Just how awful is the new gun control bill introduced in Massachusetts this week?
Gun Owners Action League head Jim Wallace tells Bearing Arms “the proposed legislation is an abhorrent anti-civil rights effort. No community in Massachusetts faces this kind of intentional bigotry and oppression from the State Government! It is simply a post Bruen tantrum, very similar to Governor Wallace after Brown v. Board of Education.”
Wallace joins today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co with the details of what he’s calling the “Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act”; which aims to gut the Second Amendment rights of residents, from live fire training requirements before purchasing a firearm to mandatory registration of all firearms and magazines.
The longtime Second Amendment advocate says that GOAL staff is still going through the 100+ pages of anti-gun nonsense, but what they’ve uncovered would make it virtually impossible to exercise our Second Amendment rights without committing a felony offense. Here’s just a quick summary of what GOAL has discovered tucked away in the legislation so far:
SECTION 48 of the bill:
- Mandatory registration of all guns and feeding devices.
- Privately made guns must be registered within 7 days
- Mentions a new term “Expiration date for registrant”
- Mandatory reporting of any modifications or new parts to a gun.
- Itemized list of parts if modifying or building a gun.
- Feeding devices are no included in rental reports.
- Subsection (e) of this section implies there are no exemptions for registration for those traveling through the state.
How are gun owners supposed to register ammunition magazines with the state of Massachusetts? According to Wallace they’re supposed to apply to the state for a serial number for every magazine in their possession, and then permanently mark each magazine accordingly. As GOAL notes, this registration requirement appears to apply to non-residents as well, so those gun owners lawfully traveling through the state on their way to more 2A-friendly locales like New Hampshire or Maine could easily wind up facing criminal charges if their unserialized magazines are discovered.
- Changes FID Card to “Long gun permit”
- Bans anyone under 21 from acquiring or carrying any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun.
- New term of “Judicial Stay” on applications.
- Maintains license revocation or suspension for not reporting change of address within 30 days.
- Mandates providing license to law enforcement if you are outside your own property even if you don’t own or possess a gun.
Wallace says the under-21 gun ban applies to all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, even commonly-owned rimfire rifles like the Ruger 10/22, and the vague mention of a “judicial stay” on applications for long gun permits looks to be another attempt to give state actors subjective and arbitrary authority to deny someone the ability to exercise a fundamental civil right. The ridiculous mandate that can strip gun owners of their firearms licenses for failing to report a change of address within 30 days, meanwhile, is a great example of how this legislation is aimed squarely at turning legal gun owners into criminals while turning a blind eye to those who are actually committing violent crimes in the commonwealth.
The bill also appears to ban the sale of the virtually all handguns in the state, unless they’re “smart guns” or sold for law enforcement to use while they’re on duty.
A new bill in Massachusetts would (among numerous other things) require all handguns sold to be "smart" guns… unless they're being sold for on-duty police use. https://t.co/OiDRAA1J2n pic.twitter.com/egplt7RaRX
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) June 27, 2023
Then there are the restrictions on lawfully carrying a firearm, which largely mirror the “carry killer” bills signed into law in states like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii:
Ban on possessing any gun, loaded or unloaded:
- “prohibited area” shall mean any of the following, including in or upon any part of the buildings, grounds, or parking areas of:
- a place owned, leased, or under the control of state, county or municipal government used for the purpose of government administration, judicial or court administrative proceedings, or correctional services;
- a location in use as a polling place or used for the storage or tabulation of ballots;
- an elementary school, secondary school, college, university or other educational institution including transport used for students of said institution and places where persons are assembled for educational purposes;
- any private property, including but not limited to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional or undeveloped property, unless the owner has provided express consent or has posted a sign indicating that it is permissible to carry on the premises a firearm with a valid and lawfully issued firearm license or permit under Chapter 140
Note that not only does the bill ban concealed carry on all private property by default, it also prohibits gun owners from possessing a firearm in all parking areas of both public and private locations. As Wallace argues, that would in essence kill off the ability to lawfully carry anywhere in the state by making it so legally dangerous to step foot outside your home with a firearm that most gun owners would simply choose not to carry.
GOAL staffers are still combing over the legislation, so there are likely more infringements to be found, but what’s already been uncovered is enough that Wallace says attorneys are already looking at the language of the bill in anticipation of filing a lawsuit. But while Wallace believes the votes are there to rush this bill through the legislature, he doesn’t want gun owners to stand silently by. GOAL will likely be holding a rally in opposition to the gun control package in the next couple of weeks, but Wallace is also encouraging every gun owner in the state to sound off to their local legislators, calling this the biggest threat to civil rights in the state in decades.
He’s not wrong. This bill is a not only a giant middle finger to the Supreme Court, it’s a f*** you to every individual in the state who wants to exercise his or her right to keep and bear arms. It’s Massive Resistance by bigoted politicians who hold gun owners in contempt, and Second Amendment supporters in the state need to get off the couch and get involved in the fight to defend their civil liberties; at the statehouse in the short term and in court when the time comes to sue the crap out of Massachusetts for its blatant infringement on a fundamental right.