BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Gun shop distributors and owners have gathered together to file a motion in federal court over Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s unlawful designation and imposition of penalties upon the gun owners and shop keeps of the state.
Massachusetts has already kept the federal definitions from the 1994 Brady Act as their definitions for an “assault weapon”. If anything, they have imposed harder restrictions upon their residents in terms of the style and method of their own defense than almost any other state outside of Hawaii and New Jersey.
In July, AG Healey announced that in addition to the “assault weapons” ban, she was going to extend that to any semi-automatic firearm that accepted a detachable magazine and remotely resembled any of the firearms on the list. Enforcement effective immediately and if you’re caught in possession of that firearm, felony offense.
Here is Massachusetts’ definition of “assault weapons” as per the Attorney General’s office:
“Assault weapon” is defined as a:
semiautomatic assault weapon as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(30) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994, and shall include, but not be limited to, any of the weapons, or copies or duplicates of the weapons [emphasis added], of any caliber, known as:
- Avtomat Kalashnikov (AK) (all models);
- Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;
- Beretta Ar70 (SC-70);
- Colt AR-15;
- Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR and FNC;
- SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9 and M-12;
- Steyr AUG;
- INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and
- revolving cylinder shotguns, such as, or similar to, the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;
Here’s the problem: there is a lot of undefined gray room and the penalty is a felony offense. If you are a resident of Massachusetts and you have in your possession any firearm that has the possibility of being misconstrued as one of the aforementioned guns, congratulations — you are a felon!
AG Healey’s stance on this is that gun owners in the Commonwealth ought to be gracious she gave advanced warning.
“We acted appropriately in my view by giving them notice, by letting them know we mean what we say — we’re going to enforce the law,” she said to WBUR NPR.
Thankfully, people are gathering together to form an actionable plan to get that ban and its penalties revoked and removed.
“She has absolutely no authority to take it upon herself to issue regulations … that redefine the statutory terms that have been understood for over 20 years,” Lawrence Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, told WBUR.
If you’re unfamiliar with what’s been going on in Massachusetts, or why the arbitrary definition of assault weapons and ‘copycats’ is a big deal to gunowners and concealed carriers alike, we’ve written an article covering the subject.
Or you can sit through this concise, thorough explanation from a Massachusetts gun owner…
In either case, this is a perfect example of an Attorney General who doesn’t understand how the law works but somehow made it into a position of legal authority and power where she can execute her poor judgement without consequences.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey used her position of authority to turn an unknown number of Massachusetts law-abiding gun owners into felons overnight. That is the sort of power that ought to be vested into the competent hands of someone who wouldn’t seek to imprison a sizable percentage of their tax paying citizenry. It would also be great if the person in that legal authority had some basic understanding of history in that the Revolutionary War was kicked off in Lexington and Concord precisely because British troops attempted to seize the arms of Commonwealth residents by an artificial decree.
Is she trying to repeat history or does she seriously want men and women to be taken out of their homes and jobs and placed into prison because they possessed a firearm that remotely resembled a semi-automatic rifle?
Perhaps it’s time the Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes a long hard look at the entrenched politics that have kept them safe in their cushy positions for so long and seriously analyze the impact of these decisions they are implicitly defending when they allow an incompetent state bureaucrat to revise state law on a whim.