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“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 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’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.

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  1. Add-on when they bust people for other reasons. This was the most likely scenario all along. Yeah, they’ll probably go after him hard.

    • Didn’t know this about Connecticut but hunting out of season and without a license carries a “unclassified felony” charge. Apparently hunting (” lawfully taking wildlife”) is still legal.

      “The law also makes it an unclassified felony to maliciously and intentionally maim, mutilate, torture, wound, or kill an animal. The penalty is a prison term of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. The law exempts a licensed veterinarian following accepted standards of practice and anyone (1) following statutorily approved slaughter methods; (2) performing medical research as an employee, student, or person associated with a hospital, educational institution, or laboratory; (3) following generally accepted agricultural practices; or (4) lawfully taking wildlife (CGS § 53-247(a) and (b)).”


    • I kinda doubt they’ll go after him that hard… sounds like he’s not the poster boy for that. I would think they’d be more likely to have him plea out, exclude appeals, and give up his guns.

      • You bring up an interesting point. I suppose that would depend on the mindset of the DA…

        Enforcement minded:
        – If I drill this Clint Eastwood wannabe, get-off-my-lawn kinda guy, a 65 year old, then everyone will know that NO ONE is except from the law.

        Politically minded:
        – I’m going to look like a real jerk if I prosecute this adorable grouchy old guy. I should keep this quiet while we wait for a scary young male to get caught before swinging for the fences, that way public fear in “assault weapons” can be increased.

        Sadly, neither would surprise me.

  2. Stupid is as stupid does. Unless you have a home on property where there is no one around for miles, do not shoot small furry animals. And especially in ultra-blue states, do not shoot such animals. AND DON’T LEAVE YOUR UNREGISTERED AR-15 AND STANDARD-CAPACITY MAGAZINES LYING IN A PLACE WHERE THE COPS WILL FIND THEM UPON CONDUCTING A SEARCH.

      • In some cities, including the one I live in, it is against the law to discharge even an air gun.
        However, the law doesn’t say anything about crossbows.

      • No kidding, a fool and his firearms are soon parted. I mean really now, the guy is an idiot. Apparently everything is illegal in Connecticut and this moron blasts a squirrel on his front lawn with an illegal weapon. What a dumbass. I say send him to jail for stupidity alone.

        But that list of charges? What a fvcking joke. ‘Cruelty to an animal’? Squirrels are small game. Meat. WTF? I suppose mousetraps are illegal there as well? Only in Connecticut. Or New York or Maryland or California.

        What is it with the Pantywaisted Candyass Consortium these days? How did they become so powerful? Even English subjects get to pellet gun random cottontails on their lawns for some impromptu fricasee.

        • In CT as well as NY, YMMV depending on local laws. In my town I can take out a squirrel as long as the projectile I use stays in my yard,

          In CT, even if you say it is game food, hunting within 500 Ft of any standing structure is also against the law. Add to this the neighborhood factor. Know your neighbors. My neighbors are happy for me to be the one to get rid of their varmint problem.

          Some those charges will be dropped

        • In CA it;s no discharging of a firearm withing 150 yards of a structure or roadway. And no shooting, even with a license and proper season, in city limits. This guy may as well have been firing flares and flashbangs if he lived in a town.

          Drawing such attention to yourself when you have potential felonies in your collection isn’t too bright.

    • Popping a squirrel with a .22 LR, short or airgun shouldn’t be enough for probably cause to get a search warrant to search the house for unregistered AR15’s and standard capacity magazines.

  3. Here we come to the point of the laws.

    It wasn’t about banning the hardware. It was about forcing people with ARs and standard cap mags to bury their gear, or register it with an eye over their shoulders.

    The goal: keeping newcomers from shooting the nice stuff,and arresting people as circumstances arise. In ten years the average Conneticutt range shooter will think 10 rounds is plenty ,and that ARs are unnecessary for civil use.

    • Good for you – I think you have it exactly right. All the “clever” talk about canoe accidents and 6″ PVC is all well and good but plays right into the grabbers hands while giving some of us a false satisfaction of “putting one over” on our oppressors. To these critters, burying your guns is almost as good as handing them in.

  4. Wondering if there might not be 4th Amendment issues here. Recall how that “more than 7 in the mag” case got thrown out in NY…

  5. “Cruelty to an animal”? Seriously? Did he shoot it’s legs off first then use his bayonet to cook the thing with gas escaping out of the evil flash hider of doom? At least he did it ergonomically with a pistol grip and adjustable shoulder thing.

    In all seriousness, he should have been charged with hunting without a license. It’s not hard to get a nuisance permit. After that, .22 cal seems to be the desired diameter down in Dannel’s least according to my cursory glance at CT fish and game.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your tittle might be a little misleading. He was arrested for a breach of the peace and illegal discharge of a firearm. He was charged with those offenses after they search his home post arrest.

    Don’t get me wrong I agree that the whole situation in the Northeast stinks, but unless I’m mistaken about this let’s not be purposefully misleading just for hype.

    • Not from CT, but it seems possible the locals LEOs might have issued a stern warning or a summons in response to shooting a squirrel, not placed him under arrest. It is highly likely that in a search for the instrument of death used in his rodent eradication efforts they discovered the High-powered Assault Rifle and the three high-capacity .30 caliber magazine clips capable of firing 30 rounds in 1/2 second and only then decided he was worthy of placing their hob-nailed boots upon his neck.

      • God help us all! hopefully there wasn’t a shoulder thing that goes up in the mix too

  7. It is possible that the AR is a pre ban rifle and exempt from registration; not enough details to really know & the police would likely seize it and declare it illegally possessed one way or the other. No escape from registering the magazines though (legally speaking).

  8. Did the guy let the cops search his guns? Did the cops get a warrant? Did the cops stomp on his 4th Amendment right in order to stomp on his 2nd Amendment right?

  9. To the people of the socialist states that want to leave, DO SO. West Virginia, Virginia, N & S Carolina, Georgia, Alabama & Florida have sane & livable firearms laws. My Wife has put in for transfer to a VA, or WV store. In SC cost of living is more than NJ before she escaped from behind the blue wall.

    • Ohio has good gun laws (namely, an absence of a lot of gun laws) and it isn’t terrible like Georgia or South Carolina.

  10. So, has anyone in CT who registered guns or mags actually received a certificate from the State?

    • Certificates were distributed for “Assault Weapons”. There are no certificates for magazines.

    • Certificates for AW’s and a view of various boards people are getting them. You get a letter of receipt for magazines but many have not received them at all.

      • Just wondering. I wasn’t exactly early, but it’s been almost 4 months now. Glad I have the FedEx delivery confirmation.

  11. I’m glad it’s an older gentlemen. It will be easier to rally behind an older person.

    When the media tries to portray him as a blood thirsty, fringe lunatic, he can hold up his AARP card and play the grandpa deal for all it’s worth.

    • Since he’s 65 (and possibly a Vietnam Vet), I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the selection of a “jury of his peers.” This could get very entertaining.

  12. Question:

    On what legal grounds were the police able to enter his home, conduct a search and seize his property? Even property not involved in the alleged act they were investigating?

    Hopefully he did not consent to a search of his home. That would be derp.

    Perhaps the police used the “immediate danger” circumstances as they felt more squirrels might soon perish if they did not enter the home and stop this mad man.

    Was MRAPs involved? SWAT?

    Is it me, or is society at large getting about as silly as those schools that suspend kids over pop-tart “guns”?

  13. The first story reported is never the true story. What really happened won’t be revealed for a few days, maybe weeks.

  14. Wow CT gun laws are actually working. Now all the squirrels and chipmunks can roam free without having to fear gun violence from those scary 30 rounds clip mags per second assault wmd’s.

  15. I remember this guy, about 35 years ago, shot a cat early on a Sunday morning, that had woke him up. He used a high powered rifle, but I can’t remember the caliber.
    Quite often, you can get away with one shot, and everybody wonders what “that” was, but nobody will call 911, unless you want to empty your magazine.
    A lot of folks will figure it’s just a back fire, and dismiss it.

  16. I shoot squirrels all the time, at least as much as I can as they are smart. I have a Sumatra 2500 that is way way too loud and too powerful. I’m not really supposed to be shooting them in this area. Although they are a pest, you can’t even trap and relocate them legally. The answer: A real quiet Crosman 66 powermaster .177
    Why would you do something that will piss people off when you have a crop in your basement, dead people hanging in your garage, unlawful firearms or any other contraband?
    Fact is, some people shouldn’t have firearms! But the other 98% of us already know this.

  17. Nobody needs more than 7 rounds to kill a squirrel.
    -Prince Andy Cuomo your friendly tyrant just to your west.

  18. I once shot a squirrel in Reno just to watch him die.

    Good thing I didn’t shoot it in CT or I’d be stuck in Folsom Prison (or some such place).

  19. the officers seized several firearms from the home for safe keeping

    For safe keeping! That’s the unintentionally funniest thing I’ve ever read. Ever.

  20. There is no shortage of dumbasses like this, doing stupid, dangerous things with guns, providing countless examples for the antis.

    • True, but there’s a chance that this dumbass will become a test case. Weirder things have happened.

  21. I am really wondering how they ended up inside his house. If he invited them in and had those “Banned” items in plain sight then he needs to be locked up…too stupid to be free.
    If he allowed them to search without a warrant then he is even a bigger fool.

    Sad as reality is….Those in CT,NJ,or NY who have stood up and refused to follow their BS gun laws need to keep the “banned” weapons they own in a locked safe or secure cabinet. If the cops end up in your house they still won’t be able to see or access those items without a warrant.

    No need to be aggressive. Just “Do you have a warrant to search this (Safe) ( Cabinet) (Locker)?
    No? Then I DO NOT give any consent to search and I request you leave. I am calling my lawyer.

    Remember …An Arrest Warrant is NOT a search warrant.

    • Probably just let the cops in. I have visions in my head of the stereotypical old guy from another age who foolishly thought he could pop a squirrel on his own property without first clearing it with the state then said old guy foolishly thought the police were his friends just going through the motions because some whiny neighbor got scared of the pop sound.

      Poor old guy obviously wasnt paying attention when the world around him turned into statist boot-licking hell.

      It’s a shame so many are completely oblivious to reality until they end up in a cell wondering what they did wrong.

  22. I routinely shoot rifles and handguns in the shop which is in a residential neighborhood. The police came a few times but don’t bother me anymore. Fl law allows it as long as the projectile does not leave the property and since they all go into the bullet bunker there isn’t anything they can do about it.

  23. The people of the gun should not refer to any magazines as “high capacity”, but perhaps standard capacity, unless you are speaking of 100 round drums for glocks or what not.

  24. …and that is how they win. What do they need to besiege a thousand homes for if they can just keep you looking over your shoulder and having to hide what you own?

  25. “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.”

    My guess is it will be handled the same way speeding tickets are given out. You don’t need to ticket every speeder to make it an effective policy.

  26. Jeez, I was just shooting at a squirrel this evening (pellet gun set on stun) because he figured out how to get into my squirrel proof bird feeder. Two squirrels in 20 years have succeeded in pulling this off.
    I found that I can make them sore enough with 2 pumps of a Crosman pellet gun to cure them without killing them. Go ahead, call me a girl.
    To think if I lived in a Communist state I could lose all my guns for doing so makes me nauseous.

    • I have a similar policy, if they crawl on the house or get in the feeder I give them a warning, only I use a 12ga instead of a pellet gun. I try to only warn each squirrel once but I do miss once in awhile. It does help to live in the country in the middle of a woods. The neighbors do ask how the squirrel population is doing once in a while but that is about it.

  27. Good LE work if you can get a felony squirrel killing charge.
    I dont think the gang bangers get that kind of charges on most friday nights.

  28. Honestly… I feel that he did… nothing wrong at all. He has a host of charges against him and where is the victim? The squirrel? Please. Sometimes I feel i’m all alone and surrounded by statist lunatics.

  29. Does anyone have ANY proof that it was HIS rifle that shot the squirrel? I imagine the police staked out his house, waited for a rodent, shot it, then SWAT’d in to grab his guns.

  30. Didn’t his mommy warn this guy about this ? Now, son buy a nice big safe. Then put all your stuff in it and forget the combination. I do not know whose safe that is officer. I do not know the combination and I do not know what is inside it. Get a judge to let you take a look inside I’m guessn’. Thanks for coming by.

  31. Until the details are cleared up on entry and search of his home, I just have to wonder about where this squirrel was and rule 4. As a kid I had a neighbor who would execute mow-by shootings of squirrels off his fence from his riding mower with a pellet gun. I never was around guns until adulthood and likewise did not know about the 4 rules. Never realized how potentially painful riding by on my bike would be should the old curmudgeon have missed.

  32. Time not to plead out and to take it to court and see what CT residents are made of… look up “Jury Nullification”.

  33. He deserves everything he get for killing an innocent squirrel for no reason. Hunting for food is one thing but just killing beacause for fun? Evil POS!

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