A long day in Hartford paying off?

Posted: March 18, 2008 in Gun Legislation

I had the fortunate opportunity today to attend both the NSSF Press Release on the firearm micro stamping and ammunition serialization as well as the lengthy public hearing
on the same issues.

First, I wanted to personally thank those who took the time to call, email, testify, etc. It appears our combined effort may have pushed things in our favor, at least partially and for the time being.

About 10:00pm EST I heard Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, admit on CTN-TV that there appears to be not enough support for the ammunition serialization bill.

There was testimony against both bills by industry representatives from Ruger, Marlin and Mossberg. Also testifying were Bob Crook, a long time lobbyist with the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen, among others, myself included.

CTN will provide video archives of the testimony, but I wanted to provide a sense of what it was like sitting in that hearing room all day.

I was definitely getting the sense that many of the legislators on the Committee were not “sold” on these micro stamping and ammunition serialization bills. Some appeared even apologetic to the crowd with statements to the effect : “we’re not against law abiding citizens having guns, but we want to do something about the violence problem.”

Another feedback was from Rep. Mary Fritz (dist 90, Cheshire) : “I am normally pro gun control, but I am not sure we are headed down the right road with these bills.”

My testimony focused largely on the ammunition aspect; how it would provide a “de facto” ban, the disposal requirement; “pennies per shot becoming DOLLARS per shot” and how it would increase crime by creating black markets and encouraging criminals to commit more burglaries to obtain older, non coded firearms and ammunition.

I challenged Sen. McDonald (co-chair) on his remark that since California passed micro stamping, it should be a simple thing for “little” Connecticut to do as well, with the reminder that similar bills FAILED in: IL, VA, HI and MD. Also, ammo serialization FAILED in CA as well.

I also challenged the Judiciary Committee to explain why they were raising firearms bills anyway, since they are not a “Committee of Cogniscence” for firearms issues and suggested instead, they maintain focus on sentencing guidelines for criminal acts. The Committee asked me no questions.

Perhaps the most dramatic testimony provided was from Colt Firearms, which basically threatened to leave Connecticut entirely, should this legislation pass.

Again, thanks to all who endured, as long as ten hours or more, to provide their three minutes of testimony today.

However, I would advise to remain vigilant, as the session is never “over” until it’s over – in early June. Also, pay particular attention to what is happening on the federal level with both the DC Second Amendment case in the Supreme Court and a rumored ammunition serialization bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy. That issue is likely to attract little press attention until after the election.

Thanks,

Steve

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