UPDATE: A spokesperson with the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection told TheBlaze that a letter has been drafted to send to gun owners who are found to be in possession of unregistered semi-automatic rifles deemed illegal by the state’s new gun control law. However, “not a one” letter has been sent out so far.
The spokesperson, who didn’t want to identify herself, refused to comment on the content of the draft letter. When we asked what other action the state plans to take against owners of unregistered so-called “assault rifles, the spokesperson said we should contact the governor’s office because that’s where they get their orders from.
It’s not clear if the letter published by the Capitalism Institute is authentic, though we can confirm a draft letter does exist.
After tens of thousands of defiant gun owners in Connecticut chose not to register their semi-automatic rifles to comply with a hastily-passed gun control law, the state is now taking some action. Officials are reportedly notifying gun owners who submitted late applications that they have one last chance to get rid of their “illegal” weapons.
State officials did accept some gun registration applications that were submitted after the Jan. 4 deadline, however, not all late applications were accepted, the Journal Inquirer reports.
“But rather than turn that information over to prosecutors, state officials are giving the gun owners a chance to get rid of the weapons and magazines,” the report adds.
So gun owners who actually tried to register their guns and magazines, intentionally late or not, are now on the state’s radar for owning guns that became illegal overnight. Owning an unregistered semi-automatic rifle or high-capacity magazine that was legal prior to Jan. 3 is now a class D felony under the new law.
The Capitalism Institute claims to have obtained a copy of the notarized letters Connecticut officials are sending out to late registration applicants:
While we can’t confirm the authenticity of the letter above, the Journal Inquirer, which is a local paper covering North-Central Connecticut, reports the state does hold notarized letters for violators.
As TheBlaze reported earlier this month, as little 15 percent of the now-illegal semi-automatic rifles have actually been registered with the state of Connecticut.
“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,” the Courant reported.
Republican state Sen. Tony Guglielmo recalled talking to a constituent who informed him that some gun owners are intentionally taking part in “civil disobedience” because they feel the law is unconstitutional.
It’s unclear if the state plans to start prosecuting gun owners who don’t dispose of their semi-automatic rifles or high-capacity magazines — or if they have a plan to check to see if the late applicants comply with the warning. It’s also uncertain if the state plans to go about identifying gun owners who didn’t try to register their guns at all.
Though it was too late to contact the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection on Wednesday, TheBlaze will reach out to the agency on Thursday.
Again, this viral photo of Connecticut gun owners waiting in line to register their guns in December, which one person said reminded them of the “Weimar Germany,” still seems relevant:
— Legal Immigrant (@votermom) December 31, 2013
Programming note: On ‘Real News Investigates,’ Buck Sexton takes an in-depth look at the facts surrounding new gun control and firearm registration laws. Find out how the government has tried to circumvent existing legislation that outlaws a national gun registry. Just how much of a threat does the Second Amendment face? Get all the details with a subscription to TheBlaze TV and watch the full episode here.