Hundreds of Connecticut residents have received letters from the state police ordering them to sell or destroy legally purchased guns and ammunition magazines. The reason? Their applications for permits were not postmarked before Jan. 1.
Those who received the letters had attempted to comply with a new law, the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act. That law bans so-called assault weapons and any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Those who already owned such weapons were grandfathered in but had to register them.
Off the Grid News reported that as many as 100,000 Connecticut residents are now considered felons because they may have failed to register their guns or clips.
How Gun Owners Who Tried To Comply Were Treated
Instead of receiving an “assault weapon certificate,” many law-abiding gun owners who tried to comply with the law received the following letter:
“We are returning your application for assault weapon certificate and/or large capacity magazine declaration because it was not received or postmarked prior to January 1, 2014 as required by law.
“As a result, you have the following options for assault weapon per Public Act 13-3, as amended by Public Act 13-220:
- Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable.
- Sell the assault weapon to a licensed gun dealer.
- Remove the assault weapon from the state.
- You may make arrangements to relinquish the assault weapon to a police department or to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
“You have the following options for disposal of your large capacity magazine per Public Act 13-3, as amended by Public Act 13-220:
- Render the large capacity magazine permanently inoperable
- Sell the large capacity magazine to a licensed gun dealer.
- Remove the large capacity magazine from the state; or
- You may make arrangements to relinquish your large capacity magazine to a police department or the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.”
The letter which was dated January 2, 2014, bears the letterhead of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police Special Licensing & Firearms Unit. It was signed by Lt. Eric Cooke who is identified as commanding officer of that unit. Guns.com posted a copy of the letter.
The letter does not say what will happen to individuals who ignore the order. Nor does the letter mention the fact that those who received it are now considered felons under Connecticut state law.
It is not clear exactly how many people got the letter. The Journal Inquirer newspaper claimed that 106 rifle owners and 108 large capacity magazine owners had received it. Guns.com reported that 772 registrations were thrown out because they missed the Jan. 1 deadline.
Fate of Connecticut Gun Owners Unclear
Some of the gun and magazine owners received good news when Gov. Daniel P. Malloy moved the postmark deadline up to Jan. 4, 2014, provided the form was signed or notarized by that date.
Malloy took the action because most post offices were closed on Jan. 1, which was the New Year’s Day holiday, The Journal Inquirer reported. That decision means that 558 applications will now be processed. Others, though, still face the drastic options outlined in the letter.
This is the second time authorities have sent out a letter ordering citizens to dispose of guns or turn them into police. Off the Grid News reported that the New York Police Department sent out a similar letter ordering 500 people to dispose of shotguns and rifles with a capacity of holding more than five rounds.