Massachusetts has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, with licenses required to both own and carry firearms, a sweeping “assault weapons” ban, gun registration, and a host of other requirements designed to turn the Second Amendment from a right to a privilege. These restrictions are supposed to make the state safer, but a recent case out of Boston shows just how ineffective these laws actually are.
Monday night, police arrested a guy named Hermon Sherif for illegally possessing a gun. Officers had responded to the area on reports of a shooting victim. Witnesses said a man with a red backpack had fired multiple rounds at the shooting victim before shoving his pistol into his backpack and taking off. Officers began combing the area looking for anyone matching that description, and soon ran across a guy with a red backpack standing in front of a liquor store not far from where the shooting happened.
The male then entered the store, followed by officers who immediately observed a large knife in the male’s front right pocket. Officers secured the knife and, in the process, felt a heavy object within the red backpack. Officers removed the backpack from the male and located a silver and black Smith & Wesson firearm which had been reported stolen out of Nashua, New Hampshire. The male was placed into custody.
According to the police report, Sherif was arrested on a litany of charges, including unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a “large capacity firearm,” and possession of a stolen firearm. He also had a couple of outstanding warrants, and was actually wearing a GPS monitoring bracelet when he was arrested.
When did Sherif acquire that particular fashion accessory? It’s likely a relatively new part of his wardrobe, because as it turns out Sherif was arrested last week on charges of carrying a gun without a license. In that case, Sherif was allegedly a passenger in an Acura when it crashed and he and the driver took off on foot, leaving another injured passenger behind. As detailed in the police report:
The officer called for Boston EMS to respond as well as an additional unit to stop and speak with the two parties who fled the scene, one of whom had been identified as the operator by witnesses on scene. As the officer continued towards the males to inquire if they had been injured and to ascertain what had occurred in the moments leading up to the crash, the two males refused to speak with him and continued on their way.
Officers caught up with one of the males, believed to be the operator, in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop while the second male made an abrupt stop when he observed the police cruisers having stopped the operator. The second male turned around and placed an object into his jacket pocket, before removing it and tying it around his waist. The second male pushed passed the officer, intentionally bumping into him. The officer was able to apprehend the male with the assistance of additional units, recovering a gray and brown RG model RG 26, .25 caliber firearm which was unloaded and inside of the male’s jacket pocket. Additionally, two knives were seized from the male’s waistband. The male was taken into custody.
I’m not sure why last week’s police report doesn’t mention the outstanding warrants for Sherif, and it doesn’t mention anything about a GPS monitoring device either. Based on these police reports, it doesn’t sound like Hermon Sherif is all that interested in abiding by the terms of his release, given that less than a week after his arrest on gun charges, he’s now facing several more (and could end up facing charges in connection with Monday’s shooting as well).
It also sounds like Massachusetts’ gun laws aren’t doing much to prevent or break up the illicit market in firearms, given the fact that Sherif was armed with a gun reported stolen out of New Hampshire. The state’s universal background check law simply can’t have any impact on guns that enter the illicit market through theft or straw purchases, and Sherif didn’t bother applying for a gun license in Suffolk County, Massachusetts for some reason. Nor did he let that lack of a license to own or carry prevent him from owning and carrying two different firearms. Heck, even his first arrest didn’t seem to make much of an impact on him.
It’s almost as if criminals consider the Massachusetts court system to be a joke, isn’t it? Sadly, the emphasis that state politicians have placed on restricting the rights of legal owners instead of focusing on violent criminals is no laughing matter, with shootings and homicides surging, and an unwillingness on the part of Democrats at the city and state level to take meaningful steps to solve the crisis.