Massachusetts Selectman: Hey, is there any way we can infringe on 2nd and 4th Amendment rights at the same time?

Swampscott, MA Selectman Barry Greenfield doesn’t think that you are responsible enough with your guns, and so he wants to send the city’s police into your home to make sure that you are storing them up to standards.


Who needs those pesky 2nd and 4th Amendment rights, anyway?

Selectman Barry Greenfield introduced an enforcement discussion Wednesday that he hopes will lead to the safeguarding of guns in town — keeping them out of the hands of children.

In school shootings around the country,  guns have been taken from parents and used by kids, he said.

The selectman said state law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable.

The problem, he said, is that police do not have the authority, granted by a local ordinance, to enforce the law and inspect the safeguarding of guns at the homes of the 600 registered gun owners in town.

The selectman said he has spoken with Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan about this.

“We need the ability to enforce the state law,” the selectman said.

If he gets his way, Greenfield will then presumably make a proposal to allow the heavily-armed police teams that burst into citizen’s homes to move in if they like what they find. He’s fine with trashing the 2nd and 4th amendments, so he may as well do so with the 3rd Amendment as well, right?

The Fenton Report has provided email and telephone numbers for Mr. Greenfield, and a phone number for the Swampscott Board of Selectmen and Police Chief. If you are a Swampscott resident, you may want to respectfully voice your displeasure with the Selectman’s ideas, pointing out the clear and multiple constitutional violations of such an ordinance.


It’s stunning to think that this is part of the same area that provided militamen to route the British regulars on April 19, 1775.

Update: Greenfield responds via email:

Dear Bob,

I wanted to clarify some things that have been written about me in the press. First off, don’t assume I’m not a gun owner or that I’m a Democrat. You’d be wrong.

Secondly, the entire discussion about whether or not MGL 140 s131L (which states weapons must be stored in a safe or locked capacity only accessible by the owner) could be enforced was asked in reference to school shootings. The research I have read states that 65% or more of school shootings are caused by kids having access to their parents guns. It would be great to avoid another situation like that.

I know most gun owners are incredibly responsible with their weapons. I also am not trying to take away anyone’s rights or guns.

I’m simply asking the question of whether an existing law can be enforced. I’m not trying to add any laws. I asked our board of selectmen whether we could look into potential methods of enforcement. Can the police conduct a investigation with due notice, similar to a building permit inspection or a fire inspection when you want to sell your home? If not, fine.

Can registered gun owners be asked to submit a receipt of purchase of a safe or gun lock to prove they are complying with the existing law? I don’t know. My job is to ask questions and find answers. I’m not a constitutional attorney – I’m asking questions to find answers.

I’m a volunteer elected official. I’m trying to do what I can to prevent Sandy Hook happening in my town. And, for that, I get threats to my family and home and person. Not necessary. Whatever happened to civil discourse?
It’s ok to disagree, I’ve spoken with more than 20 people from all over the country today and most have been willing to have a meaningful discussion. I’m trying to answer every call I can since my phone number is all over the internet. Sadly, the emails are not as productive.

We need more conversation and less inflammatory rhetoric.

Thank you for the opportunity to reach your readers.



Join the conversation as a VIP Member