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Massachusetts: Gun Control Bills Go to Conference Committee

Friday, October 27, 2017

Massachusetts: Gun Control Bills Go to Conference Committee

Instead of concurring on the Senate version from two weeks ago, yesterday during informal session, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed gun control language identical to that which was previously passed as part of House Bill 3979, a new appropriations measure.  This is the same overreaching language that was previously passed by the House which would ban modifications commonly made to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  However late last night, the Senate rejected the proposal by passing their original language narrowly targeting bump fire stocks and crank triggers as part of Senate Bill 2194, another appropriations measure.  Because of the dispute between the two chambers regarding which version to adopt, a conference committee was appointed today to work out the differences between the two measures.  Please contact your state Senator, Representative, and the committee members today and urge them to oppose this legislation! Click the “Take Action” button below to contact your senator.

The gun control language attached to H.3979 would ban “any device which attaches to a [firearm]…that is designed to increase the rate of discharge” of a firearm with a very broad and overreaching definition.  For example, it would have banned firearm modifications such as match grade triggers, muzzle brakes, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by law-abiding gun owners to make their firearms more suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, or even overcoming disability.  In addition, this version would give the Secretary of Public Safety unprecedented regulatory authority to implement this ban along with violations being punished with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years imprisonment.

The version passed by the Senate has a much narrower definition of these devices to only include “bump stocks” and “trigger cranks.”  In addition, it does not ban these devices, but puts them under Section 121, Chapter 140 of the Commonwealth general laws by amending the definition of “machine gun.”

Currently, at the urging of Congress, ATF is reviewing whether its prior determinations regarding bump-fire stocks are correct.  Any legislation in this area should wait for this review to be complete so an accurate assessment of the applicable federal law is available.

Again, please contact your Senator, Representative, and the conference committee members and urge them to oppose this legislation.  Stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on this bill.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.