Back in May, a month after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the state’s gun control law, Stag Arms of New Britain came up with a modified rifle design and took it to the state police firearms unit to see whether it would comply with the state’s new regulations, the Hartford Courant reports.
The unit was helpful, even making a design suggestion that would help assure the gun would not be classified as an illegal assault weapon. Stag prepared to make the rifle, a .22-caliber version of the military-style AR-15.
Then in June, the state legislature tightened the law. Stag returned to the state police firearms unit with an updated model, seeking an opinion.
According to the Courant’s report, “I was told to get a lawyer, figure it out and if I’m wrong I’m going to have to deal with it,” said Mark Malkowski, the Stag Arms owner and president. “It’s my responsibility to interpret…I was told we were no longer allowed to bring prototypes in.”
That means Stag, and any other manufacturer seeking to design a rifle within the rules, and any retailer who offers that product in Connecticut, must take a risk when it comes to figuring out a regulation — a high risk, since making assault weapons could be viewed as a crime.