More Massachusetts police chiefs publicly slam new nightmare gun control bill

AP Photo/John Minchillo

This morning I wrote about the scathing response to HD 4420 penned by the Firearms Committee of the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, warning that the legislation that Democrats are trying to ram into law in the next couple of weeks would turn many lawful gun owners into felons overnight. Now we’re starting to see individual chiefs speak out against the bill as well, with at least two chiefs taking to Facebook to warn the public about the dangers lurking inside the legislation.


Plymouth Police Chief Dana Flynn is among those law enforcement officials urging residents to contact their lawmakers and oppose the bill in its current form, which he says “seems more designed to invade the privacy and vandalize and confiscate the property of law-abiding citizens than it does protecting them.”

I have read the relevant portions of H.D. 4420, a bill proposing a substantial rewrite of Massachusetts’ existing gun laws. Despite claims this bill attempts to stem the flow of illegal firearms into the state while increasing protection from gun violence, I see no language that would lead one to believe this rationale to be true. Instead, it appears the only thing this bill will accomplish is turning thousands of our law-abiding residents into criminals overnight.
This bill seems more designed to invade the privacy and vandalize and confiscate the property of law-abiding citizens than it does protecting them.
As we saw all too clearly this week in the State Forest, our issue is with criminals who have guns NOW, not those we stand to make into criminals LATER. Instead of punishing criminals or those prohibited from possessing firearms, this bill targets lawful gun owners who are some of the most well vetted in both the Commonwealth and the entire nation. There is nothing in this bill that mandates the judicial system enforce the laws currently in full force and effect.
When was the last time anyone served time under Bartley-Fox? For instance, we now know attempting to shoot and murder seven people, including five police officers, will result in just five to seven years in prison.
We recently had an incident in our community where a lawfully licensed firearm holder stopped the attempted kidnapping, and potentially worse, of a woman in a domestic violence incident. This gentleman was a contractor working at a residence across the street. Under this bill, if this Samaritan did not have expressed written consent of the victim/homeowner to have his firearm on her premises, he would be subject to a criminal charge. The same goes for an off-duty Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputy who saved countless lives a few years back when he ended a stabbing rampage in a Taunton restaurant.
Instead of being recognized as the heroes they are, they would be charged with a crime, and recognized at their arraignment.
If nothing else, this bill will make both enforcement and compliance with our laws even more complicated and confusing. As anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of trying to navigate our already-strict gun laws knows, it’s already confusing enough. The firearms law guide used by our officers already clocks in at well over 400 pages. This bill will jostle definitions and provisions all around the books with various changes, placing our laws into an even greater state of misunderstanding and chaos.
As a licensing authority which consistently ranks within the top ten municipalities in the entire Commonwealth for the number of firearms licenses, this is of grave concern to me.
As a law enforcement officer first and foremost, I take the duty of protecting persons from any type of violence as my ultimate mission. However, this bill targets the wrong individuals and needs to be reconsidered.
In closing, I urge our State House delegation to withhold their support from this bill as written.
Out in western Massachusetts, the Ware PD (where I visited my grandparents for many years growing up) is also pulling no punches in its criticism of the “travesty of a bill“. This wasn’t written by anyone in “the gun lobby”, mind you. These views represent the department that would be charged with enforcing every one of the unconstitutional infringements that Democrats are racing to turn into law.
The Ware Police Department would like to bring an important matter to your attention: the proposed anti-gun Bill currently under consideration (HD 4420, An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws). We understand that this state-level legislation has raised concerns among law-abiding citizens who value their Second Amendment rights.
We recognize that the right to bear arms is a fundamental aspect of our nation’s history and an essential component of personal and collective security. As members of the police force, we are committed to upholding the law and defending the rights of our community members.
A plethora of blatantly unconstitutional proposals litter this travesty of a Bill, too many to mention here; however, of particular egregiousness is the criminalization of carrying firearms in certain so-called “prohibited locations”, including businesses and private properties, EVEN WHILE HOLDING A VALID LICENSE TO CARRY. Not even off-duty police officers will be exempted from this appalling mandate.
Gun Free zones have been proven to have no effect on stopping crime, in fact they embolden criminals to seek out these areas as soft targets of opportunity, where their chances of meeting resistance will be minimal.
This Bill does not address criminals. Rather it focuses on making criminals out of law-abiding citizens and further hampers police agencies from combating true crime.
We believe that public input and engagement are crucial in shaping legislation that reflects the diverse perspectives and concerns of our citizens. Therefore, we encourage you, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who have a long and storied history of throwing off the chains of our oppressors (let not this tradition die in the hands of our generation), to actively participate in the democratic process by voicing your opinions and taking appropriate actions to safeguard your rights.
Amazing. And truly a message that should help lift the spirits of the beleaguered Massachusetts gun owner, who so often feels (with good reason) that the entire weight of the State is being brought to bear against their most fundamental of civil rights. The Ware Police Department gets it, as does the Plymouth police chief, and I expect to see more departments and top officials join the ranks of those speaking out against the constitutional abomination called HD 4420 in the days to come.
Now’s the time for us to speak out as well, especially if you live in the Bay State. But those of us outside the state can help as well. Kick in some money to the 2A groups working on the ground, because if nothing else they’re gonna need it for the lawsuits that are certain to be filed if Democrats are actually willing to vote for this mass incarceration legislation that police chiefs warn would turn lawful gun owners into felons. I truly think there’s a chance to defeat HD 4420 if gun owners use their own voices, as well as amplifying the message from these chiefs. In fact, I think that’s why Democrats are trying to hard to rush into law before they break for the August recess. The longer this bill lingers, the worse its stench will become. They’ve got to pass it before the public realizes just how awful HD 4420 really is, and if anything the chiefs going public is going to put those efforts into overdrive.

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