Bullshit Traffic Law Gets Connecticut Man Ticketed For Bullshit Gun Law

15-round magazineTyrone Watson, of Bridgeport,
Connecticut, was pulled over by Norwalk police for driving with an
“illegal” cover over his license plate. During the stop, the
officer noticed a pistol permit in Watson’s wallet and asked him if
he had a gun with him. He said yes, and produced the perfectly
legal pistol—except that it had an evil unregistered
15-round magazine (which would have been just fine if the paperwork
had been filed before the turn of the year). That’s how Tyrone
Watson became one of the first people cited under his state’s
bizarre, new gun laws.

Under Connecticut
law
, “Nothing may be affixed to a motor vehicle or to the
official number plates displayed on such vehicle that obscures or
impairs the visibility of any information on such number
plates.”

That’s a little open-ended, leaving drivers at risk if they so
much as bolt their plates in place with one of those
dealer-supplied frames that obscure a bit of the inspection
sticker.

Also under
Connecticut law
, “Any person who possesses a large capacity
magazine on or after January 1, 2014, that was obtained prior to
the effective date of this section shall commit an infraction and
be fined not more than ninety dollars for a first offense and shall
be guilty of a class D felony for any subsequent offense,” unless
that magazine was registered prior to January 1 of this year—a
bureaucratic ritual that apparently strips the object of bad
juju.

But, according to the
Daily Voice
:

The handgun was loaded with 11 bullets, and had a magazine
capable of handling 15 rounds, police said. Under the new laws
passed by the state last April, it is illegal to buy, sell or
manufacture magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.

Weapons purchased before the law’s passing are legally
grandfathered in, but gun owners were required to register those
magazines with the state by Jan. 1. The gun owner told Norwalk
officers that he was unaware of the law or the deadline, according
to the police report.

As a result, continues the report, Watson was “issued an
infraction for possession of a large-capacity magazine and having a
mutilated license plate.”

The Hour, which claims Watson was actually pulled over
for tailgating,
says
, “The officer wrote Watson a summons and gave him back his
gun and the magazine, telling him to store the items in his trunk
until he arrived at his home, according to police.”

With regard to tailgating, by the way, Connecticut
law says
, “No driver of a motor vehicle shall follow another
vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent.” Well, that
certainly clears things up.

So here we have a Connecticut resident ensnared by one petty law
that’s completely open to interpretation by officials (illegal
plate cover or tailgating—take your pick), which leaves him open to
citation for violating another petty law, which is an entirely
arbitrary paperwork requirement.

In this case, Tyrone Watson is on the hook for a relatively
small penalty—but he’s in the system now, and at risk of bigger
hits in the future, despite having harmed nobody, in any way.

And so we find our world regulated just one step closer to
perfection—for control freaks and lawyers.

Don’t miss Brian Doherty’s
take on how enforcement of petty laws especially victimizes the
poor
, who are least able to navigate the legal system and
shoulder even small penalties.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/09/bullshit-traffic-law-gets-connecticut-ma
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