A conversation with Jay McMahon for MA Attorney General

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The other week I had the opportunity to chat with attorney Jay McMahon. McMahon is currently running for Attorney General in Massachusetts on the GOP ticket. I first was made aware of McMahon when he previously ran for Attorney General against Maura Healey back in 2018. A lot has changed since then, including some lessons learned. McMahon is running as what I’d describe as a Constitutionalist or Originalist, and has a healthy respect for our fundamental rights, in particular the right to keep and bear arms. That respect he has outlined on his campaign page:

I can read the Second Amendment, it’s not rocket science, I will uphold it.

I know that the answer to a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.

I know that people with gun licenses do not commit gun crimes; it’s a fact.

McMahon, who ran for Attorney General in 2018 against Healey and ran for State Senator in 2020 has performed well in all the primaries. While his 2018 race against Healey left him with less than satisfactory numbers, his 2020 performance in the State Senate race was commendable. If you asked McMahon about that 2018 race, he’d let you know he’s learned a thing or two, as well as offer up some sage words on Healey as a person.

I have a huge campaign going statewide. I’m running for Attorney General. This is my second time at it. I ran four years ago against Maura Healey. That was an interesting trip.

I’ll tell you what, Maura Healey is the face of evil for any gun owner in Massachusetts. She just somehow thinks that if you have a gun, you commit crimes.

And so it was fun running against her. I lost. I intended to win. I ran hard. And an interesting story…The day, that night when I lost that election in November 2018, I went home, I wasn’t depressed, but I was disappointed. And I thought, well, I’ll give it some time. So I went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, I nudged my wife and I said, “Hey, hey, I know what I could do differently next time.” She looked at me like she just bit into a lemon and she goes, “Are you serious? Will you give it a break?” She goes, “Can we talk about this on vacation?” Because I promised her I’d take her on vacation, win or lose, and I said “Yes, we will.” And I gotta tell you something, John, if you want to sulk, a good place to do it is in the Caribbean.

Something that’s very important to point out is that while McMahon is running for Attorney General and his opponent in that race is Democrat Andrea Campbell, Maura Healey is running for Governor. The Bay State will be 100% getting a new Attorney General that’s not Healey, they’ll also be getting a new Governor that might be.

No one can accuse McMahon of sour grapes on any of this either because Healey truly is a civil rights wrecking machine. The criticism that McMahon has, many with half of a brain should be able to share.

Maura Healey, she deserves the ire of all gun owners in Massachusetts. But I’ll tell you what, she caused a hell of a lot more problems than she ever thought she solved. Do you know, or I should say your listeners, your readers should know that 30,000 drug convictions have been overturned because of the incompetence and dare I say the corruption of her office. This person is the worst Attorney General we have ever had. And she’s even…she would be an even worse Governor. And I hope that all your audience does not…I hope no one in your audience votes for her.

I assured McMahon that I found it doubtful that there’ll be many people scouring the pages of Bearing Arms on the regular that’ll ever vote for a pinko like Healey.

What’s McMahon going to focus on should he find himself elected? For starters, he’s a law and order kind of guy. Those 30,000 drug convictions that were overturned would not have occurred under McMahon’s leadership. McMahon not only wants law and order but wishes to actually address the drug issues in the Bay State, which is outlined on his campaign page.

I will be proactive in tackling and ending the Opioid Epidemic in this state.

I will seek appropriate funding for successful opiate rehabilitation.

We will give these unfortunate people their lives back with complete healing.

I jokingly asked McMahon not what he’s planning on doing as soon as he’s in office, but rather undoing. He chucked and noted “You know, that’s a good way to say it. A lot of work to undo.”

Some of that undoing has to do with the Second Amendment. Back in 2016 Healey illegally issued an edict on regulating the sale of semi-automatic rifles in Massachusetts, leaving gun stores no longer selling popular AR variant firearms. I asked McMahon for a quick summary of what his first day in office would look like on the issue, and he gave a promising answer, “The enforcement notice issued by my predecessor, Maura Healy, in June of 2016 is hereby rescinded and revoked. Okay, that’s what it’s gonna be.”

In the wake of NYSRPA v. Bruen, I reported on all kinds of shenanigans concerning the future enforcement of the provisions in Massachusetts’s law that are identical to NY’s “good cause” requirement. Both the current RINO Governor and Attorney General Healey worked to split hairs on what’s going to fit the rubric set forth in Thomas’s decision. McMahon spoke to that a bit in our conversation about the “suitability” requirement as a potential hold up rather than any particular need being met.

Suitability is just a very fuzzy term. In Massachusetts, the licensing authority is the police chief or police commissioner of any of the cities or towns in Massachusetts.

Now, here’s the problem with that. The Second Amendment is an individual right against the government. They’re not granted by the government. It’s those unalienable rights that are spoken about in the Declaration of Independence…But if you read the Second Amendment, it says, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It doesn’t say the people shall have a right to keep and bear arms. So the right was already understood as preexisting to the Constitution, which means it’s one of those unalienable rights spoken of in the Declaration of Independence. That is unalienable rights given to us by our creator. Now, that’s what our founding fathers declared. No court has overturned them. But what they have done has been just what it wants them not to do. They’ve infringed upon it.

Now in Massachusetts, you got to ask a government official for the right to exercise your Second Amendment. And to me, right away, that alone, that scenario violates the Constitution, but let’s go one step further…So you go to your local police chief, and you couldn’t be in a nicer town with a police chief as a patriotic American, he took the oath of office like every single other one has and says, “Yes, I really need to find a problem not to give you a license to carry. I really need to find a problem, a serious problem that would go with the Constitution.” That’s very difficult to do. So that’s in the first five items of the statute in Massachusetts, but the sixth one is suitability.

Suitability, says if the police chief thinks because you had a restraining order back a couple of years ago, or you had a drunk driving charge, not that there was a gun in the car, you just had a drunk driving charge, and some prosecutor talked you into pleading guilty and paying a small fine, and that was the end of it. And now 20 years later, that’s haunting you…So you can’t have a license to carry in Massachusetts. It’s disgraceful. It’s disgusting. It’s certainly against the Constitution. But that’s what we got. So, now that’s called suitability.

McMahon brings with him a good set of experiences as well as a solid foundation as a lawyer. Transitioning from being a top rated attorney to a high ranking executive in State Government is something McMahon seems ready to tackle. In talking with McMahon, he gave me some of his background, which is relevant given his aspirations.

I’m a Republican. I’ve been married for 30 years to my wife. We’re the parents of five children. After high school I went to the Massachusetts Army National Guard. While I was there in the National Guard some officers approached me and said, “You seem like a good candidate for Officers Candidate School.” And they encouraged me to take the exams and everything. And I did all that. I did very well. I can remember standing in front of a General, because they still interview you, no matter how good you do. They interview you because they want to make sure that you’re going to be the kind of officer they want. So I was 19 while I was in there. And the General said to me, he asked me a few questions. He looked me right in the eye and he goes, “If we let you in here are you gonna screw up?” I looked him right in the eye. I stood up. I saluted him. And I said, “No, sir. I won’t. I won’t betray the honor and dignity of being a cadet in this academy.” And he goes, “All right. All right, you’ll hear back from us.”

And hear back McMahon did. He was told by an adjunct that the General was very impressed by him and he was admitted into Officers Candidate School. McMahon became a Lieutenant in the Military Police and did his basic in Fort Knox. After his time in the National Guard, McMahon returned to Cape Cod to work at the county Sheriff’s office and eventually become a municipal police officer. And subsequent to his time in law enforcement, McMahon became an attorney.

I’ve got 35 years as a lawyer. I have had 1000s of cases in Massachusetts, at every level of court, both state and federal. And I have been before almost every federal state and municipal board or commission. So I’ve got vast experience in almost every area of the law, where the Attorney General appears.

My conversation with McMahon went on longer than others whom I’ve interviewed in the past. Talking to McMahon was not like just talking to the subject of another Second Amendment story, it was like talking to an old friend. There’s something familiar and down to Earth with the way McMahon handles himself that it’s difficult to not to find yourself talking down one trail and then back up another, on all kinds of topics.

Perhaps the familiarity is wrapped up in the quixotic notion that I’ve unknowingly driven past his office thousands of times two decades ago when I went to college, his office neatly nestled at the foot of Academy Drive. Or the familiarity could be seated keenly within the kernel of our chat, which is that McMahon clearly understands our fundamental rights, and it sure seems like he will protect them should he find himself seated as the next Attorney General. It’s refreshing interviewing a candidate that does not have to cram the Second Amendment into their repertoire just because they’re expected to for talking points, McMahon more than gets it.

One of the final questions I asked of McMahon has to do with the ballot that Bay Staters will find on election day or through their early voting. McMahon had this to tell me about how his name is on the ballot:

It’s James R. McMahon III. Jay is a nickname. It’s a nickname for James as well as Jimmy…if somebody calls me Jimmy, I know that they really don’t know me, but I still answer to it. But my friends like you, John, My friends call me Jay. But most people know that because I’m the only McMahon running for Attorney General, and all my signs say “McMahon for Attorney General.”

The Massachusetts General Election is being held on November 8th 2022. More information about McMahon can be found on his main page at: https://www.attorneyjaymcmahon.com/ and he said that email is the best way to reach out to him.

If you’d like to hear my conversation in full with Jay McMahon, you can do so in the embed below or by clicking HERE.