With 50 states, it’s hard to keep up on every gun control bill out there. That’s probably why I missed a couple of bills that have popped up in Massachusetts until today.
Now, I really shouldn’t be surprised by what folks in Massachusetts do at any given time when it comes to gun control. They’re not exactly fans of the right to keep and bear arms, which is a little ironic considering their role in American history. Yet, despite knowing better, I still found myself shocked by the depths of disgusting lawmakers in the state are considering when it comes to gun control
First, let’s start with Bill H.3782.
Section 122 of chapter 140 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
Every person licensed to sell, rent or lease firearms shall, for each firearm, contact the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory Ballistics Section to test-fire the firearm, photograph the firearm and prepare ballistics reports based upon their examination to be submitted to along with the make, model, serial number, caliber, barrel length, and gun surface finish for the gun transaction to the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System and Firearm Records Bureau. After the gun information has been entered, every licensed person shall contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
That’s right. They want to take a picture and test fire every firearm before you get to buy it. There’s no indication here that this wouldn’t apply to a firearm you purchased elsewhere and have sent to your FFL in Massachusetts. In other words, the state is going to get to shoot your gun before you do, all so they can build a ballistic database.
This is all required to be done before the background check is completed.
Now, that’s annoying and will understandably upset some folks. However, that’s not really the worst of it. No, it seems there’s a bill worse.
You see, Bill H. 3576 seeks to require that each gun owner be required to submit an affidavit annually attesting what guns they own.
SECTION 1. Paragraph (8) of section 129B of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “information”, in line 299, the following words: – or who fails to annually notify the licensing authority pursuant to paragraph (11A).
SECTION 2. Said section 129B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after paragraph 10 the following paragraph:–
(11A) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (9), a cardholder shall annually verify by written notice, in the form of a sworn affidavit or declaration to the licensing authority that issued such card, that the cardholder has not lost a firearm or had a firearm stolen from the cardholder’s possession since the date of the cardholder’s last renewal or issuance.
SECTION 3. Subsection (h) of said section 131, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “information”, in line 399, the following words:– or who fails to annually notify the licensing authority pursuant to subsection (l).
SECTION 4. Subsection (l) of section 131 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:– The holder of each such license to carry a firearm shall annually verify by written notice, in the form of a sworn affidavit or declaration to the licensing authority that issued such license, that the license holder has not lost a firearm or had a firearm stolen from the license holder’s possession since the date of the license holder’s last renewal or issuance.
In other words, you’re going to have to keep telling the state exactly what you own each and every year or face losing your license.
The Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts (GOAL) frames this as a mandatory inspection of your guns, which isn’t far from the truth. However, I do also think that’s a tad inflammatory since the bill doesn’t appear to authorize anyone to enter your home to look for themselves.
The truth isn’t much better, though.
You see, the state doesn’t have a gun registration scheme per se, what this will do is give the state a better ability to track firearms and potentially punish people for having guns stolen, especially since Bill H.2044 seeks to impose civil liability on gun owners whose stolen weapons are used to hurt another.
These bills seem to work in conjunction to make it untenable to own a firearm in Massachusetts, which I suspect is all part of their plan.
GOAL notes that there’s a hearing on August 28 on these bills. I urge anyone in the state who can go to do so and fight these measures.