's new gun law is written, it would require legislative action to be able to process any registration forms postmarked after Dec. 31.

Approximately 50,000 "assault weapons" were registered and about 40,000 residents declared their large capacity magazine clips by the Dec. 31 deadline, in accordance with the law thatGov. Dannel P. Malloy signed in May of last year. Those numbers are far lower than estimates the state received in a 2011 report from the Office of Legislative Research

"Based on Connecticut's percentage of National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks in the Unites States, NSSF estimated that the number of firearms owned by Connecticut residents is about three million. About one million of these firearms are handguns, of which 21%, or 231,000 use large capacity magazines. About 1.2 million are rifles, of which 30%, or 372,000 use large capacity magazines. Assuming four magazines owned for every firearm (assuming every firearm comes standard with at least two magazines), NSSF asserts there are over 2.4 million large capacity magazines in Connecticut that originated at the retail level. The NSSF final figure is larger than this because it counts firearms already in the state and those not purchased at the retail level."

Right now, those who did not register their weapons and ammunition have a few options, Michael Lawlor, Under Secretary for Criminal Justice and Policy Planning for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, told the Courant:
  • render the firearm or magazine inoperable
  • sell it to a licensed gun dealer
  • remove it from the state
  • turn it over to law enforcement 

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