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Connecticut's Gun Confiscation Law First in Country.

Connecticut has become the first state in the country to allow police and the courts to confiscate To expropriate private property for public use without compensating the owner under the authority of the Police Power of the government. To seize property.

When property is confiscated it is transferred from private to public use, usually for reasons such as
 guns from people who are deemed to present a danger to the community.

The law, which took effect in October, is expected to spur debate on similar measures in other states, and it reflects the struggle to deal with seemingly random mass killings, often in public places, that have shocked the nation.

Representative Michael Lawlor drafted the law as a response to a 1998 incident in which a 35-year-old accountant killed four fellow employees at the Connecticut State Lottery A game of chance operated by a state government.

Generally a lottery offers a person the chance to win a prize in exchange for something of lesser value. Most lotteries offer a large cash prize, and the chance to win the cash prize is typically available for one dollar.
 before putting the gun to his own head. Lawlor's bill won bipartisan support in the General Assembly, and Governor John Rowland praised the law as "creative and thoughtful, not a bit knee-jerk."

Among other provisions, the Act Concerning Firearm firearm, device consisting essentially of a straight tube to propel shot, shell, or bullets by the explosion of gunpowder. Although the Chinese discovered gunpowder as early as the 9th cent., they did not develop firearms until the mid-14th cent.  Safety authorizes police officers to confiscate guns from anyone deemed to be an immediate danger to himself or others. The law is the country's first to give police such sweeping powers to enter a home and seize guns.

To initiate a gun seizure, police must pursue reports that the gun owner poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or to other individuals." Police are required to examine other means of defusing de·fuse  
tr.v. de·fused, de·fus·ing, de·fus·es
1. To remove the fuse from (an explosive device).

2. To make less dangerous, tense, or hostile:
 the threat, such as committing the gun owner to a mental health facility.

A police investigation must conclude that confiscating the weapon is the only way to prevent the owner from doing harm. A warrant must be issued by a judge. Under the law, a hearing must be held within 14 days to determine if the gun should be returned.

Critics have labeled the new law unconstitutional and an infringement on individual liberties. Local gun organizations and legislative opponents dubbed dub 1  
tr.v. dubbed, dub·bing, dubs
1. To tap lightly on the shoulder by way of conferring knighthood.

2. To honor with a new title or description.

 it the "turn in your neighbor" law. Critics also contend that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure unreasonable search and seizure n. search of an individual or his/her premises (including an automobile) and/or seizure of evidence found in such a search by a law enforcement officer without a search warrant and without "probable cause" to believe evidence of a .

Joseph Grabarz, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution.  in Connecticut, said the law is an invitation to police abuse. "This proposal throws due process out the window," he said. "It throws the sanctity of one's home out the window, and it gives the police authority to act as psychologists on your doorstep."

Lawlor said he could understand critics who see the new law as "a slippery slope 'slippery slope' Medical ethics An ethical continuum or 'slope,' the impact of which has been incompletely explored, and which itself raises moral questions that are even more on the ethical 'edge' than the original issue " toward the erosion of certain rights. But, he said, "we're not repealing the Constitution."
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Publication:State Legislatures
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U1CT
Date:Jan 1, 2000
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