I’ve had Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League on Cam & Co so often the past few weeks I jokingly suggested to him that we rename the show Cam & Jim & Co, but what’s happening in Massachusetts right now is kno laughing matter, and I’m grateful that Wallace could join me once again on today’s program to go over the details of Tuesday’s hearing on HD 4607 as well as what happens next.
Though the state has had some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation for decades now, Wallace chided lawmakers for drafting a bill that goes even further in restricting the rights of lawful gun owners, while doing absolutely nothing to punish or stiffen the consequences for violent criminals and illegal gun owners who are responsible for the vast majority of gun-involved crimes.
Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League, called the legislation “the most egregious attack on civil rights I have seen from a government in this century, in Massachusetts and nationwide.”
“This is nothing but a tantrum after Bruen,” he said, referring to a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down New York’s concealed-carry law and has drawn the attention of Massachusetts Democrats. “Even though there’s nothing in here to reduce crime, suicides and everything else, for the first time in my career I’m going to say this: you might have a bigger problem, because 600,000 lawful citizens are going to tap out. We’re done. We’re done. Twenty-five years of trying to comply with the garbage laws that have only increased crime and suicide in Massachusetts, and now you’re going to do it again, and make it worse?“
“I would urge everybody in this building to tread very cautiously on how you proceed with this thing, because you’re gonna make history, and it’s not gonna be good history,” Wallace added.
HD 4607 is already making history of sorts. Wallace says for the first time he can remember, Massachusetts police chiefs voted unanimously to oppose the gun control measure authored by Rep. Michael Day. Not only does the bill foist a host of new and unfunded administrative mandates on police departments across the state, unlike many gun control bills law enforcement is not exempt from most of its provisions. Just like other licensed gun owners, off-duty police officers would be barred from lawfully carrying in all government buildings and private personal property (unless the property owner specifically posts signage to the contrary), while even on-duty officers from out of state would be prohibited from carrying guns banned in Massachusetts while on the job. As Wallace told lawmakers, if HD 4607 becomes law the next time Joe Biden comes to Boston the Secret Service would be required to leave their guns behind… or at least replace them with Massachusetts-compliant sidearms.
Retired Chief Mark Leahy, the group’s executive director, told lawmakers that MCOPA members voted unanimously earlier Tuesday not to support the bill in its current form.
“While one violent death is too many, this bill won’t solve that problem. If you have a problem in one Massachusetts city or another, I’d suggest focusing your attention on that location, while ensuring that other criminal violations are also suitably addressed and prosecuted there. The rest of us do not need the extra attention,” Leahy wrote in his testimony to lawmakers. “Our strict Massachusetts gun laws work. The registration of firearms will not reduce gun violence. Limiting where lawfully licensed firearms holders may go — including your off-duty police officers and state troopers — will not reduce gun violence. Criminals will not be deterred by these measures. While there is merit to addressing ghost guns, that can be handled in a stand-alone bill.”
As Wallace reminded me, while the current text of HD 4607 is bad enough, it’s probably going to become even worse once the bill reaches the floor and Democrats have the opportunity to introduce dozens of last-minute amendments to the legislation.
House Democrats are hoping to overcome the stiff opposition to HD 4607 by rushing the bill to the floor for a vote, perhaps as early as next week. Wallace tells Bearing Arms that the latest rumor floating around the statehouse is that House Speaker Ron Mariano wants a final vote on HD 4607 next Wednesday, and he says gun owners throughout the state need to contact their representatives now and urge them to vote against this rights-infringing, criminal-coddling, nightmare piece of legislation. Some Democrats, including Rep. Aaron Saunders, have already expressed reservations about moving HD 4607 so quickly, so there’s still a chance to derail or defeat the legislation if it does come up for a vote next week despite the Democrats’ sizeable majority in the House.
Check out the entire conversation with Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League in the video window below, and stay tuned. The weather may be getting cooler in Massachusetts, but the fight for our fundamental civil rights is definitely heating up.