Connecticut Mag Ban Bill Dies In Committee

The proposed ban on magazines with greater than 10-round capacities, SB 1094, has essentially died in committee. As the Hartford Courant reports, the bill had to have passed out of committee by this past Friday to have been considered as a stand alone bill. That said, it could be added as an amendment to an existing bill in the future.

SB 1094 would not only have banned the sale of standard capacity magazines, it would have outlawed their possession and would have required owners to turn them into their local police departments within 90 days. Failure to turn in the magazines would have been a felony if the law had passed.

As reported a month ago, the bill attracted a lot of opposition with many people testifying before the Joint Judiciary Committee of the General Assembly. It also brought forth statements from some Connecticut mayors and police chiefs that were studies in willful ignorance.

Senator John Kissell, the ranking Republican on the committee, says that the number of people who took the time to testify against it was an important factor in it dying in committee.

To Kissel, the committee’s decision to let the proposal die proves that public opinion can affect public policy. “We’re always open to listening to our constituents,” he said. “When over 200 people are willing to spend 12 hours at a public hearing, it has a huge impact.”

There is no word yet if the bill’s sponsors will try to attach it as an amendment to another bill. For now, it is a loss for gun control advocates and Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors.

A Study in Willful Ignorance

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering SB 1094, An Act Banning Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines. This bill would not only ban any magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds but would give owners of these magazines 90 days within which they must turn them in to the police. Failure to do so would be a felony. There would be no grandfathering of magazines that were possessed prior to the enactment of the bill. As usual in these bans, the ban would only apply to the general public and not to law enforcement officers.

The Joint Judiciary Committee of the General Assembly held hearings yesterday on SB 1094. As reported in the Hartford Courant, the hearings drew a great number of people both for and against the bill. Unlike in the old Bill Ruger days, the current President of Ruger Firearms, Michael Fifer came out strongly against the bill. James Debney, President of the Firearms Division of Smith and Wesson, reminded the legislature of the number of jobs that could be lost if the bill passed. He made special note that the state had a number of magazine manufacturers including C Products and MecGar.

However, it is the testimony in support of the bill which contains the wild statements, willful ignorance, and hyperbole. As I noted earlier, SB 1094 does not apply to law enforcement who would continue to have standard capacity magazines.

From Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett:

Just as you correctly realized there is NO REASON for the general public to possess Assault Weapons, that same basic logic must be applied to the large capacity magazines.

There is no reason whatsoever that hunters or sportsmen or collectors or the public at large should have large capacity magazines. Their purpose is singular and deadly, and makes no sense at all for general public use.

From State Senator Gary LeBeau, Deputy President Pro Tempore of the Senate:

High capacity magazines are designed to enable shooting mass numbers of people quickly and efficiently without reloading. They have been used in numerous mass shootings, including Tucson, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Columbine and last summer, Manchester, Connecticut. These high capacity magazines are simply not useful for hunting or self-defense

And from the mayors of Bridgeport (Bill Finch), Hartford (Pedro Segarra), and New Haven (John DeStefano) comes this screed. I should note that all three are members of Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors group.

Large capacity ammunition magazines are designed to enable shooting mass numbers of people quickly and efficiently without reloading.

As our work is not done, we must continue our efforts to keep these high-capacity magazines out of the hands of the general public.

The two phrases that come up continually in their testimony are “general public” and “enable shooting mass numbers of people”. When they say “general public”, it tells me the political class – and I add the police chief in this category – does not trust the people of their state. A political class that has so little respect for the people needs to be replaced.

The “enable shooting mass numbers of people” is just hyperbole and willful ignorance. It is right up there with saying a standard capacity magazine is not needed for self-defense because the only reason you need more is that you can’t shoot straight. If that was the case, then why do trained law enforcement officers need standard capacity magazines? Presumably they are trained and must pass marksmanship qualifications on a regular basis.