Quote of the day—The Hartford Courant

Owning an unregistered assault weapon is a Class D felony. Felonies cannot go unenforced.

If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

The Hartford Courant
February 14, 2014
State Can’t Let Gun Scofflaws Off Hook
[H/T to Jay F. for the email.

I agree with The Hartford Courant that felonies cannot go unenforced and that those who deliberately violate the law should be prepared to face the consequences.

I look forward to their trials and their editorials being used as evidence against them.—Joe]


20 thoughts on “Quote of the day—The Hartford Courant

  1. That editorial has a remarkable lack of probable cause for spending any government resources on the issue. The author “estimates” that “perhaps” somebody has broken a law, so “Authorities should use the background check database” to find imagined felons.

    Rights against self-incrimination, unlawful search and seizure, and just compensation be damned.

  2. I think the law will never be enforced as “go out and track them down” .

    The law will be used as a ‘selective enforcement’ tool for harassment and as an ‘add on’ to coerce a plea deal.

    • And that will make it all the more hated, and create greater contempt for law, law enforcement, and legislatures. Selective enforcement is corrosive to the rule of law. It cannot end well.

  3. I found the most interesting sentence in the editorial to be this:

    “Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law.”

    Is that even possible? Isn’t there a law requiring the rapid destruction of background check records in order to prevent a background check database and the use to which the Courant would like it put? I look forward to the reaction from the Courant when they find out about that.

    • There is, but I wouldn’t put too much faith in that law being followed. After all, there’s a law against what our friends at the alphabet soup agencies are doing as well.

  4. Have you noticed the latest meme from anti-gunowner activists:

    “Law-abiding gunowners are not complying with a registration requirement? Then they were never really law-abiding after all!”

    That sounds familiar. I read a book about the Ottoman genocide against Armenians. The Ottomans had decreed that Armenians could no longer own guns. They then raided the homes of Armenians and found that many still had guns. The state-controlled newspapers made much of that, writing that it proved that Armenians were lawbreakers and thus deserving of further repression — which was not long in coming.

    Anti-gunowner activists may think they have found a new meme, but the Ottomans beat them to it by a hundred years.

  5. Jay F:
    You are thinking of the federal background check. Reportedly, ATF shares all background check information with British and Israeli intelligence before destroying the information, so they can legally have access to the information while not maintaining a database (which would be illegal)..

    The Connecticut state background check is separate, additional, and not destroyed (http://www.ct.gov/despp/cwp/view.asp?a=4213&q=494616)

    • Well, never mind my comment about the law and destroying that check info. I still don’t trust that the feds are following it.

  6. Interesting that they think that most non-compliance is from lack of awareness. I don’t believe that for a moment, and I wonder why they say that. Wishful thinking is the only explanation that comes to mind.

    • Two reasons:

      1) They think the only people that would own a gun are ignorant.

      2) They cannot distinguish between intentions and reality. A law was passed to register guns. Anyone that didn’t register them must not be aware of the new reality.

      • I was disturbed at the pictures of people lining up to register before the deadlines. The recent news about tens of thousands ignoring the requirement perked me right up. Simply not credible that so many were unaware, therefore it was a collective biting of the thumb at their ‘betters’. Bonus points for knowing where “I bite my thumb at thee” originates.

  7. Over time, some of those guns will come to light and those people who own them will be prosecuted — and they’ll lose their gun rights. See California for an example.

    • Maybe. But maybe not, if the jury exercises their 1000 year old right and duty to judge the law as well as the case. That worked for abolitionists in the 19th century; it’s time to revive it.
      Then again, if the state politicians are so benighted as to pass these laws, the juries may be equally benighted.

    • I guess you supported the conviction and imprisonment for those who didn’t return escaped slaves in the mid 19th century? That was a duly passed law too.

  8. Lets rephrase that statement. Felonies cannot go unenforced when committed by mere mundanes. If it is the government or a political/elite operative then the rush to enforce is not so urgent.

  9. How can this possibly NOT be an ex-post-facto law? Those California firearms were perfectly legal when purchased, and were only made unlawful long after the facts of purchase and possesion. The US Constitution explicitly prohibits ex post facto laws for both the federal government:
    Article 1, Section 9:
    “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.”

    And also for state governments:
    Article 1, Section 10:
    “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.”

    I know that the legal system no longer has anything to do with common sense or even justice, but has no one ever made a challenge to California’s “banning” of certain types of firearms on the basis that such laws are clearly “after the fact”?

    IANAL, so I’d be interested to hear what an actual constitutional lawyer might have to say on that topic.

    • Ex Post Facto doesn’t work that way.

      You (lawfully) own “X”.

      The legislature passes a law criminalizing the manufacturing, sale, acquisition, or possession of “X”, with enforcement not kicking in until a stated future time “Y”.

      When Day “Y” arrives, and you still continue to possess “X”, you are violating the law. . . but only from Day “Y” forward. You ARE NOT charged with violating the ban on manufcaturing, sale, or acquisition — since those were legal WHEN YOU DID THEM. You are NOT being charged with possession before Day “Y”, since that was legal AT THAT TIME.

      You are being charged with having contraband in your possession AFTER the enforcement date of the prohibition, which only occurred AFTER the law was passed.

      For a law making something contraband that was previously legal to be Ex Post Facto, the law would have to criminalize your actions that occurred BEFORE the law was passed or went into effect — but your future conduct (including simply maintaining possession) can be criminalized.

      Now, one could make a civil case that the ban amounts to a “taking”, and demand reparations. . . good luck on that, however — I am not aware of reparations being normally awarded when the taking is due to a general prohibition on possession. . .

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