In a move that would mark the first of its kind, Connecticut lawmakers are weighing the creation of a gun-offender registry. The statewide registry would be similar to a sex offender registry but its data would only be available to law enforcement. Law abiding gun owners, however, are up in arms at the prospect.
According to the Hartford Courant this would be the first such system on a statewide level. New York City, Baltimore, and DC all have similar city systems, though nothing of the sort has been implemented at a state level.
Though supporters claim no law-abiding citizen would be adversely affected by the proposed registry, one has to wonder what's next—a DWI registry or perhaps an assault registry? At what point do we allow someone who was convicted of a crime to carry on with their life?
The difference between this proposed registry and the national crime database is that it would focus only on Connecticut and would contain residential information, and my guess, possible employment and other contact information as well.
Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, who proposed the registry states that it would give gun-offenders a heads-up that they're being watched. Apparently this would serve as a deterrent.
Also on the table is a piece of legislation that would require gun owners to register all firearms. Speaking out against this proposal, one NRA member says “This is not gun control, this is state control of the people.” Under current law no such registration is needed for rifles and shotguns, only handguns.
The laws regarding weapons ownership and usage are complex. While gun rights advocates state many of these tiptoe on infringing upon their right to bear arms, the large majority of these laws were passed with public safety in mind. Understanding all of them is certainly no easy task.
The possibility of a gun registry brings to mind a vision of Big Brother, with the system always keeping a close eye on the people it oversees. While some people who have gun convictions will reoffend, most will not. And it seems to be overkill to suggest all of these people need to be tracked in some manner.
If you are facing gun charges or if you are facing criminal charges and you have a gun conviction on your record, you could be looking at some pretty serious penalties. Contact my offices today for a free consultation on your case.