Massachusetts has always loved gun control. For a while, they had a reputation as one of the most anti-gun states in the country.
Since then, they’ve been eclipsed by California–which was always a close race anyway–as well as states like New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
But that shouldn’t be a huge issue. After all, if all those gun control laws worked as advertised, there shouldn’t be a need for more of them, now should there?
Well, it seems Massachusetts wants its crown back.
Before they went home for the holiday, the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security updated the legislative calendar to show they would meet Tuesday at 11 a.m. to hear testimony on 56 firearms bills offered this session.
An Act modernizing firearms laws, filed by Stoneham Rep. Michael Day, will not be heard by the joint committee. That controversial bill, which has been renumbered several times, was eventually passed through the House Ways and Means Committee without Senate input and attached to a budget bill. The Senate has not moved on the bill, but leadership in the upper chamber has expressed support for moving a similar omnibus gun bill this session.
Under consideration Tuesday, among many others, are bills which would institute a live fire requirement for getting and keeping a firearms license, require universal background checks for private gun sales, raise the age for possession of a firearm to 21, and outright ban semi-automatic firearms.
Now, they already have a permit requirement in order to purchase a firearm at all, which means anyone who tries to buy a gun from anyone with such a license has already undergone a background check and anyone who isn’t presenting the license is trying to buy a gun illegally anyway, but now they want to make them go through another background check.
Live fire requirements for those licenses is legally untenable, in my opinion, because we’re talking about a right here and we’ve never required proficiency to be illustrated to exercise any other rights. Just look at how bad people are with the English language on social media sometime.
We’ve long illustrated why prohibiting guns to legal adults under 21 was going to be an issue, as well.
Yet all of that pales beside the idea of banning semi-automatic firearms. After all, most handguns in this day and age are semi-automatic, as are numerous hunting rifles and shotguns. In fact, semi-automatic shotguns are kind of the preferred firearm for bird hunting.
But now Massachusetts is considering banning all of these in the name of gun control?
It’s entirely possible that the twit who introduced this doesn’t realize that “semi-automatic firearms” includes a lot of stuff that isn’t AR-15s. After all, we see a lot of people try to legislate things they don’t understand in the least, so that wouldn’t be shocking.
What it looks like is that gun rights advocates in the commonwealth are going to have their hands busy in the coming weeks.