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Connecticut law points assault rifle ban at Colt's.

Connecticut has passed what can only be described as a "very confusing" assault weapons ban. Gov. Lowell Weicker signed the bill into law only hours after it cleared the Connecticut Senate on June 8.

Sue Misiora, a state liaison for the NRA-ILA told Shooting Industry that, as amended, HB-7332 bans the future sale of 60 specific firearms in the state after Oct. 1. Current owners of such firearms will have until July 1, 1994 to register such guns.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the bill defines "assault weapons" as being "selective fire" firearms. A true selective fire firearms would already be labeled as fully automatic and would be illegal.

The law also defines "assault weapons" as any combination of parts from which assault weapons could be assembled.

Persons granted a certificate of possession by the State Police could have their "assault weapon" at a specified place and could only sell them to licensed gun dealers.

The first conviction for possession of an unregistered "assault weapon" would be a Class A misdemeanor. The second conviction would be a Class D felony.

Anyone transferring or selling an "assault weapon" to a minor would face a mandatory six-year prison term -- including any father unknowingly giving his son a firearm labeled an assault weapon.

Among the guns banned under the bill are the Ruger Mini 14 folding-stock model; the H&K 91, 93, and 94; the Uzi carbine, mini-carbine, and pistol; all AK-type rifles; and the Springfield Armory M-59.

Most ironically, the Colt's Sporter is also on the list. The State of Connecticut is 65 percent owner of Colt's, but that didn't seem to slow Weicker in signing the bill.

"We don't sell that many Sporters in Connecticut, so the effect on our company should be minimal," said CEO Ron Whitaker. "The broader concern is the misinformation being spread that the Sporter is an assault rifle."

This is not the first time a state has banned the sale of the product, although Colt's has worked to put a stop to such legislation. "We found that wherever we've lobbied, legislators had already made up their minds and weren't interested in the facts," Whitaker said.

He sees three problems. "It's a shame legislators base laws on emotion rather than facts. It's a shame that the misinformation of Handgun Control and others bring about what I consider poor law. And it's a shame that we have not done a better job of educating the public and even our own customers.

"I get complaints from customers that Colt's selling assault rifles to the commercial trade is giving firearms manufacturers a bad name."
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Title Annotation:Colt's Manufacturing Company Inc.
Author:Schneider, Jim; Clede, Bill
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Aug 1, 1993
Words:438
Previous Article:Gun shop killers arrested in Puerto Rico.
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