Massachusetts Democrats race to ram anti-gun bill into law before August recess

(AP Photo/Yakima Herald-Republic, TJ Mullinax, File)

I’m not sure that gun owners have even had time to uncover all of the awfulness in HD 4420, which may be one reason why Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano is applying closed-door pressure to his fellow Democrats to rush the legislation into law in the next few weeks. Even if all of the devilish details have yet to be uncovered, as Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League recently told members, we’ve learned enough to understand that the legislation represents “the complete eradication” of their fundamental right to keep and bear arms.


Here are just a few of the unconstitutional provisions contained within HD 4420’s 140 pages of infringements, according to GOAL.

  • Essentially bans hunting on private property
  • Bans anyone under 15 from training or shooting sports
  • Mandatory serialization and registration of all feeding devices not just magazines
  • Massive training requirements that include things like active shooter training
  • Any changes or repairs to a gun must be approved by the state
  • A semi-auto turkey gun with a pistol grip will be an Assault Weapon
  • No one under 21 can purchase any semi-auto gun of any kind or caliber
  • The definition of “Firearm” would mean any gun, frame, receiver or barrel
  • In order to carry or transport any gun, property owners must post that they consent to allow guns on their property

“Post-Bruen, we’ve seen a handful of states pass absolutely vile anti-civil rights laws. The piece we are fighting now surpasses all of them by a wide margin,” Wallace said in his video address.

“The bill that Speaker Mariano and Chairman Day have pushed forward is so above reproach that we have called it the Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act. It is the culmination of a flat-out tantrum because the Supreme Court slapped down their oppressive gun laws. For those that remember history, they’re perfectly emulating Gov. Wallace of Alabama after Brown v. Board of Education; denying the civil rights of lawful citizens in flagrant violation of the highest court in our nation.”


Mariano is eager to implement Massachusetts’ Massive Resistance to the Bruen decision as quickly as possible, and Wallace is a modern-day Paul Revere sounding the alarm to gun owners across the state and urging them not to remain complacent or silent as HD 4420 starts moving.

Representatives will gather in closed-door meetings next week to hold “candid discussions” about a 140-page gun reform bill that Speaker Ron Mariano wants to win House approval by the end of the month.

With the omnibus bill idling amid a House-Senate procedural dispute and national gun safety groups applying new pressure on legislative leaders, Mariano’s office scheduled a pair of private events for representatives and staff to talk about the proposal.

Mariano told reporters on Thursday that his goal is to win House approval for the omnibus bill (HD 4420) before lawmakers take a traditional break in August. Asked about how the House plans to navigate a procedural disagreement with the Senate that has stalled the bill’s early progress, Mariano said, “I’ll look at the different options that are at my disposal” and try to pick one.

He wouldn’t specify what those options entail.

“There are three or four of them,” Mariano said. “I’m not gonna go through them all right now.”

Rep. Michael Day, the bill’s author and co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, said the goal of the closed-door meetings is to clarify misconceptions and confusion as gun owner advocates mount intense opposition. He said the discussions would rebut claims that the bill is a “total scrapping of the current system.”

“Time is of the essence when it comes to firearm safety and making sure we make the improvements we need in this area,” Day said in an interview following a meeting Thursday with top House Democrats, including Mariano and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Aaron Michlewitz.


If Day is so eager to “clarify misconceptions” and rebut the claims of advocates like Wallace, why he’s he doing it behind closed doors instead of in public? In fact, I’ll make this offer to both Day and Wallace: come on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co and let’s discuss what exactly is in HD 4420 and the changes it makes to the state’s existing gun laws. Don’t hide behind closed doors. Let’s shed some sunlight on this bill instead of lawmakers lurking in the shadows discussing the legislation far away from the public.

Half of the House will gather Monday afternoon, and the other half will convene Tuesday morning, to hear a summary of the bill from Day and other top House Democrats.

“As we await the scheduling of a public hearing, we hope to continue soliciting feedback from the Membership,” a Mariano aide wrote in an email to representatives, acquired by the News Service, informing them of the events.

“To encourage candid discussions, we will organize the meetings by Floor Division and they will be Members only,” the aide added.

We’ll be talking with Jim Wallace about HD 4420 on Cam & Co next week, and in the meantime I encourage every Massachusetts gun owner to watch Wallace’s address and get involved; write and call your lawmakers, make plans to attend the hearing and testify if possible, donate to GOAL in anticipation of the legal fight to come, and inform your fellow gun owners about the existential threat to our Second Amendment rights that Democrats are trying to rush into law before they leave town for a summer break.


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