July was a busy month for anti-gunners in Massachusetts as state attorney general Maura Healey took firearm legislation into her own hands. By July 20, she had rewritten state gun laws, reinstating and expanding the state’s 1998 ban (which was actually former President Bill Clinton’s rather extensive 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban) and issued enforcement notices to FFL (Federal Firearms License) holders informing them it was effective immediately.
"Gun manufacturers have manufactured these weapons as legal versions of prohibited guns, but they are illegal," Healy stated. "They are copies or duplicates of banned weapons and cannot be bought or sold in Massachusetts."
Taken from the enforcement notice regarding "copies or duplicates": "A weapon is a Copy or Duplicate and is therefore a prohibited Assault weapon if it meets one or both of the following tests and is 1) a semiautomatic rifle or handgun that was manufactured or subsequently configured with an ability to accept a detachable magazine, or 2) a semiautomatic shotgun.
Similarity Test: A firearm is a Copy or Duplicate if its internal function components are substantially similar in construction and configuration to those of an Enumerated Weapon. Under this test, a weapon is a Copy or Duplicate, for example, if the operating system and firing mechanism of the weapon are based on, or otherwise are substantially similar to, one of the Enumerated Weapons.
Interchangeability Test: A weapon is a Copy or Duplicate if it has a receiver that is the same as or interchangeable with the receiver of an Enumerated Weapon. A receiver will be treated as the same as or interchangeable with the receiver on an Enumerated Weapon if it includes or accepts two or more operating components that are the same as or interchangeable with those of an Enumerated Weapon. Such operating components may include, but are not limited to: 1) the trigger assembly; 2) the bolt carrier or bolt carrier group; 3) the charging handle; 4) the extractor or extractor assembly; or 5) the magazine port.”
Specifically, the act would forbid her to “govern, limit or otherwise relate to weapons as defined in Section 121 of Chapter 140, the manufacture of weapons or the sale of weapons.” And in a further display of the firearm community’s willingness to fight back, on Aug. 5 National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) senior vice president and general counsel Lawrence Keane announced the group will file suit against Healey "in the near future."
“This is a clearly naked political play by a zealous anti-gun politician simply looking to advance her political career at the expense of law-abiding gun owners by turning hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners and businesses into felons overnight with the stroke of a pen,” said Keane, referring to Healey's actions.
The Massachusetts ban, which went into effect two weeks ago, duplicates the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, but includes a greatly expanded and indiscernible definition of "assault weapons." The addition of the “Guidance” section instructing FFL holders to carry out “similarity” and “interchangeability” tests is so vague that it has the potential to ban all manner of semi-automatic firearms—including 911 pistols.
Contact your legislators today and let them know you are against Healey's abuse of power and the ban itself. Tickets to Monday's event are $25 per person and must be purchased in advance. To purchase your ticket, click here.