New Lawsuit Takes On An Odd Massachusetts Gun Control Law

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

There are many games that the anti-freedom caucus has played over the years. From the failed and ineffective “assault weapons” ban of the 1990s to “smart guns” in New Jersey. All of the provisions in these laws restrict honest people while having a zero net effect on the “public safety” the talking heads say the laws are there to enhance.

Massachusetts has had a roster of approved handguns, like California, for many years. These rosters are just a way to extort money from firearm manufacturers and do not ensure “safer” products are on the market. For example, should a manufacturer change simply the color of an “approved” firearm on the roster in California, that firearm needs to be re-approved. These approval processes come with strict standards, waiting periods, and heavy fees. Further, they limit the availability of many makes and models of different firearms for citizens to select for self-defense.

On June 8, 2021, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that they are challenging the statute in Massachusetts that mandates an approved roster of handguns in the MA District Court. From their press release:

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) today filed a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ ban on constitutionally protected, modern handguns commonly possessed and used for lawful purposes throughout the United States. The complaint can be found at FPCLegal.org.

In addition to State laws requiring that gun owners obtain a Firearms Identification Card or License to Carry Firearms, Massachusetts also prohibits the commercial sale of handguns that are not on its “Approved Handgun Roster” nor prohibited by Attorney General Maura Healey’s “Handgun Sales Regulations.” As a result, Massachusetts residents are prevented from purchasing a large number of popular makes and models of constitutionally protected handguns.

The complaint of the lawsuit Granata v. Healey can be read in full HERE. The release further goes on to explain:

FPC’s complaint alleges that the State’s laws and regulations “effectively operat[e] as a bar to the exercise of the fundamental right to bear protected arms,” which “violate[s] Plaintiffs’ rights, and the rights of those similarly situated, under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.” In addition, the complaint observes that “some of Massachusetts’ ‘safety’ requirements, such as the mandated 10-lb. trigger pull… make handguns so outfitted more difficult to operate effectively and thus more difficult to operate safely.”

FPC makes a valid point about the law being challenged. Jurisdictions that somehow think that their own rigorous standards will make guns “safer” is beyond onerous and is laughable. No reputable firearm manufacturer would produce a firearm that did not meet their own standards of perfection and safety, and lawmakers often ignore the “master safety” when it comes to firearm use; the person behind the gun. Just as we can’t legislate away evil, we can’t legislate away stupidity. If all gun users simply “treated all firearms as if they were loaded at all times” we’d probably not be having this conversation now. Instead many of the the standards set make firearms less safe.

Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations made the following statement about the case in the release:

The State of Massachusetts and Attorney General Healey unconstitutionally infringe upon the fundamental, individual Second Amendment rights of the People by restricting them from acquiring the common, modern handgun of their choice for self-defense. Massachusetts’ laws do not support public safety and cannot survive any constitutionally appropriate mode of scrutiny. Rather, the State’s laws prevent people from exercising their rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Such clearly unjust, unconstitutional laws cannot be permitted to stand, and we look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all law-abiding Bay State residents.

It’s refreshing to see the continued onslaught of litigation levied against the United States’ problem children; Massachusetts, California, New York, New Jersey, to name a few. Legal challenges to such laws need to continue, as the far reaching effects may touch on policies that mandate the aforementioned “smart guns”, magazine capacity limitations, or other crazed ideas that the anti-freedom caucus might dream up in the years to come.

I reached out to my friends over at the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) out of Massachusetts. While GOAL is not involved in the lawsuit, they certainly have a vested interest. Jon Green, GOAL’s Director of Education & Training had this to say about FPC’s filing:

GOAL is extremely pleased and thankful for FPC’s assistance in finding potential remedy regarding the lawful sale of firearms for the Commonwealth’s responsible gun owners. Perhaps in the not too distant future, Massachusetts citizens will have access to the same safe and efficient firearms enjoyed by millions of others across the USA.

Green hits the nail on the head. This is exactly what the suit is about “responsible gun owners” and getting them the relief they deserve. At the end of the day these bad actors that create unconstitutional laws don’t care about actual safety or criminal activity. If they did, they’d do things like subsidize training or overhaul their own criminal justice systems rather than come up with more mandates. They’d rather enact “see I’m doing something” laws that restrict the law abiding citizen, instead of taking on the root causes as to why their states have some of the most dangerous cities in America (as illustrated HERE and HERE). How many criminals really care if their weapon of choice is on an approved roster?

Dec 02, 2021 7:30 PM ET