BREAKING: Massachusetts Lawmakers Reach Back-Room Deal to Strip Gun Owners of Rights

July 31 2014
by GSL Staff
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It looks like Mass. lawmakers have reached a last minute back-room deal to to attack the rights of Mass. gun owners.

Both the state House and Senate had previously passed different versions of the bill. The House version contained language that would allow local police chiefs enormous leeway in determining who could own a firearm in their jurisdiction. The Senate version stripped this language.

Unfortunately, behind closed doors, a joint Senate/House committee has adopted a version of the bill that puts the police chief language BACK IN the bill. Today is the last day of the legislative session in Mass., so this is expected to be up for a vote today.

Boston’s police chief, among others, has already said he sees virtually no reason for anyone in his city to own a rifle or a shotgun.

The NRA-ILA has release the following statement about the bill,

Unfortunately, as predicted, the conference committee tasked with ironing out the differences between the House and Senate versions of an omnibus firearms bill adopted a report which still retains the most egregious provision, allowing issuing authorities to use discretion in issuing or denying FID cards. House Bill 4376 was reported by the conference committee late last night, and with less than 24 hours left in the legislative session, H.4376 is expected to be voted on sometime TODAY.

H.4376 contains a variation of the discretionary component, allowing a licensing authority to file a petition to the district court to request that an applicant be denied the issuance or renewal of a FID card. This is an egregious violation of your Second Amendment rights, and it isn’t difficult to imagine how allowing issuing authorities or the district court discretion in the issuance of FID cards will be abused if H.4376 becomes law. For example, a government official with a personal grudge against an applicant or personal opposition to individual gun ownership could use almost any “bad” conduct in an applicant’s past to file a petition denying the applicant, which might include any number of menial acts that wouldn’t normally prohibit a person from possessing a firearm. A law-abiding gun owner would now have to take on thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend themselves in court in order to restore their rights.

Personal bias should not be enough to strip a law-abiding gun owner of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms and self-defense, and it is critical that you contact both your state Senator and state Representative IMMEDIATELY and demand they vote against H.4376. Even though this bill does contain some favorable provisions to gun owners, the NRA remains opposed to H.4376 because of the overwhelming implications of discretionary licensing for FID cards. Your help is needed to stop this misguided bill in the final hours of the 2014 legislative session!

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