On Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy left the door open for the legislature to offer amnesty to gun owners and by Wednesday Connecticut Against Gun Violence began mobilizing its supporters against it.
The group, which advocated for greater gun restrictions even before the Newtown tragedy, sent an email to its supporters asking them to oppose amnesty.
Michael Lawlor, Malloy’s criminal justice policy adviser, said earlier this week that the state received 226 assault weapon applications and 506 high-capacity magazine declarations postmarked after the deadline. Gun owners registered about 50,000 rifles and 38,000 magazines before the deadline.
Asked about a potential grace period for the late applications, Malloy has said it is possible because the state has retained the late paperwork. But he said the legislature would need to change the law in order for them to be accepted.
“I understand that some people are saying that they went to the post office to mail in their registration. That’s why we’ve saved — in accordance with what I thought was the right thing to do — those forms. So if the legislature, in its wisdom, was to allow for that to happen, we’re in a position to know who actually sent in those forms,” Malloy said.
Connecticut Against Gun Violence is asking its members to contact legislators and ask them to oppose any sort of amnesty. However, they add that if amnesty is going to be granted then they would like to repeal a law that “exempts from the ban assault weapons manufactured before September 13, 1993.”
The group argues that the statute should have been repealed last April when the legislature passed the bill implementing the new restrictions on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.
It “was left intact and creates a serious loophole in our new law,” it says in what it hopes will be an outline its supporters can use to draft letters to their lawmakers.