When looking at the country as a whole, the more freedom friendly states are easy to separate from those that stifle civil rights. Jurisdictions that enact arbitrary laws that limit what type of firearm one may have and further, magazine capacity, are no safer than other states in The Union. In fact, states with more restrictive laws are less safe. Take for example New Jersey, with three of the most dangerous cities in the nation; Trenton, Camden, and Newark.
Magazine capacity limits, no-issue carry permitting laws, and restrictions on what accessories someone can put on their rifle have done nothing to make any of those cities safer. Baltimore, conceivably one of the most dangerous cities in the country in 2020, is no safer with Maryland’s prohibition on the sale of magazines over 10 rounds or their “may-issue”, read “no-issue” permitting laws on carry.
After over a year long investigation, police from Dorchester, Massachusetts report that they have apprehended a suspect connected to the February 7, 2020 murder of Andrew Farley. Roberto Martinez-Baez, 23, of Dorchester was brought in on murder charges. The particulars of the murder such as a motive are not apparent, however there are some things to gleam from this news.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident by virtue of an outstanding straight warrant issued out of Suffolk Superior Court on charges of Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm stemming from the murder of Andrew Farley. The suspect is expected to face arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on all charges.
Even though Massachusetts has strict laws prohibiting magazines over ten rounds, and has provisions in the law that define some firearm as being “large capacity”, Martinez-Baez was still allegedly able to commit this crime. One would think that the laws in place would have protected Farley, but in fact they did not. Massachusetts also has questionable permitting laws, with their “may issue” policies keeping some in Boston from being able to actually bear arms, how is it that such violence still occurs?
It’s a question that many of the anti-freedom politicians in the United States are unwilling to ask. With a new administration that is chomping at the bit to restrict as many of our civil liberties when it comes to firearms, they should be looking at the failed policies in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, etc. and how to actually either enact meaningful polices or dutifully execute the laws we already have on the books. When dealing with high profile murder and drug dealing cases, often the arms charges are plead away when making a deal. All these laws do are restrict the lawful gun owner and when John Q. Public unknowingly breaks the law, the book is thrown at him.
Feel good polices and these laws do not act as an invincibility shroud. Had Farley himself been armed, maybe his situation would have been different. Unfortunately there is no way to know. What we can surmise is that Farley was wasn’t protected by Massachusetts law prohibiting unlawful possession of a “large capacity” firearm. The law is simply another charge that can be brought after a crime’s been committed, not a tool to prevent homicides from happening in the first place.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use” and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii
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