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March 18, 2011

Connecticut Magazine Ban to be Heard in Committee this Wednesday; Bill Sponsor Calls Gun Owners Criminals

Legislation (HB 1094) that would ban the possession of any magazine (rifle, pistol or shotgun) capable of holding more than 10 rounds will be heard in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary this Wednesday, March 23, 2011. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is urging all gun owners, sportsmen and hunters to attend Wednesday’s public hearing to be held in the Legislative Office Building in Room 2C at 10:00 A.M. and to contact their state representative, senator and all members of the Judiciary Committee immediately, urging them to oppose this magazine ban.

Earlier this week, at the Connecticut Bar Association Seminar on Firearms Law at the Quinnipiac University School of Law, State Senator Edward Meyer (D) addressed this proposed legislation. After noting his support for the bill and that he believed it would easily pass, Meyer volunteered that the only reason to have ‘high’ capacity magazines is “for criminal purposes.” That’s right — if you have a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds, this state senator, and many others who will vote on this measure next Wednesday, already think you’re a criminal.

If this bill passes, law-abiding gun owners will have to begin surrendering their magazines by July, or face confiscation by the state police and a felony charge. Again, this proposal would not only ban the sale of these magazines, but would make simple possession a felony. Any gun owner (including off-duty police officers) found in possession of any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds will be in violation of this proposed law, regardless of whether it was legally purchased.

This draconian measure will also affect non-gun owners as all Connecticut tax payers will be forced to foot the bill for the extraordinary process of having police confiscate — from law-abiding citizens — the millions of magazines already in the state.

Making matters worse, manufacturers including Colt, C Products, Mec-Gar, OKAY Industries and Metalform will be directly affected by this legislation. That means a loss of jobs and tax revenue to the state.

Arbitrarily limiting magazine capacity and threatening law-abiding gun owners with confiscation and felony charges is beyond the pale. These magazines are utilized every day for home defense and the shooting sports. As part of the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban, the production of higher capacity magazines was halted. This gun-control strategy soon proved to be a failure. A comprehensive study by the Centers for Disease Control — hardly a pro-gun entity — looked at the full panoply of gun-control measures, including this ban, and concluded that none could be proven to reduce crime. Another study, commissioned by Congress, found that bans were not effective since “the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.”

To find your legislator, click here.

To contact the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, click here.

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