The battle between rifle owners and law enforcement in Connecticut is heating up, with state police reportedly preparing to mail letters to several thousand AR-style rifle owners telling them they must dispose of their weapons or standard capacity magazines.
Based on new legislation enacted in April 2013 several months after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, Connecticut required all owners of AR-style rifles and 30-round magazines to register their firearms with the state. Recent reports indicate that as many as 100,000 residents didn't meet the Jan. 4 registration deadline and are now in violation of the new laws, which has been classified a Class D felony.
Connecticut lawmakers are reportedly giving owners who submitted registration materials after the deadline another chance to avoid penalties by "rendering the assault weapon inoperable; sell the assault weapon to a licensed dealer; remove the assault weapon from the state" or hand it over to state law enforcement officials.
The same options are available to owners of so-called "high capacity" magazines.
Local gun rights activists have worried that state police will cross reference purchasing information and registration data for AR-style rifles and move to confiscate the now illegal guns. One prominent Connecticut blogger wrote that confiscation could lead to an armed confrontation.
"The politicians who jammed this law down the peoples' throats are plainly flummoxed by the resistance it has engendered," wrote Mark Vanderboegh of the "Sipsey Street Irregulars."
"There are many ways you can refuse to get caught up in this," Vanderboegh added. "Passive resistance, looking the other way, up to and including outright refusal to execute what is a tyrannical law that a higher court may yet find unconstitutional and therefore null and void."
A federal appellate court recently ruled the state's AR-style rifle ban did not violate the Second Amendment, though the judge said the law did create a substantial burden on gun rights.
It is still unclear how many Connecticut residents have received letters telling them to dispose of their rifles and magazines. But in a recent interview, Gov. Dannel Malloy said his ban reduced crime in the state, and he disputed the 100,000 hold-outs estimate as "a made up number."
The gun registration process "is going along very well," Malloy told The Blaze. "I'm confident the program is working extremely well."