Oops: Thousands of Connecticutans are now criminals in possession of unregistered "assault" weapons

Well. That didn’t go according to plan, did it? Via the Hartford Courant:

Everyone knew there would be some gun owners flouting the law that legislators hurriedly passed last April, requiring residents to register all military-style rifles with state police by Dec. 31. …

By the end of 2013, state police had received 47,916 applications for assault weapons certificates, Lt. Paul Vance said. An additional 2,100 that were incomplete could still come in.

That 50,000 figure could be as little as 15 percent of the rifles classified as assault weapons owned by Connecticut residents, according to estimates by people in the industry, including the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation. No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000.

Which means that there are probably at least tens of thousands of Connecticut residents who, as of January 1st, are currently guilty of committing a Class D felony for the newly-established crime of failing to register what the legislature has so astutely defined as their “assault” weapons. That includes AR-15s, a.k.a. the most popular rifle in America, and at least one Connecticut lawmaker is shocked — shocked! — that more people haven’t come forward.

“I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register,” said Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, the ranking GOP senator on the legislature’s public safety committee. “If you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don’t follow them, then you have a real problem.”

Hmm. Perhaps the problem was rushing through a bunch of knee-jerk, feel-good, and ultimately impotent laws that you’re not actually sure you want to dedicate the resources to even enforce. That’s a real problem.

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