GOAL Files Legislation; An Act Repealing the Ban on Modern Sporting Arms.
10/28/11 Update: GOAL’s legislation filed by Rep. George Peterson to repeal the ban on modern sporting rifles is still held up in the House Committee on Rules. Although the Chair of the Committee is a long time friend of GOAL, it is clear that the House leadership does not want this bill to even go to committee.
As our members know this bill was filed as result of an “advisory” letter from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPS) concerning the high capacity magazine and AW laws. Interestingly enough, although the legislation has not moved since filed, we have also not heard another word on the matter from EOPS.
We will keep our members apprised of any updates.
9/9/11 Update, ACTION NEEDED. GOAL’s bill “An Act Repealing the Ban on Modern Sporting Arms” filed by Representative George Peterson has seen some movement. On September 1, 2011 the bill was sent to the Committee on House Rules. This is a normal, but important step that takes place with bills that are “late filed” (after the legislative year has started.) The bill still does not have an official number and thus will remain under a docket number of House Docket 3995.
The docket will not receive a bill number until it is released by the committee.
GOAL would urge all of our members to please contact the members of House Committee on Rules and ask them to release the docket as a bill as soon as possible.
This legislation is a very crucial step forward in reforming the draconian Massachusetts gun laws that have done nothing to better public safety.
9/2/11 Update: As of this writing the legislation is in the House Committee on Rules where it is awaiting the assignment of a bill #. The legislation has 45 legislators signed on as sponsors, a fantastic start! GOAL will update as soon as further action is needed to move this legislation along.
8/25/2011 Update: Action: TODAY, please call your legislators and urge them to sign onto Assistant Minority Leader George Peterson's Bill, "An Act Repealing the Ban On Modern Sporting Arms". Tomorrow, Friday 8/26/2011 is the last day they can sign onto this legislation!
NOTE: Click here before calling, as many legislators have already sponsored this legislation.
If you would like to help this legislation, please call your local legislators and ask them to sign onto Assistant Minority Leader George N. Peterson, Jr's bill, "An Act Repealing the Ban on Modern Sporting Arms" house docket # HD3995. The easiest way for the legislators to sign on is to have them call David at Assistant Minority Leader George N. Peterson, Jr's office, Phone: 617-722-2100 Fax: 617-722-2390 or they can email him their support, George.Peterson@mahouse.gov.
Below is GOAL's letter to MA Legislators to educate them about this bill.
August 3, 2011
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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GOAL is the Official State Association of the National Rifle Association