Via Shall Not Be Questioned I came across an opinion piece from a guy who wants Connecticut to strictly enforce its new “assault weapon” registration law:
Connecticut has a gun problem.
It’s estimated that perhaps scores of thousands of Connecticut residents failed to register their military-style assault weapons with state police by Dec. 31.
Although willful noncompliance with the law is doubtless a major issue, it’s possible that many gun owners are unaware of their obligation to register military-style assault weapons and would do so if given another chance.
But the bottom line is that the state must try to enforce the law. Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law.
A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even much lesser penalties or probation would mar a heretofore clean record and could adversely affect, say, the ability to have a pistol permit.
If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.
Let’s consider the logistics of what the author is advocating. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of Connecticut gun owners failed to comply with the new “assault weapon” restrictions. The author wants Connecticut law enforcement agents to use the background check system to discover who may own an “assault weapon” and have him kidnapped and held in a cage for five years. Connecticut already has overcrowded prisons so new facilities would have to be constructed. Back in 1995 the Connecticut General Assembly responded to a request to know the costs associated with building new prison capacity. The cost per bed in Connecticut, at that time, was estimated to be $50,388.
Using a very conservative estimate of 20,000 noncompliant gun owners (since there are multiple tens of thousands I went with the lowest possible figure of 20,000) and 1995 prices to build new cages (because that’s the most recent information I was able to obtain) the state of Connecticut would be look at paying out $1,007,760,000 just to add the capacity necessary to cage all of these gun owners. Again, this figure is a low ball figure since the cost of constructing a new cage is higher than in 1995 and the number of noncompliant gun owners likely exceeds 20,000. But we get the idea that the costs of doing as the author recommends would be mind bogglingly high.
And what would Connecticut get out of spending over one billion dollars to enforce its new law? Not a damn thing. Merely being in possession of an aesthetically offensive semi-automatic rifle doesn’t make an individual violent. The satisfaction that could be obtained from doing what the author advocates is vengeance against the disobedient. If we want to go down that route I’m sure I can find several felonies the author committed in the last week and demand he be caged for them.