Bill to Ban Manual Actions

State Representative Antonio Cabral of New Bedford has filed a bill to potentially ban manual action guns. The bill, H.639 An Act Relative to the Licensing of Certain Automatic Weapons has a rather deceiving title. At first glance, most people would think the bill has something to do with machineguns. Sadly it is just the opposite.

The first section of the bill repeals two important exemptions in the term “Assault Weapon” defined in Chapter 140, Section 121, they are:

(i) any of the weapons, or replicas or duplicates of such weapons, specified in appendix A to 18 U.S.C. section 922 as appearing in such appendix on September 13, 1994, as such weapons were manufactured on October 1, 1993;

(ii) any weapon that is operated by manual bolt, pump, lever or slide action;

The appendix in (i) is a very long list of guns that can never be considered “assault weapons”. This list of exempt guns only appeared in the federal definition and would have been lost when the federal assault weapons ban sunset in 2004. That year GOAL was successful in passing our reform bill, Chapter 150 of the Acts of 2004. http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Se...004/Chapter150 In sections 2 and 3 of that bill we permanently attached the federal exempted list to the Massachusetts law.

As an example, that list contains hundreds of guns including 1860 Henry Rifle, Navy Arms Henry Trapper, Browning A-Bolt Rifle, Anschutz 1700D Classic, Remington 700 BDL Bolt-Action Rifle, Ruger M77RL Ultra Light, Thompson/Center Contender, Ruger 10/22 Autoloading Carbine, Mossberg Model 500 and many more. A full list can be found at: http://www.recguns.com/Whatizit/appendixA.html

How these guns would meet the state or old federal definition of “Assault Weapon” is not clear. The fact that a legislator wants to remove the exemptions is cause for alarm. This is only exemplified by sections 2 and 3 of the bill that would ban the possession of any “assault weapon” in Massachusetts. With the exemptions gone, if anyone is successful in labeling a gun to be an assault weapon it would be immediately banned.

Section four of the bill is a little difficult to understand where it is heading. The section deals with club licensing in Chapter 140, section 131. In the section there are several exemptions for removing a large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device from the licensed facility. Specifically the bill would remove: (v) hunting in accordance with the provisions of chapter 131. Of all of the exemptions listed, it is not clear why the author chose this one to eliminate, but it certainly adds more cause for concern.

GOAL will continue to monitor this and all anti civil rights legislation currently filed, stay tuned here for updates, if and when it is necessary to take action against these we will post up here first.


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