Why It’s So Hard To Draft An Assault Weapons Ban

by Categorized: Law Enforcement, Politics, Public Safety Date:

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Quick quiz: Which of the above firearms would be covered by Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed assault-weapon ban?

Easy question, right?

But here’s a tougher one: Which is a .223 caliber semi-automatic capable of taking a 30-round magazine?

The answer, as shown below, is: both. And that illustrates the difficulty in drafting legislation that would define and restrict “assault weapons.”

Under Connecticut’s current law, semi-automatic rifles are banned if they accept a detachable magazine and have at least two of five specific features: a pistol grip, a folding or telescoping stock, a bayonet mount, a grenade launcher or a flash suppressor. The proposal Malloy released today would ban rifles that contain any one feature. Pistol grips are universal on military-style rifles, so the proposal would effectively ban all such weapons, including the plastic and steel Bushmaster A3 Quad Rail pictured here.

But the wooden-stock rifle also pictured, the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, takes the same ammunition and features the same semi-automatic action as the Bushmaster, with each firing bullets as fast as a shooter can pull the trigger. The Ranch Rifle, lacking a pistol grip, would remain legal under Malloy’s plan (though, as with any permitted weapon, it would be limited to a 10-round magazine under the governor’s proposal).

There has a been a renewed call to revive or strengthen assault-weapon laws since the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But gun enthusiasts say proposals like Malloy’s amount to banning cosmetic features while allowing the sale and ownership of equally powerful firearms. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a gun-control proponent, counters that it’s possible the aggressive appearance of a military-style weapon – in the hands of a disturbed person like Adam Lanza – might make it a more dangerous instrument.

“I don’t know why Adam Lanza walked into that school,” Murphy said earlier this month during a weapons demonstration at a state police firing range. “But I do think that his access to a military-style assault weapon, that he may have used in video games, gave him a sense of confidence that he might not have otherwise had.”

Malloy’s proposals will certainly face political jousting at the legislature. But if passed, the real battle may come after they are enacted. At a Gun Appreciation Day rally at the state capitol last month, gun owners cheered when Roger Saucier, co-founder of the Connecticut Minutemen, had a clear message for politicians.

“I only have one comment: I will not comply,” he said, referring to a weapons ban. “When they pass a law or an executive order that violates the Constitution, I will not comply.”

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50 thoughts on “Why It’s So Hard To Draft An Assault Weapons Ban

  1. America Is Dying

    Brain Washed American Sheep.
    Balance the budget, enforce existing laws, address mental illness and stop dividing the country!
    America will have another Civil War before it disarms its Honest citizens!

    Reply
    1. Say no to guns bill

      The hardest social goal is to change a culture. The culture of owning guns in our society has been allowed to grow just as illegals have settled in this country while the Feds virtually turned a blind eye. Back only a few years ago, in my lifetime, black people mostly living in the south, couldn’t used white facilities.

      “What?” a segregationist would moan when confronted with sharing rooms. “we will loose the freedom to remain separate.” The Nativeist has exclaimed that they are losing jobs to all these illegals.

      It will be a slow change to move the mentality over from a need to protect to one that signals a stronger need to protect all of society not the individual by not owning firearms. If we can modify the reptilian part of the brain sending signals of survival to consideration that we all must work toward a safer society without the need to possess guns, then we can make progress. Of course the change in laws will speed up this change.

      I thought I might try a sincere comment on this issue instead of my usual confrontational nature.

      Reply
      1. Bill Jarett

        Communism will never replace INDIVIDUAL liberty in this country, no matter how many poor people you import into America.

        Reply
      2. littlemike

        The CULTURE of this country is that of freedom, just as it was laid out by the founding fathers. Any change from that will be for the worse. Furthermore, forcing the individual not to own firearms will NOT protect anyone, let alone “all of society”!

        Reply
      3. Patriot

        The culture of owning guns in this country stems from the fact that the founders realized the need for the people to have recourse to a tyrannical government, such as we presently have. Therefore in order for freedom to continue, there must be a continuation of the ability to protect oneself from the government. It hasn’t been allowed to grow, it is the duty of free men to make sure it is always growing. Then there is the First Amendment freedom of association. Sharing a room is one thing, being told you have to like it is another. Then there is the need to protect oneself. When each individual satisfies that need, then automatically society as a whole is protected and, as Jefferson said, more polite. Do you really want to wait 30 minutes for a first responder when you could be dead in 10 seconds? The progress you speak of will make the USA just like Chicago, rampantand unopposed crime, 500 dead per year. Perhaps you should stick with confrontation…………

        Reply
  2. Tom

    There seems to be something in the overall appearance of the pistol grip models that appeals to the young males that make up the majority of the mass killers. Ban those. Leave the others for those that feel they need them and see if it has a positive effect. Background checks wouldn’t help if others purchase the weapons and addressing mental illness won’t help if the individual is kept away from treatment. Both happened in the Newtown case.

    Reply
    1. Matt from CT

      >There seems to be something in the overall
      >appearance … that appeals to the young
      >males…Ban those.

      Ah, gun control advocates — now for abridging the First Amendment!

      When you ban things because the “appeal” to certain people, you’ve just violated the Freedom of Expression.

      Shall we ban motor vehicles with two wheels next, because they appeal to some people?

      Reply
        1. Originalcancer

          >assault type weapons
          proved my point that those who want more laws are the same who know absolutely nothing about the issue or object for that matter.

          ignorance must truly be bliss!

          Reply
      1. Matt

        They are also claiming a sniper attack with a handgun… I wouldn’t rest an argument on those statistics.

        It is well known due to reporting, participation, form differences, laws, etc. that that only uniform thing about the FBI UCRs is that they are not entirely accurate.

        Reply
  3. Paul Edward Zukowski

    Thank you pointing out what gun owners already know. This simply people playing politics using a made up term. btw the new “10 shot” magazines will be the same magazine simply with a plug that can easily removed. The magazine still needs to take up the same space and need the same spring tension.

    Reply
  4. Stop the Madness

    Please apply logic Mr Malloy. The gun is just an instrument, this is more a reflection of societal decay.

    Apply root cause analysis. The issue is this kid was lost and no one knew what to do or cared.

    If he didn’t have access to guns….

    Would you rather he locked the kids in a class and used home made napalm?

    Planted a bomb in a cafeteria?

    If the answer is none of the above, then allow people to protect themselves with any means necessary.

    The problem is there will always be evil in this world. You cannot rid evil by weakening the innocent.

    How does this not make sense?

    Reply
  5. Jim

    So the confiscation starts. First it’s the magazines, next the guns themselves. How many criminals will be required to turn in their magazines? This is so stupid, Gov. Malloy trying to “Out Liberal” Gov. Cuomo. Pass my foolish law before anyone can see through the non-effect it will have on criminal activity. Will these laws prevent another tragedy? No they won’t. Gov. Malloy, try addressing some issues that you can control like the state economy, out of control spending for things like the “busway project” (FYI there are already a few roads that lead from New Britain to Hartford), cutting tourism support while spending $21 million to promote tourism. Danny, get off the bandwagon and help the state instead of knee jerk reacting to your Dem overlords!

    Reply
    1. karen fischer

      Confiscation note: The US has required special licenses and registration to own fully auto guns. None have been confiscated from law abiding citizens. Paranoia runs rampant in some of these posts.

      Reply
      1. R. Walsh

        Karen, in case you don’t realize there are no more fully auto guns allowed to be produced or imported into the us except for law enforcement and government. So there is a defacto ban on those weapons! yes I could buy one of the grandfathered ones for $20,000, but that is out of the question at that price. But I guess that was the intent?

        Reply
      2. Originalcancer

        Malloy has stated that if the bill passes, we are to either sell them out of state or turn them in to police by Oct. 1st, and thanks to the DPS-67-C form that you must fill out when buying any gun in CT, they already know which address to knock on if they suspect of you of not complying.

        Reply
        1. Bill Jarett

          Malloy is going to be a ONE term Governor. His high taxes, failure to balance the budget, miserable economy guarantee that IF a half way decent candidate can run against him. The gun rights issue will be the tipping point in ridding the State House of many of his lackeys, ALL the sole issue voting being with supporters of the Second Amendment.

          Reply
  6. CTGraphixGuy

    The problem is that nobody wants to give of themselves in any fashion to contribute to efforts to make American a better, safer place to live. If we don’t want to have any restrictions on our guns, then it’s “Take a look at the mental health side of the issue and improve things there.” OK. Well, if we decide we need to re-establish a more comprehensive mental health infrastructure, like opening/re-opening hospitals and other such institutions, or equipping our educational systems with more, and more competent, mental health professionals, that will cost… money, which will come from… taxes. So if it’s not gun-control, then it will be new or higher taxes to produce more resources within the budget for mental health care, and people will balk at what that means to their bottom lines, and so this too will be met with strong opposition. When we cry out about our freedoms and liberties, whether it’s about guns (“I won’t be disarmed!”) or our money (“I’m not paying any more in taxes!”), we are really not thinking past our own individual scope of existence in the world, but as members of a society, we have to give or compromise on SOMETHING, collectively, to truly address this, or any issue we face as a people/nation. On this particular issue, the problem is no one is willing to open their gun lockers, or their wallets.

    Reply
    1. Cathy

      You are right on! Everyone is so concerned about having their individual rights and hobbies (a pursuit of happiness, I guess) curtailed, that they refuse discount the good of the whole.

      It’s all very depressing.

      Reply
      1. John

        Yes it is depressing when we see people who do not understand the principles of individual responsibility and self reliance.

        As for the good of the whole, sell that foolishness to the 170,000,000 who died at the hands of their own governments under the auspices of the “common good” or “social progress”.

        Reply
        1. CTGraphixGuy

          My “individual responsibility”? To be a kind and respectful human being; To be a productive member of society; To raise my children to be kind and respectful human beings and become productive members of the next generation of society; To help my fellow man whenever possible and in whatever capacity I’m able. My “self-reliance”? I’ve educated myself and secured gainful employment in order to be able to meet my responsibilities. I am a part of a family. I am a part of a town. I am a part of a state. I am a part of a nation. I am a part of a whole, global society. I do not exist in a personal vacuum. I hold my liberties dear, and I expect to be able to retain them. That includes the right to bear arms. However I realize that as part of the overall world, I must care about all of it and not just about myself. Until more people accept this basic fact of human existence, we will continue to get vitriolic responses like this, and continue to go around in unproductive circles in our attempts to make the world a better place.

          Reply
    2. John

      Those that magnanimously say, “I’m willing to pay my Fair Share” never talk about what that really means or assign an actual dollar amount.

      Far too much money is wasted. The honest hard working taxpayer is getting very little in return for what they contribute. Government is bloated and out of control. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Laws need to be enforced. Creating more feel good legislation will only do harm.

      For those who feel the 2nd Amendment only covers single shot muskets and that the framers of the Constitution could never have envisioned modern weapons I say the following. Get off your computer, disable your Internet, toss your I-phone and scuttle your TV because the 1st Amendment only applies to 16th century printing presses and your technologically advanced devices are not protected!

      Reply
    3. Matt from CT

      Ah, but let’s think this through for a moment.

      And let’s put aside mass murderers for a moment, and look at a simpler intersection of mental health and firearms — that 2/3rds of gun deaths in America are suicides are by firearms.

      The U.K. has draconian bans on firearms.

      The U.S. has a suicide rate of 12 per 100,000.

      The U.K. has a suicide rate of 11.8 per 100,000.

      If we ban guns…um, not much happens. So what is there to compromise on?

      Without improving the cultural and health care system for mental health people here, like in the U.K., will substitute crueler methods like hanging and poisoning.

      It’s not an objects problem, it’s a people problem.

      Now given most murders — over 50% — are driven by the intersection of poverty and drug policy (i.e. Gang Violence), committed by people who are already dealing in smuggled goods therefore have supply channels outside of government control…what are we going to achieve by a “compromise” that says if we’re not going to address mental health and we’re not going to address poverty and drug policy we can reduce deaths by banning guns?

      We won’t. We’ll simply substitute methods (for suicide) or supply chains (for most murders) and still see the same rates of death.

      It’s not an either or. There is no compromise that says restricting the civil rights of gun owners would be just as good as addressing the root causes of violence.

      We either address the people problems or we fail as a society.

      Reply
    4. Zechariah

      CTGraphixGuy – Banning guns is not without monetary cost because even if every law abiding citizen turned in their guns when said ban is put into place, all the bad guys would still have their guns.
      consider cocaine and marijuana as prime examples of objects/substances banned in our state. How successful where we at that? How much money are we and the Feds putting into our failed attempt to keep them out? How will banning guns be any different?
      It will not. Banning guns will cost us millions and will fail as conspicuously as our ban on drugs.

      Consider on the other hand how Sandy Hook would have been different if Principle Hochsprung or any of the other valiant staff had been carrying a firearm and been trained in its use. How many lives would have been saved if Adam Lanza had been stopped at the outset?

      Save lives. Support the Second Amendment.

      Reply
  7. Jim Sydoriak

    The AR-15 “assault rifle” pictured here is already banned in CT – it has a flash suppressor at the end of the barrel. Panicked citizens in CT with no actual experience with firearms might do some unemotional research on how they acually work, instead of getting information from TV and movies. Quick fact – CT already has one of the most restrictive firearms laws in the USA – banning certain assault rifles, State and Federal background checks, instant firearm registration, Firearm Carry permits required, etc.

    Reply
  8. Norm Scott

    I think it is far from unreasonable to assume that a certain class of leftist thinker, with far more love for Karl Marx than any of the Founding Fathers, would very much like to see a competing political class of law abiding conservatives be placed into a legal quandary. Should one obey an immediate law rammed down the local society’s throat, or the actual Constitution? Either choice could make one a traitor, or de facto felon. Delicious possibilities for domestic enemies steaming with resentment since at least the invasion of Iraq. And perhaps since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Reply
  9. Tom

    I feel sorry for the guy, girl, group, whoever it is that has to go door to door taking people’s guns. lol I hope it comes with a good Death Benfit plan!

    Reply
  10. Donald Harrison

    I have a question regarding the weapons used on December 14, 2012.

    Has anyone else listened to the recordings on the Newtown police scanner from that morning? Each radio-in by officers can be heard throughout the entire morning. At 9:55:26 am, a sweep of the school is being conducted and a police officer radios in something curious [when one considers the official story]: “Be advised, be advised: We do have multiple weapons, including long rifles and shotguns.” [plural]

    Lanza allegedly brought into the building three guns: a glock pistol, a Sig Sauer pistol, and a Bushmaster rifle. He also left a 12-gauge shotgun with a single bullet in it inside the trunk of the car. But this invaluable audio recording indicates that there were multiple rifles and shotguns INSIDE the elementary school. Lanza toted six guns – two pistols, two rifles, and two shotguns – inside of the building by himself? Why haven’t these guns which were clearly reported on the police radio been reported by any news outlets? Why is this not national news? – that there were at a minimum 6 guns inside the school as opposed to 3.

    Hopefully someone can clear this up for me. Thanks.

    Reply
  11. Bill Jarett

    “U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a gun-control proponent, counters that it’s possible the aggressive appearance of a military-style weapon – in the hands of a disturbed person like Adam Lanza – might make it a more dangerous instrument.”- This is why there should be an intelligence/knowledgibilty test before any politician is allowed to participate on a particular issue.

    Reply
    1. littlemike

      If Murphy can put forth a plausible argument why “aggressive appearance” can make some device “more dangerous,” let’s hear it now. By his twisted logic, painting a big #48 on the doors of my car might make it more likely to win at Daytona!

      Reply
  12. David McCarthy

    Why do people like to use Great Britain as an example for anything? Didn’t we throw them out of here for a reason, and have our Constitution because of them! Why be like them now? Speaking of throwing people out, can’t we throw Gov. Biden out. Send him back to Washington to do something with the economy, jobs, getting the country back on track. Instead of coming here and pulling the strings on our governor, a Feinstein/Biden/Obama clone, pushing his decade old gun control agenda. They know the problem, the mentally ill, but it would cost money to help them so that isn’t going to happen.

    Reply
  13. some gun guy.

    Sen. Murphy-(someone charged with Recomending the fate of firearms in this state)”I don’t know why Adam Lanza walked into that school.” It has been reported by many media outlets,(probably the same sources the senator gets his information on firearms type/classification at)that Adam Lanza wanted to “outkill” the famous Scandinavian shooting incident that occoured in the recent past. I’m surprised the senator was not aware of this epoting.Instead of disarming law abiding citizens,(who will probably vote with much more care and attention to detail in the next election. I know I will.)why don’t we put into place measures that keep firearms out of the hands of seriously mentally ill people-who play violent video games in a windowless room.[like Adam Lanza did].

    Reply
  14. hacksaw

    TO ALL THOSE WHO—–FEAR—-FIREARMS.
    LOOK UP THE DEFINITION OF: HOPLOPHOBIA.
    THEN LOOK IN THE MIRROR!
    STOP PERSECUTING ME AND THE OTHER INNOCENT FIREARMS OWNERS!
    YOU DRIVE A CAR, YOU ARE GUILTY OF KILLING SOMEONE BEFORE IT HAPPENS!
    IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS, YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION!

    Reply
  15. mike lavoie

    Gov Malloy’s gun ban will ban many 22 Olympic target guns. This happened in California, When target shooters and the Olympians told them this would happen, California’s politicians told them ,Leave the state.

    Taking away my rights to use the Olympic gun I choice to use in compositions is clearly against my rights.

    Pardini sp 22 is one example of the many Olympic 22 competition pistols used in target competitions.

    Reply
  16. hacksaw

    I WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A U.S. SENATOR. BECAUSE, CHRIS MURPHY, ON BECOMING A U.S. SENATOR INSTANTLY BECAME; A CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR, A BALLISTICS EXPERT, A PSYCHOLOGIST SPECIALIZING IN MENTAL DISORDERS, A FIREARMS EXPERT, A CONSTITUTIONAL LAW EXPERT, AND AN AUTHORITY ON EVERYTHING THAT HE KNOWS IS GOOD FOR US!

    I SPOKE WITH A LADY AT GOVERNOR MALLOY’S OFFICE, ( 860-566-4840 )ON 2-28-2013. THE QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION COVERED GOVERNOR MALLOY’S ANTI-GUN AGENDA AS A RESULT OF THE SANDY HOOK SHOOTING. MY QUESTION TO HER: WAS THE BALLISTICS INFORMATION FROM THE SHOOTING IN REGARDS TO THE ALLEDGED WEAPONS USED, SIG SAUER, GLOCK, AND(OR) BUSHMASTER RELEASED? HER RESPONSE WAS THAT THE FIRST RESPONDERS KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! OBVIOUSLY MALLOY’S ANTI- GUN TIRADE IS BASED ON EMOTION AND NOT FACT!!!!
    I AM ASKING FOR THE FACTS AND THE TRUTH!
    THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IS NOT A PRIVLEGE. IT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AS WRITTEN IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES!

    Reply
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