Connecticut passed some of the most restrictive guns laws in the nation on Thursday, nearly four months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Prior to the new legislation, however, the Brady Campaign had already ranked Connecticut as the fifth highest-rated state for restrictive gun laws. Emily Miller weighs in:
Connecticut lawmakers decided that its current “assault weapon” ban, which had a two-characteristic test, was not severe enough, so all semi-automatic rifles with one scary-looking feature are illegal. The bill cites 100 specific makes and models that are banned, such as the AR and AK.
There is a new eligibility certificate required before purchasing or receiving a long gun, which is defined as any firearm that is not a pistol or revolver. These certificates cost $35 and are issued by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, but there is no time limit on how long the application process can take.
Also, buying or even transferring a long gun — such as a father passing down his shotgun to his son — requires a background check and registration. The penalty for violating this provision could be a felony. Connecticut expanded the category of citizens who are permanently prohibited from having a rifle or shotgun to include those who have been convicted of misdemeanors including possession of as little as one-half ounce of marijuana or “unlawful restraint.”
Starting Oct. 1, a gun permit or a new “ammunition certificate” will be required to buy ammunition and magazines. Standard magazines that are considered “large capacity” — which is over 10 rounds — will be illegal. The penalty for a first-time offense of possession of this magazine, purchased before Jan 1., 2014, will be a $90 fine. The penalty will be a class D felon for subsequent offenses or for magazines obtained after that date.
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly discussed the news with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre. Kelly showed a video clip of Newtown parents making the case for magazine restrictions, pointing to the 11 children that were able to escape from Sandy Hook that day because Adam Lanza was reloading. LaPierre insisted, however, that criminals aren’t going to cooperate with this law and all it will do is make it more difficult for law abiding citizens. He also noted that this law is harmful for homeowner protection—as one-third of robberies involve multiple intruders.
Check out the video below to hear LaPierre’s entire reaction: