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Massachusetts: Pro-Gun Bills Nearing Committee Deadline

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Massachusetts: Pro-Gun Bills Nearing Committee Deadline

This Wednesday, February 7th, will be the last day for action on bill reports by the Joint Committees in the Legislature.  Currently, the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security are considering several pro-gun bills as well as anti-gun legislation that are of interest to gun owners in the Commonwealth.  Unfortunately, some of the proposals still before the Committee for consideration are anti-gun measures and would place further burdens on law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen such as:

  • Mandatory liability insurance for gun owners
  • Firearm rationing schemes
  • Further limits on magazine capacity
  • Further regulating the private transfer of firearms
  • Firearm bans

Fortunately, there are a number of pro-gun proposals still before the committee that make positive changes for firearm owners in the Commonwealth. 

Senate Bill 1316 and Senate Bill 1326 – “An Act Relative to the Sale of Firearms” Senator Anne Gobi (D-Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex) and Senator Donald Humason (R-Second Hampden and Hampshire ).  Both bills address the “executive action” taken by Attorney General Maura Healey to ban many common firearms that have been sold for nearly two decades by creating her own definition for “copies or duplicates” outside of the statute that currently regulate so-called “assault weapons” in Massachusetts.

House Bill 1253 – “An Act Relative to the Lawful Return of Property” – Representative Shawn Dooley ( R - 9th Norfolk).  For nearly two decades the Attorney General’s handgun regulations have created problems with licensed retailers, bonded warehouses, gunsmiths, etc. being able to return lawfully owned property.  The problem has only increased with the new interpretations covering so-called assault weapons from the current Massachusetts Attorney General.  This important legislation clarifies that it is lawful to return a citizen’s property from these various licensed entities.  In addition, the measure addresses fees incurred for storage.

House Bill 1296 – “ An Act Relative to Constitutional Rights” - Representative James Miceli (D- 19th Middlesex).  This important legislation will create a new section of law that provides a clear presumption that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual civil right in Massachusetts.  Because of the poorly written laws in the state of Massachusetts, the courts and law enforcement have been confused regarding presumption of rights; however, with this new clearly defined presumption of rights, law-abiding citizens will be saved from unnecessary harassment.   Along with a clear presumption of rights, H.1296 provides protections against other government entities in the state from passing laws that further restrict Second Amendment rights.  State firearms preemption was enacted to avoid the possibility of a complex patchwork of regulations across the state, making it difficult for responsible firearm owners to ensure that they are following the law.

House Bill 1315 – “An Act Relative to Firearm Owners Protection” Representative David Vieira (R- 3rd Barnstable).  Current federal law, the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA), provides legal protection for law-abiding gun owners traveling across the country.  This law allows law-abiding gun owners to transport firearms across state lines to and from certain locations as long as firearms are unloaded and stored in the trunk or locked container.  This legislation would enact into state law a similar provision to expand protections for out-of-state/non-residents while traveling through the Commonwealth with a firearm to avoid harassment and any unnecessary delays. 

Please contact committee members today and urge them to favorably report these bills out of committee!  Click the “Take Action’ button below to contact committee members. 

Again, please contact members of the committee today and urge them to support these pro-gun bills and oppose any and all anti-gun measures.  Stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates.

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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.