Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is looking for a way around the uncomfortable fact that Connecticut gun owners have, to a large extent, lifted a collective middle finger at the state’s post-Newtown firearms registration scheme. Desperately looking for a way to paper over the fact that tens of thousands of gun-owning Nutmeggers let the December 31 deadline pass without so much as a thought of compliance, the Malloy administration has concocted a new strategy for at least processing the late registration documents they received. As ctnewsjunkie.com reports, the governor’s minions are adopting an Obama-like approach to the law: “Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration has concluded it can process without additional legislation some of the late-arriving firearm registration paperwork mailed in by gun owners attempting to comply with a new law” . . .
Legislation? We don’t need no steeenkin’ legislation.
Luke Bronin, the governor’s general counsel, said the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection has the authority to accept applications it has reason to believe were submitted before the deadline.
“For example, if an application to register a weapon was signed and notarized on or before January 1, 2014, or an application to register a high capacity magazine was signed and accompanied by an affidavit that was dated on or before such date, the department may treat such applications as timely submissions,” Bronin wrote in aletter to the DESPP commissioner.
“Similarly, if the department has reason to believe that an application was deposited in a mailbox or at a post office on Dec. 31, 2013, but the post office closed early or did not collect the deposited mail that day, then that application may be deemed a timely submission,” he wrote.
Because they say so. Soon they’ll be “deeming” paperwork mailed in months with a ‘R’ in them timely.
The Malloy administration had been using the day the forms were postmarked as the threshold for processing the paperwork. Last month the governor said state police retained the late paperwork but he insisted the legislature would need to pass a bill in order for them to process the forms.
So before, legislation was a must. Now, not so much. Expediency uber alles.
How many additional registrations will this newly flexible legal stance encompass? Not nearly enough.
Under the decision, the department will accept certification forms for 160 rifles and 398 magazines which were notarized by Jan. 1 and postmarked by Jan. 4. The state received about 226 assault weapon applications and 506 high-capacity magazine declarations received by the state were postmarked shortly after the deadline.
That’s maybe a thousand people who are no longer Connecticut scofflaws. But by earlier estimates, there are at least 20,000 – and maybe as many as 100,000 – non-compliant gun owners. Will Malloy’s men attempt to cajole the state’s legions of newly-minted felons into registering through further feats of unilateral executive action and non-legislative legerdemain? Given that they no doubt will invent any excuse to avoid going door-to-door to collect unregistered guns, you can probably count on it.