“A 65-year-old man faces an array of charges after shooting a squirrel in his yard Monday morning, police said in a press release.” That’s the word from nhregister.com. But the punctured rodent wasn’t the most significant offense James Togio of Milford, Connecticut will have to contend with. Sure, he’s now facing charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. But what makes Togio’s arrest noteworthy is that he’s also been charged with failure to register an assault rifle and three counts of possessing large-capacity magazines . . .
According to nhregister.com’s report, Milford Officer Jeffrey Nielsen said that the “assault rifle” wasn’t what Togio used to send the bushy little critter to squirrel heaven. They apparently found the gun and non-compliant mags among Togio’s collection while investigating the shooting.
“As the investigation progressed the officers seized several firearms from the home for safe keeping,” Nielsen said. “That included the assault riffle and the three high capacity magazine he did not have registered.”
Nielson said he believes the majority of the seized firearms were registered. Those weapons will remain in police custody until Toigo’s case is heard, Nielson said. Depending on the outcome, Toigo will need to petition the police department to have his guns returned.
As what may be the first instance of an arrest in Connecticut for failure to comply with the state’s new registration law, look for the state to make an example of Togio and throw the book at him. Connecticut gun owners raised a collective middle finger at Governor Dannel Malloy and the legislature by ignoring the registration requirement in droves. And we’re seeing the same thing in New York.
Instances like Togio’s hatred of small furry animals make the state’s job easy. What’s less clear is how Connecticut and New York will go after the tens of thousands of guns owners who don’t make themselves quite so conspicuous.