Control freak state and local jurisdictions have done and continue to do everything within their powers to subvert the Second Amendment. We’ve seen it time and time again, a locality that just can’t handle freedom ringing, so they go forward with passing some sort of an unconstitutional resolution or ordinance. While we’re dealing with tyrants that force “education” down the throats of gun owners – in the interest of public safety – policy makers and executives should be forced to read the Constitution, and prior to anything related to firearms the McDonald, Heller, Caetano, and Buren cases. Massachusetts is home of some of the finest goose stepping witch hangers in the Union. Recently an alert went out that Westford, Massachusetts has raised a warrant to be voted on which would greatly affect constitutionally protected activities.
Our friends over at the Gun Owners’ Action League alerted their membership of an upcoming meeting, Monday October, 16th, 2023in Westford, which will ask for a vote on the warrant.
There is an article (9) on the warrant for the upcoming town meeting that would reclassify the Westford Sportsmen’s Club as a “Firearm Business”. This move would bring the club into all sorts of zoning restrictions including “… potential disruption of peace and quiet enjoyment of the community …”
Much like the Speaker of the House, Ron Mariano , tried to accomplish with HD.4420, The Westford Select Board and Planning Board are trying to “Ram Through” a new Zoning Bylaw that will ultimately reduce your Second Amendment rights. This Zoning Bylaw has nothing to do with public safety. It is simply another tantrum that is trying to end run the Bruen decision!
The proposed bylaw change would re-regulate non-profit sportsmen’s clubs as firearm retailers and make it virtually impossible for any new firearms business to locate in Westford.
We urge town residents to ATTEND TOWN MEETING ON MONDAY OCTOBER 16th and vote NO.
If you are not a town resident, make sure you get the word out to anyone that is!
These meetings and weighing in on the matters are very important to the safeguarding of this fundamental right. Why the Town of Westford had decided now is a good time to wage war on local rod and gun clubs is not known, however, this is not the first time we’ve seen similar acts from towns this year in the Bay State.
Earlier this year we reported on the Town of Sudbury having a citizen warrant raised to essentially outlaw gun shops in the town. The move to outlaw the Second Amendment in Sudbury was spearheaded by Frank Riepe, and thankfully the matter was voted down – for the time being. The Select Board in Sudbury indicated they’d support such a measure if it were narrower than what Riepe brought to the table.
In the case of Westford, they’re seeking to change zoning bylaws.
To see if the Town will vote to amend Appendix A (Table of Principle Use Regulations) and section 10.2 (Definitions) of the Zoning ByLaw, and to Create a new Section 6.6 of the Zoning Bylaw, to regulate by Special Permit the location, sitting, design, placement security, safety, monitoring and other requirements for Firearms Businesses in town to address public safety concerns arising from the use of land, buildings, and structures for the operation of such businesses, and the potential disruption of peace and quiet enjoyment of the community, and related changes, copies of which are on file at the Office of the Planning Board and on the Town’s website at https://www.westfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/1494
To find the draft proposal, Westford makes people jump through a few hoops. For starters, the meeting agenda was a “scanned” document, not with recognizable text. This was akin to receiving a picture of a computer monitor from your grandmother when she wants to send you something, rather than just sending a screenshot. Digression be damned, from the bylaw draft, we have the following:
1. As used herein the term Firearm Business shall include limited membership clubs or other entities or associations not open to the general public, including those that are operated on a nonprofit basis.
As set forth in Section 18.104.22.168, as used herein the term Firearm Business shall include limited membership clubs or other entities or associations not open to the general public, including those that are operated on a nonprofit basis
Also as pointed out by GOAL in their alert, this will allow for the local rod and gun club to be regulated differently than they have been since their existence, and thus, potentially be harassed via “the system.”
There’s an info sheet that they’ve put out on what a Yes or No vote would “mean” to the citizens.
Article 9: Amend the Zoning Bylaw to Define and Regulate Firearm Businesses The proposed article would define and regulate Firearm Businesses in town. Under this amendment, Firearm Businesses would include the sale of firearms, the sale of ammunition, gunsmithing services, and firing ranges. Under our current Zoning Bylaw, these uses are allowed as-of-right and may not be treated any differently than other types of Retail, Light Manufacturing and Indoor and Outdoor Commercial Recreation businesses.
|a YES vote means||a NO vote means|
|Firearm Business along with related uses and terms would be added to the Zoning Bylaw and regulated separately from other uses.||Firearm Businesses will continue to be allowed under existing use categories such as Retail, Light Manufacturing, or Commercial Recreation, and perhaps other categories as may be determined by the Building Commissioner on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specific nature of the business.|
|A Special Permit from the Planning Board would be required to establish a Firearm Business. Special Permits provide greater discretion, allow boards to consider more criteria, and impose certain conditions of approval.||Firearm Businesses would continue to be allowed as-of-right, potentially requiring Site Plan Review from the Planning Board. Site Plan Review ordinarily may not be used to deny a project.|
|Firearm Businesses would be limited to 2 zoning districts: Commercial Highway (CH) and Industrial Highway (IH).||Depending on the specific services provided, Firearm Businesses would continue to be allowed in up to 7 zoning districts: Business (B), Commercial Highway (CH), Industrial A (IA), Industrial B (IB), Industrial C (C), Industrial D (ID), and Industrial Highway (IH).|
|Firearm Businesses would be required to satisfy the following buffers: 1,000 feet from schools and 500 feet from child care centers, places where children commonly congregate in organized activities, religious uses, and other Firearm Businesses.||There will continue to be no buffer requirements for Firearm Businesses.|
|There would be a limit of 4 special permits for Firearm Businesses in town. Only 2 of the 4 special permits would be available for retail Firearm Businesses (sales of firearms and/or ammunition).||There will continue to be no limit on the number of Firearm Businesses in town.|
|YES vote means you approve of the amendment as proposed. If the proposal receives a 2/3 majority vote and is subsequently approved by the Attorney General’s Office for consistency with other state and federal laws, then this proposal to specifically regulate Firearm Businesses in Westford becomes part of our Zoning Bylaw.||A NO vote means that you do not approve of the amendment as proposed. If the proposal fails to receive a 2/3 majority vote, then the current Zoning Bylaw continues to remain in effect, and there will be no additional criteria by which the Planning Board may regulate the establishment of Firearm Businesses.|
The truncated version of what a “no” vote means could best be summed up by, “a No vote means continued liberty and free market” in the town. The warrant being raised is alleged to be brought on by the board. We can only hope that this act is one of ignorance rather than one of malicious intent. Unfortunately, it’s probably both.
While I think if the board were educated on the topic, we’d easily be able to discern their level of moral fiber by them continuing to press the issue. Regardless of the size of the town, limiting the municipality to there being only two gun shops and two ranges, by law, is ridiculous. That’s all in addition to whatever other harassing policies they can come up with concerning the execution of the specific regulations. More unconstitutional provisions that tax-paying gun owners will have to pay for twice if litigated against.
The “special” meeting is on October 16th, 2023, at Westford Academy, starting at 07:00 p.m. The Gun Owners Action League said there’s also an informational session being held at the Westford Sportsmen’s Club on October 5, 2023 at 07:00 p.m. and potential attendees can sign up HERE.