MA state 2A group sees chance to add pro-freedom amendments to budget

(AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

The Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) is always doing some serious heavy lifting in the Commonwealth. GOAL constantly has the odds stacked against them. Massachusetts is not really known for freedom and tolerance in regards to civil liberties. Something that our short memories tend to forget concerns a few little witch trials in a place named Salem. The state has a deep rooted history in hanging those that are different from another or those the people find disagreeable. The home of where the shot was heard around the world has morphed into a civil rights wasteland, where gun owners are second class citizens.

Recently GOAL sent out an alert concerning the Senate budget and amendments thereof.

The Massachusetts State Senate budget has been released and the Senate is likely to begin debate on amendments and the budget itself next week (week of 5/23/22). You can find the Senate’s budget here and all of the amendments here.

GOAL is especially interested in six amendments:

Amendment 5: Wildlife Habitat Management through sale of conservation stamps filed by Sen. Anne Gobi

Amendment 16: Use of Crossbows for Hunting filed by Sen. Anne Gobi

Amendment 17: Hunting Setbacks with Bow and Arrow filed by Sen. Anne Gobi

Amendment 18: Sunday Bow Hunting filed by Sen. Anne Gobi

Amendment 797: Commission on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention filed by Sen. John Velis

Amendment 940: Term Correction (AG’s crime report) filed by Sen. Bruce Tarr

Please consider reaching out to your Senator to advocate that these amendments be added to the final version of the Senate’s Budget. This will go a long way toward making sure they end up as part of the final budget signed by the Governor. You can find your Senator by your location here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Of the proposed amendments of interest to GOAL, several are related to hunting and wildlife management. One of the amendments involves the verbiage used within the Attorney General’s crime report and the other remaining amendment involves the creation of a suicide prevention commission. These are all worthy measures to get behind.

Statistically, 2/3rs of all firearm deaths are attributed to persons dying via suicide by firearm. This statistic adds to a grossly inflated number of deaths that are oftentimes used to argue against the Second Amendment. The subject of suicide and suicide prevetion/awareness is one we should all, as a society, seek to take ownership of. The amendment adds some government accountability in furthering mitigation efforts in the way of studying death by suicide. The text of  Amendment 797: Commission on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention filed by Sen. John Velis, reads as follows:

“SECTION XX. There shall be established the Massachusetts Commission on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Management to be comprised of seven members; The Governor or his/her designee, the Attorney General or his/her designee, the Secretary of Health and Human Services or his/her designee, the Commissioner of The Department of Mental Health or his/her designee, the Commissioner of Executive Office of Public Safety and Security or his/her designee, the Speaker of the House or his/her designee, and the Senate President or his/her designee. Said commission shall examine the state of suicide prevention and mental health crisis management in the  Commonwealth. The commission will include in its study emergency and outpatient care needs, inpatient and long-term care needs, facility and infrastructure needs, public information and outreach; professional training needs and potential shortages, establishing a dedicated fund suitable to accept donations from charitable organizations for said needs and other means of funding sources. Said commission shall examine current and proposed suicide prevention and mental health crisis management measures including but not limited to counseling services, diversionary programs, doctors’ interventions, police wellness visits, court programs, youth education, Sections 12 and Section 35 of Chapter 123 and shall issue a report no later than January 1 2023 with recommendations for improvements to those efforts including expanded access, additional channels of communication, improvements to follow up programs, assistance on securing a home from materials that could be a danger to individuals who may be a risk to themselves, and increased marketing. Said commission shall also report on the current relative statistics regarding suicide and the means of suicide as established by the Injury Surveillance Program under the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and shall also include legal information on how certain means of suicide or harm such as firearms, excessive medications or alcohol, suffocation or hanging can be handled if believed to be a potential hazard.”

Thanks to GOAL for bringing these matters to the attention of Massachusetts gun owners and the people at large. Pledging support for pro-freedom measures and reaching out to respective lawmakers is an important part of the process. While the voices of liberty minded persons in the Bay State often go ignored, it makes it that much more important that they speak up when there’s a boon to. We’ll be keeping our eyes on the happenings in Massachusetts, as well as staying in close contact with our friends over at The Gun Owners’ Action League.

From Massachusetts and not a member? Consider joining. From a pro-freedom state? Consider adopting Massachusetts and pledging support to this group. You don’t want the crumby laws from the likes of Massachusetts to travel to where you live!