Massachusetts Democrats have wasted no time in rushing to enact a sweeping gun control scheme that flips the right to keep and bear arms on its head and turns it into a privilege to be doled out only those deemed “suitable” by the state or local authorities. Introduced late last week, HD 4607 received its first hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, and Gun Owners Action League executive director Jim Wallace ripped the bill to shreds (rhetorically, anyway) and the intent behind it.
As Wallace recently described the revamped gun control bill, which was first introduced in the summer before being pulled back after overwhelming opposition from gun owners, law enforcement, and even a handful of mayors, as “slightly less toxic” than its predecessor HD 4420, but he made it abundantly clear in today’s testimony that the legislation is nowhere close to acceptable… constitutional.
“This is the most aggressive attack on civil rights I have seen,” James L. Wallace, the executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League, headquartered in Northborough, told a joint hearing of the House’s Ways & Means Committee and the House members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. “Six-hundred-thousand law-abiding citizens will tap out. We’re done.”
The bill, Wallace added, is “so strict that if [President] Joe Biden came to Massachusetts, his Secret Service detail would have to leave their weapons in D.C.”
While advocates have said that Day’s bill simplifies the Bay State’s existing gun laws and expands its protections, Wallace and two of his colleagues argued Tuesday that it does the exact opposite, and will make it harder for law-abiding gun owners to comply with statute.
If it’s eventually signed into law, the bill “does nothing to make Massachusetts safer …. it’s simply an attack on our civil rights,” Jonathan Green, the group’s director of education and training, told lawmakers.
The problems with HD 4607 start with its premise. The vast majority of crimes in which a gun is used that are committed in Massachusetts have nothing to do with lawful or licensed gun owners, yet they’re the target of the vast majority of HD 4607’s new restrictions and mandates. The proponents of the bill say it’s absolutely necessary to improve public safety, pointing to recent incidents like a shooting in Holyoke that critically injured a pregnant woman and killed her unborn child. What they neglect to mention is at least one of the two men charged with murder in the incident has an open case against him for illegal gun possession. I’ve not been able to determine if the second suspect has an active license to carry, but I’d be utterly shocked if that turns out to be the case.
Beyond all of the new prohibitions, regulations, and restrictions imposed by HD 4607, the legislation also foists a host of unfunded mandates on law enforcement; again, all aimed at keeping a close eye on legal gun owners at the expense of concentrating on the small number of violent offenders who are responsible for a majority of violent crime in their communities. Time, money, and manpower that should be spent on going after repeat offenders and disrupting drug and gang networks will be used on bureaucratic nonsense instead, and it won’t just be gun owners who end up paying the price.
Wallace wasn’t the only speaker to blast HD 4607. During the same hearing the representative from the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association told lawmakers that their members are unanimously against the bill. Every member of the association thinks HD 4607 is a bad idea. That’s pretty amazing when you think about the political bent of Massachusetts and the fact that so many of these positions are political appointments. Gun owners across the country should take heart at the breadth and depth of opposition that we’re seeing to these unconstitutional assaults on our right to keep and bear arms, and those in Massachusetts need to speak up now while there’s a chance to derail this attack in the legislature rather than relying on the courts.