Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Proposed CT Gun Package Requires 'Eligibility Certificates'
On April 1st, Connecticut lawmakers agreed on a gun control package that widens that state's "assault weapons" ban, requires universal background checks on all gun sales, and requires citizens to obtain eligibility certificates before purchasing a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Gun control proponents are hailing the measures as part of "a landmark package" that represents "an appropriate response to Sandy Hook." But as Breitbart News reported in the days after the heinous crime at Sandy Hook, Connecticut already had the fifth most stringent gun control laws in the country. It's hard to see how these laws will succeed in doing more than posing a greater burden on law-abiding citizens within the state.
For example, the requirement that a citizen get an "eligibility certificate" before buying a gun turns the 2nd Amendment on it's head by forcing the citizen to prove he or she is justified in exercising the right to keep and bear arms. It puts the onus on the citizen to prove he or she is worthy of exercising a Constitutionally guaranteed right instead of placing the onus on the state to demonstrate why a given citizen is not.
The purpose of the "eligibility certificate" appears even more dubious when you consider that all gun buyers will still have to pass a background check as well.
Additionally, the fact that background checks will be "universal" in Connecticut essentially does away with all private sales in the state. Selling a gun to your neighbor or a father selling a rifle to his son can now only take place with government permission and proper documentation.
These laws are convoluted at best and will certainly make buying a firearm more onerous for the law-abiding citizen. Nevertheless, they are basically "assured" final passage when voted on by both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly on April 3rd.