An Act Repealing the Ban on Modern Sporting Rifles
SECTION 1. Section 121 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking, in lines 9 through 35, inclusive, the definition of “Assault weapon”.
SECTION 2. Section 123 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking, in lines 131 through 134, inclusive, the following:
“Sixteenth, That no licensee shall sell, lease, rent, transfer or deliver or offer for sale, lease, rent, transfer or delivery to any person any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.”
Read letter to MA legislators regarding this legislation and why it needs to be passed:
RE: Bill Repealing the Ban on Modern Sporting Arms
Since the passage of the ill-conceived 1998 Gun Control Act, the citizens of Massachusetts have been forced to live with its disastrous results. Many of you have received countless complaints and calls for help from law abiding constituents in regards to these laws. Once again, lawful citizens are being threatened needlessly by outdated confusing laws.
In May of 2011 an unsigned and undated “Advisory Letter” was sent out by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPS) regarding certain arms and feeding devices. Virtually everything in the letter was factually incorrect and has caused very serious legal concerns among firearm retailers and licensed citizens including law enforcement officers.
The letter states “G.L. c. 140 Section 131, prohibits the possession of assault weapons and large capacity feeding devices by individuals in the Commonwealth.” This statement is factually incorrect. As most gun owners are well aware, licensed individuals can legally possess and transfer these items if they were lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994. The letter then contradicts itself by stating that this exemption is only valid if they were possessed “under a Massachusetts license.” No such requirement exists in Massachusetts law or regulation!
In the same letter EOPS then attacks law enforcement officers by stating that the exemption for purposes of law enforcement does not allow police officers to possess these items for their own personal use, or for both on-duty and off-duty use. GOAL is not aware of any such regulations or court rulings restricting this exemption, but because of the advisory letter from EOPS, law enforcement officers are concerned they may face up to ten years in prison for potential violation of the law.
It should be noted that the term “Assault Weapon” was only invented to scare the general public when in fact they are simply modern sporting arms in common use all around the country. Even in Massachusetts they are perfectly legal to possess unless manufactured after an arbitrary date. A date that if misinterpreted could land a lawful citizen in prison for ten years. Since these laws serve no legitimate public safety purpose and the incompetent manner in their enforcement, the responsible action is to repeal the law.
I hope you will join in our efforts to bring about common sense reforms to the Massachusetts gun laws by becoming a co-sponsor of our bill to repeal these onerous laws. It is important to keep in mind that we are talking about lawful citizens who have to go through a vigorous and overly restrictive licensing process. It is also obvious that repealing these laws is a sound measure to protect lawful citizens, including law enforcement officers from bad laws and the potential enforcement of them.
Representative George Peterson will be filing legislation to address these issues: “An Act Repealing the Ban on Modern Sporting Arms.” If you would like to become a co-sponsor of this critical legislation, please contact Rep. Peterson’s office by Friday, August 12, 2011.
Thank you for your support and as always if you are in need of any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
James L. Wallace Executive Director
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