We have said it many times before, and we’ll say it again--gun control is a self-perpetuating proposition. The ironclad rule is that one restriction or prohibition only leads to the next, more extreme measure. The goal is always to disarm as many people of as many different types of guns as possible.
On that note, the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission held its latest meeting last Friday. If discussions from that meeting are any indication, the commission continues to focus on producing partisan political “statements,” rather than on the meaningful solutions that it was tasked with providing in regard to public safety and mental health. The16-member panel is now working to finalize its recommendations for a report to Governor Malloy (D), and it continues to proffer ill-informed, unrealistic, rights-restricting ideas, just as it has since first convening in January 2013.
The low point of the most recent session was a proposal to “prohibit the possession, sale, or transfer of any firearm capable of firing more than 10 rounds without reloading.” Also up for discussion at the commission’s next meeting on January 30th will be whether or not to recommend a ban on production of these firearms, as well as retracting a previous statement acknowledging the gun manufacturing industry in Connecticut.
What this means is unclear. Recall that in April 2013, Connecticut's legislature passed a myriad of onerous and draconian prohibitions on gun owners, including a 10-round limit on magazines and an expanded definition of "assault weapon.” Certain firearms and magazines that had previously been lawfully possessed could be grandfathered, provided they were registered.
Whether the new restrictions would focus just on grandfathered magazines or on all repeating firearms (any of which is capable of firing more than 10 rounds, given a magazine of sufficient capacity) is unknown. What appears probable, however, is that enactment of the new restrictions would set the stage for seizure and confiscation of firearms that had originally been acquired and possessed lawfully, including those formerly subject to grandfathering.
Commission member Bernard Sullivan, a former Hartford police chief, remarked during the discussion, “Whether or not this law would stand the test of constitutionality is not for this commission to decide.” So much for his oath to the Constitution. Even more incredibly, the commission expressed its hope that its recommendations would not only prevail in Connecticut, but serve as a model for the rest of the nation as well.
The panel expects to complete its report by the end of this month and submit it to Governor Malloy in mid-February. Gun owners in Connecticut and elsewhere should be following their deliberations carefully. The possibility still exists that reason could prevail and the panel could chart a different course, but the signs at this point are not encouraging.
The commission is accepting public comments through its website. Concerned gun owners are encouraged to submit respectful comments urging the panel not to adopt divisive, unworkable, and unconstitutional infringements on the right to keep and bear arms.