The Corner

Second Amendment Group to Connecticut: Put Up or Shut Up

A few days ago, I wrote about the considerable number of Connecticut gun owners who have simply refused to comply with the post-Newtown rules and register their “assault weapons” with the state. Connecticut, I observed, has created a “real problem” for itself. 

Today, the pro-Second Amendment group, Connecticut Carry, went one stage further, issuing a provocative press release in which it suggested that “the state does not have the balls to enforce [the new] laws” and demanded that authorities pick a course of action: “It’s time,” the group argues in summation, ”for the State to enforce the tyranny they passed or repeal it entirely”:

As many media sources have pointed out, there is very little compliance with the new edicts, and there is absolutely no way for the State to know who is obeying the law or not. State officials have made their bluff, and Undersecretary Lawlor has made his position clear, that the State will enforce the laws. We say: Bring it on. The officials of the State of Connecticut have threatened its citizens by fiat. They have roared on paper, but they have violated Principle. Now it’s time for the State to man-up: either enforce its edicts or else stand-down and return to the former laws that did not so violently threaten the citizens of this state.

There is nothing that will so completely destroy faith in those edicts faster than the State-provoked chaos and violence that will be required to enforce the 2013 anti-gun laws. Connecticut residents should not have to live in perpetual fear of “the jack boot” coming down on them. Unenforced, frequently repeated threats fall on deaf ears. By passing laws that they cannot or choose not to enforce, State officials tell the public that this State is ignorant, immoral, blind, and impotent in its legal and decision making processes. The passage of such foolishly conceived, insufferable laws is an affront to every law-abiding citizen. Every official who supports such legal foolishness mocks our State and the Constitution they swore to uphold.

If the state does not have the stomach to enforce these laws, then the legislature has until May 7th, 2014 to completely repeal these immoral edicts and let the residents of Connecticut return to their rightfully owned property and former exercise of constitutional rights and practices without any threat of State violence.

Harsh as it might sound, this isn’t an unreasonable dichotomy. As the Hartford Courant reported at the time, there are now ”enough people in serious violation of Connecticut gun laws to fill a small town at least, a very big town more likely and perhaps as many as live in the state’s largest cities.” The state thus finds itself in a quandary. To enforce the laws more aggressively would, in Connecticut Carry’s words, likely ”not survive the public outcry and resistance that would occur” (really, all it would need is a good story about authorities connecting an individual to a sales record and searching his house — or, worse, confiscating a weapon – and the whole liberty movement would mobilize). On the other hand, authorities had rather banked on their reforms being a success and, having stood before the nation in early 2013 and painted themselves as trailblazers and model-makers, the state’s fate is now pretty much inextricable from the wider gun-control movement’s success. After all, if Connecticut gives up, what chance does anywhere else have?

One to watch, certainly. The full release is here.

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