Sgt. Patrick Hayes writes:
There has been talk that the only way Connecticut can enforce their new gun laws is by confiscation. Of course the State is saying they don’t intend to do that – just like all the anti-gun folks always say “Nobody is after your guns.” Should the Police enforce these laws? The short answer is NO. Of course I am biased. I can read the Constitution and I understand the meaning of “shall not be infringed.” And then there’s the fourth Amendment . . .
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
To go into a home to confiscate guns the police need a warrant. For that they need probable cause. The applications of those who filed late would be probable cause. Who is going to apply for those warrants? Chances are it would be the Connecticut State Police. They maintain the database. Will judges issue such warrants? Given the failed appeals in the court system, I wouldn’t bet against it.
So who is going to serve them?
Individual Chiefs and Sheriffs could refuse to enforce the gun control laws and those under them would be OK. Peace officers in CT would have to make a choice. Setting aside the question of their oath to the U.S. Constitution, they are required to enforce State law. To refuse to follow the orders of their bosses would mean the end of their careers. Their livelihood. Their ability to feed their families or provide for their old age.
County and local police may or may not want to get involved. After all, the only crime here is failing to register legally owned items. All things being equal, arresting otherwise law-abiding gun owners for owning an unregistered firearm would not make the local police popular in their communities. And serving warrants to “armed felons” is by far the most dangerous thing police officers do. Every one could lead to disaster.
Another issue: scope. I don’t have the exact numbers but some 50k guns and magazines were registered. Approximately 35k registration forms arrived late (those are the ones receiving the letters from the state). Another larger group (estimated at 100k+) did nothing; the State doesn’t know what they have. Again, the second group, the ones who filed late, are the only citizens realistically open to confiscation. The State knows what they have and where they live.
Will Connecticut issue 35k warrants? The State Police don’t have the resources. Of course, the State could decide to arrest some of the newly created Class D felons to make an example of them. As there is no amnesty for CT residents who failed to register their “assault rifles” and “high-capacity” ammunition magazines before the January 1 deadline, it’s hard to see the point of that extremely dangerous exercise. Other than good old-fashioned tyranny.
It is important to note the Governor Malloy and his liberals are eager to destroy the guns and magazines not registered. They could have easily created an amnesty period. I suspect an outright ban, like New York is next. One way or another, Connecticut will have to sort this out. The police there may be forced to make a choice. I know what I would do. Even so, I don’t envy their position.