The good folks over at Bearing Arms have posted my article on ex post facto laws as they apply to Connecticut. The comments are quite interesting, with some arguing that the CT laws are not ex post facto.
I argue otherwise. The CT law did not outright ban certain previously purchased, lawful rifles and magazines because it allowed people to own them, but only if registered by a specific date after a brief registration period. Thereafter, those rifles and magazines are illegal, even if one would have registered them if they knew of the law. The crime is the ownership of the rifles and magazines legal one day, illegal the next.
This doesn’t mean the government can’t ban certain products, or raise a speed limit. It can ban products after a certain date, and can enforce speed limits that increase on a given date. However, if the government can prosecute one for products lawfully owned before the law went into effect, hundreds of thousand, even millions can become instant criminals and punished for lawful acts. This, it seems to me, is the very definition of an ex post facto law.
If you have a few minutes, the article and comments may be worth your time.