BREAKING: Massachusetts Lawmakers Pass Gun Control Bill

August 1 2014
by GSL Staff
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Breaking news out of Massachusetts. The state legislature has officially passed a bill to make the state’s gun laws stricter. The bill will now go to the governor.

If you’ve been following the situation in Massachusetts you already know that anti-gun lawmakers in the state legislature have been angling to make MA’s gun laws even tighter over the last week.

One of the key provisions of the original bill was a clause that allowed local police chiefs to have almost ultimate authority on who could purchase long guns (shotguns and rifles). This version passed the House.

The Senate stripped that provision in their version of the bill, but it was put back in place (although watered down) during a committee between the House and Senate. Here is what the NRA-ILA says about the new version of the bill,

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.

Today, the bill with the revised language was passed by both houses of the state legislature today. According to Yahoo News/Reuters,

House lawmakers overrode objections from gun-rights advocates in the state Senate who had opposed the measure, worrying that police chiefs could abuse the authority to deny firearms to law-abiding citizens.

“We seek not to be the safest state in the nation but strive to make our communities the safest in the world,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Democrat.

The bill now goes to Governor Deval Patrick, a fellow Democrat, who supports tightening the state’s gun laws.

Don’t worry gun owners, in exchange for this obvious infringement on your second amendment rights, the state is willing to let you have pepper spray (the bill changes the law so pepper spray is no longer considered ammunition).

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