Two Months Is Too Long For Gun-Ban Rules

by Categorized: Manufacturing, Politics, Retail, Trade Date:

So much has happened since April 4 that it seems like more than four weeks since Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the strict gun control bill into law.  We had the showdown on background checks in the U.S. Senate, and of course, the Boston Marathon bombings.

One thing that hasn’t happened — and won’t happen until June 1 — is the state clearing up all the sales rules on military-style weapons and magazines larger than 10 rounds, for retailers and manufacturers. That’s a long time for an up-or-down answer on whether a merchant can sell his or her wares under a law that took effect upon signing.

Ammunition Storage Components Dan Haar/The Hartford Courant

Ammunition Storage Components
Dan Haar/The Hartford Courant

Sure, the state has cleared up some of the obvious questions, like whether guns bought and paid for online before the law went into effect could be delivered later. (Yes.)  But there are lots of fine points, and they matter a lot to the people trying to make a living in the firearms business.

For example, suppose a buyer put down a deposit but not the whole amount for a gun that now can’t be sold. Suppose someone took an AR-15-style rifle to a consignment shop, which didn’t sell it. What does the 139-page law say?

Retailers and manufacturers have been waiting for answers, some patiently, some not. The state police special licensing and firearms unit is charged with sorting through the law and coming back with answers, and the unit has been working diligently along with lawyers from the Attorney General’s office and from the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which includes the state police.

It’s not that the lawyers are arguing, said Mike Lawlor, Malloy’s chief of criminal justice policy. Rather, he said, “There’s like a million different scenarios.”

One of those scenarios is unfolding at Ammunition Storage Components in New Britain, one of the nation’s largest makers of bullet magazines — many of them now banned for sale in Connecticut. The company has 5,000 orders from Connecticut customers placed before 12:21 p.m. on April 4, when Malloy inked his name using two dozen pens.

And those customers agreed to put a hold on their credit cards to cover the cost of their orders, owner Jonathan Scalise said. Will they get their goods? Probably yes. But probably isn’t good enough. Stay tuned until June 1.

“It’s a significant amount of orders and business that we don’t have a definitive yes or no,” Scalise said. “I will err on the side of caution…most of them have opted to leave the credit card charge on, but basically I have told them that I will do nothing to put them in any type of a situation where they may have inadvertently violated the law.”

Scalise is a lawyer by training and a reasonable guy who understands that processes take time. But he’s also angry.

“That’s just despicable,” he said. “You’re going to interfere with people’s rights…without clarity. If a law cannot be interpreted by the general public as read, it’s not a good law…it’s unfair and I would argue it’s unconstitutional.”

Retailers are in the same position. Two that I spoke with Monday said they’re being patient, the delay is not a huge burden, but they’re already taking a hit to their business and the delay is at best an annoyance and probably an additional cost.

The June 1 deadline will not even include rules on how the state will issue permits for the purchase of rifles and ammunition, and for the registration of magazines and rifles that are now banned for sale. That will come by Aug. 1, or at least that’s when Malloy said it will happen, and those permits and registrations don’t take effect until Jan. 1.

The problem here is not the delay at the state police firearms unit, which is well regarded by people in the industry, and it’s not that lawyers need time to work their magic. Rather, it’s that lawmakers and Malloy insisted on rushing a vote on an emergency certified law hours after lawmakers agreed on its basic framework, before anyone had time to figure out what it actually said.

The added permitting and registration that takes effect Jan. 1 could save lives by limiting access.  But it’s debatable whether the ban on sales of magazines holding more than 10 rounds and on some — but not all — semiautomatic rifles will save lives. With an estimated 8 million military-style rifles and millions more semiautomatic pistols in U.S. civilian hands already, would it have been so bad to give the law a June 1 start date?

Why make the Connecticut look like a chaotic place? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did that with an even bigger rush, and the result was a mess.

“The goal was to stop immediately the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Lawlor said. “There was a surge of purchases and the legislature wanted  to put a stop to that…if you had given it another month, then you would have a lot more weapons sold.”

Lawlor said no one is hurt by the delay, and he and others are working hard to make the process as smooth as possible and, as he put it, “to reassure people that these policies, they may not agree with them, but these policies are reasonable and not arbitrary.”

The gun industry and the National Rifle Association have long said that this or that new regulation is unworkable, Lawlor said. “These laws are very complicated but it’s unfair to say that it’s not going to work.”

Complicated indeed.  That’s why the start date should have been June 1. This isn’t a law setting up, say, medical marijuana, for which the state can take its sweet time writing rules. This is a ban that restricts rights and affects livelihoods. Taking a few weeks to make it more orderly would have helped the state’s argument that it’s reasonable and workable.




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39 thoughts on “Two Months Is Too Long For Gun-Ban Rules

  1. peter

    The State Police are in process of writing the laws now, not our legislators. Connecticut has truly become a Police State, where all gun owners are considered potential threats to society. LCM registration, yeah right, so they can call in Swat when your name comes up on the display during a routine call. Forget about it and take the ninety dollar fine.

    1. David

      You people in CT are fools and idiots, why if you people had any backbone at all you would rise up and toss those those criminals you call a State Gov out on on their butts…what is worse you have become the lackeys of American Marxism…!

      1. Ian

        David – there are too many fools and idiots who vote based on how their union tells them to, to ensure/secure their pension & pay raises or entitlement checks… common sense is outnumbered in CT by – thankfully only by a slight margin (which was tipped by a surprise duffle bag of ballots).

  2. bobh

    “Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded”.
    Friedrich August von Hayek

  3. Fed Up

    Owners need clarification as well, and it’s costing businesses money. Some won’t take their ‘questionable’ gun to a range because they don’t know what to expect or what trouble they might get themselves into if they do the wrong things.

    What about visitors from out of state who used to bring their ‘questionable’ guns to local ranges? Where do they stand?

  4. Green3nergy

    Funny how so many people are welcoming fascism with open arms… Taxes will only continue to increase, eventually the most fiscally liberal citizens will become fed up with the government taking their hard-earned money. The time will come when you want to stand up to government and resist, but then it will be to late. You will have lost your means to resist, you will be a slave.

    Think big-picture people, not just today or tomorrow, but five or ten years from now. Are the only strategic thinkers in the Democratic party government officials?

    1. Randy

      I watched “V for vendetta” the other night.

      Having never seen it before, it screamed this very same message to me.

  5. Bob Fortier

    Scary that in my lifetime I am witnessing the turning of the tables. More and more power for the Government and less and less protection for the citizens. Ask the American Indians how gun regulation worked out for them…Oh, that’s right…they were all slaughtered after their weapons were taken away. And the last time that happened was in the 1900’s. Used to be a day when police officers could only pull you over if you did something wrong. Today, in the name of the emergency on DUI, an officer can pull you over for no reason at all, and just say you drove on the yellow line. We lose our freedoms ever so slowly, that we don’t even notice. Our forefathers knew this and tried to protect us from it. But just as with God, we don’t believe our forefathers were real???

    1. Kim

      right on the money Bob. One of the reasons is government control over education. Our youth are not being taught the importance of what our founding fathers did for us and for freedom. This is the first and most crucial step if we want change – we all need to understand where we came from and how we got here

  6. Be careful what you wish for

    Its amazing what 2 years of one party Democrat rule has brought to this state: gay marriage, marijuana decriminalization, early release for violent felons, more restrictive gun laws, sick pay laws, minimim wage increases, and licenses for illegals. Meanwhile, we’re being taxed, spent, and borrowed into oblivion.

    We’re the new California folks. We’ll just take a bit longer to implode under the weight of liberal good intentions and fiscal idiocy from the village idiots in Hartford. Enjoy.

    1. Dan Haar Post author

      The issues you mention are hardly the ruination of the polity.

      Gay marriage — good for the economy, good moral policy

      Marijuana decrim — slows the waste of criminal justice efforts on harmless “crime,” good for the economy, reflects the direction of the whole nation

      Early release — that is a myth; it’s not happening

      Gun laws — I agree with you

      Sick pay — Not shaping up as a very onerous burden

      Minimum wage — the Guv’s plan just keeps up with inflation, nothing more

      Licenses for undocumented — tough issue, part of broader reform but the state has to allow it because those folks are driving one way or the other.

      1. walls

        “Licenses for undocumented — tough issue, part of broader reform but the state has to allow it because those folks are driving one way or the other.”

        This makes no sense … if enough people do something illegal, then we have to allow it because of the numbers? We don’t do it for robbery, rape, murder, etc. Well, we have [in reality] probably 30+M illegals here, so we have to allow it. So we reward illegal behavior [committing a felony by crossing the border] with driving privileges? In other words, if the numbers are large enough – we condone it.

        This is too slippery a slope. So if I and 1,000,000 patriots defend the border with arms because the gubmint won’t do it, will we be prosecuted – or is the number too large that we will be given a free pass?

      2. David

        The issues you mention are very much the ruination of the nation!

        Gay marriage — Just another indicator of moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the United States

        Marijuana decrim — Just another indicator of moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the United States

        Early release — No myth as Liberalism uses crime to create fear in citizens.
        Gun laws — CT has become a Marxist state.

        Sick pay — Why?

        Minimum wage — No need for a Minimum wage.
        Licenses for undocumented — Not tough at all, mine the border and enforce existing laws…

      3. Kim

        “sick pay — Not shaping up as a very onerous burden”. Minor burdens are apparently acceptable, regardless of on whom they weigh and whether or not such laws are good laws or not. It’s never good to allow indiscriminate growth of government over decisions that they should have no business engaging in.

        “Minimum wage — the Guv’s plan just keeps up with inflation, nothing more”. Nothing more? You might have a case here if EVERYONE’S income was keeping pace with inflation but that certainly isn’t the case. Government is once again picking winners and losers and dictating in areas they should not be allowed to venture into.

        “Licenses for undocumented — tough issue, part of broader reform but the state has to allow it because those folks are driving one way or the other.” see Walls response – ‘because everyone is doing it’ is a poor argument. Why should ‘undocumented’ (is there something wrong with ‘illegal’ in this conversation?) people have the same rights as taxpaying citizens? why do they get a pass for their crimes?

      4. Erich


        Great points. Freedom from infringements upon gun rights should be viewed in the same light as gay marriage. The government has no viable interest in your personal relationships, just as it should be refrained from disarming its citizenry while increasingly arming its own agents. Two areas of similar unwarranted government intrusion.

      5. Brian C. Duffy


        You’ve touched on why Republicans are in trouble. Mainstream moderates are increasingly turned off by hysterical conservative reactions on issues like guns, God, ganja, and gays.

        One criticism: Don’t directly reply to the cowardly anonymous bloggers here — Left or Right.

        When you engage the CABs, you encourage them..which in turn, contributes to our present era of digital detritus.

        1. Brian C's Nothing

          Brian shows himself to be a card carrying member of the party of tolerance. He of course speaks with authority since as an elitist liberal he has all the answers and those with different views are seen as subhuman and unworthy.

          You, Brian, are but a pimple on the ass of progress. But then of course you knew that.

      6. Randy

        Early release has already cost lives in this state. It is not a myth.

        Sick pay regulations, one more expense on top of thousands of others.

        Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be a living wage. It is intended to be an entry level position for kids in/graduating from school. The rise in the min wage is taking this opportunity away from young people, and harming the economy at large.

        Licenses for illegals means illegals voting in elections. They are not reform, they are fraud.

    2. ToTo

      I have seen so many comments I agree with. I hope the gun and magazine companies pack up and leave. Their employees could go with them. Its hard but it reminds me of the Pilgrims traveling to the new world for freedom. When I correspond with people on the web, gun owners are holding a Connecticut address against a gun company. As the guy from Stag Arms said, Connecticut is bad for his brand. People wish to close the Police loophole. Boycott any company that sells to a government entity in a state that denies it’s people the same firearms. I ask them to boycott ANYTHING and EVERYTHING manufactured or distributed in CT. When Connecticut becomes an economic waist land, we know where to place the credit. Malloy forced his will on us. Now its payback time. Have fun, he will eventually realize he is a failure, and don’t forget to kick him when he is down.

      1. Patriot

        ToTo: using Mr. Harr’s reasoning, the vendors and their employees moving out of state would not be “…… a very onerous burden”, making it a completely acceptable action.

  7. Mitch

    How about the Courant investigative teams get a jump start on things and start looking into just how much of a mess Obamacare is going to be. You think Malloy’s gun laws are confusing, try to figure out Obamacare and what that impact is going to be like ….. good luck.

    1. Kim

      because there is no such thing as an ‘investigative team’ at the Courant when it comes to politics.

      The government relishes the confusion – confusion equals more reasons to grab more money from taxpayers to create more departments and hire more lifetime employees at outrageous cost.

  8. Johanna Galt

    “there’s a million different scenarios” – This is what happens when you pass laws without citizen public hearing to “vet out” these issues… and now all the laws and interpretations are being done by the seat of the pants.. it’s all bull manure.

    1. burbanite

      Remember though that they tried to do everything without public hearings until the noise go too loud. When hearings did occur the “lawmakers” were texting, playing games on their phones and sleeping while concerned citizens took time off work, travelled and spoke from their hearts. The people were summarily dismissed but due diligence was done in their eyes so they continued to strip away your rights.

      The time is long past for any more tolerance for those that choose to make serfs out of you and out of me.

  9. construction

    What gun ban? … I didn’t read anything about a gun ban being possible in the US Construction.. Carry On!

  10. Real Issue

    The State’s mental health system failed Adam Lanza, now we’re all paying for it with this mess.
    Why did Newton vote against increased school security?

    1. Patriot

      Real: so they don’t have to admit that the new gun laws are unnecessary and won’t accomplish anything. They’ve committed to the Obamanation/Malloy narrative and they’re following the party line like good apparatchiks.

    2. ToTo

      Well, I guess you could say that. Your letting them off the hook. Just last session the legislature shot down SB 452 that would have made it possible to have Lanza as an in patient right now. Instead they did as the ACLU wished and kept CT one of a hand full of states where one must be a direct threat to be hospitalized against their will. So contrary to Murphey’s inane comments about another massacre if we don’t ban evil guns, the blood of the victims is on the hands of the legislators who voted against that bill. So they blame us to obfuscate their guilt. Imagine, no talk of this in public discourse.

  11. dave

    The laws won’t work, and won’t help. The only ones that are enforceable in any measure are those regarding what can be sold in the state. The others – nobody will comply with registration or surrender requirements, and if you don’t know somebody has an old gun how will you demand a record of a private sale? Banned weapons will bought elsewhere and simply brought home in a car trunk.

    Guns and ammunition are aleady being buried – much of it on public land. Gun control is a farce, and will only drive yesterday’s legal gun owners to do everything they can ‘off the radar’ tomorrow – so where is that going to help?

    I end up paying the state several thousand dollars a year in income taxes. Now, I’m moving due to the assinine gun control measures – and I don’t even own anything ‘banned’. I just don’t want to live in some Commie state that thinks I have no right to an effective self-defense against illegally armed criminals. Nor will I sujbect myself to being declared a criminal because I bought some legal item of sports gear several years ago and now a bunch of cowards think they can demand confiscation of my property.

  12. Doubting Thomas

    No wonder the law is so screwed up! That left wing nut and rabid anti-gunner Lawlor helped engineer the whole mess. He should be booted along with Maolloy, Looneybird and the rest of those who voted in favor. Get smart, Connecticut! The Left is going to run your state into the ground. After your 2nd A rights are gone, the rest will follow, sheeple.

    1. Be careful what you wish for

      I’m not sure what will run out first: our rights or our money. Tough call.

  13. Randy

    “The goal was to stop immediately the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Lawlor said. “There was a surge of purchases and the legislature wanted to put a stop to that…if you had given it another month, then you would have a lot more weapons sold.”

    Irrefutable proof that the people of this state are opposed to the draconian measures in this bill, and it is clear that the State knew this.

    If the people of this state supported these bans, then they would not have been compelled to stop the rush of people running to purchase these rifles and magazines. They would not have been buying them at all.

    Perhaps the most myopic part of this whole affair, is that it is quite likely that the people of this state would never have purchased so many guns and magazines had the state not been so intent on taking their rights away.

  14. Randy

    Perhaps the Courant will have an article on all the ways in which Connecticut law was violated in the passage of this new law?

    Here are some hints to start:
    – Connecticut laws requiring that all legislative meetings be open to the public. Violated in the month long run up to this law.
    – Connecticut general statutes establishing the requirements for Emergency certification of a bill.

  15. james

    If you look at the fiscal impact of the bill that was prepared, more money is being spent on becoming a police state than working on the root cause, lack of mental health support. Now that this bill has passed the state is taking money away from mental health, and one of the state legislators even stated that they were more worried about loosing funding from the fed dealing with dealing with the mental health issues of the bill.

  16. carl

    The best thing that could happen to the Courant is to be bought by the Koch brothers. You can hear the liberals in this state groaning as the editorial control moves closer to the right and exposes all of the hypocrisy and lies that have been feeding this frenzy.

    Anyone who thinks there was any thought placed into SB1160 only needs to google Beth Bye’s Twitter drinking games to see her and a columnist from the Courant (among others) kibitzing on the internet, ridiculing the pro 2A speakers and paying absolutely no attention to something so absolutely important to the foundation of our country that it defies logic. With Malloy at the helm there is a hubris in Hartford that will spell the ruin of us all.

  17. p hofperson

    so many comments from people who couldn’t pass a background mental check if their lives depended on it. all they have is their computer keyboard and no brains to go with it. a shame

  18. Henry Salo

    Even some Ct. police officers said some parts of the law is unenforceable. Plus Ct. governor is impaired that he can’t read. He suffers from dyslexia. Read up on it. Malloy has to have somebody read for him. Also he can’t write or type. Sure he can sign his signature. I knew someone who had it. He was a carpenter foreman and he had someone read blueprints for him. When it came to job reports, his wife wrote the job reports which he signed. Some people can get away with this.

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