GOAL Releases Summaries on Seven Bills to be Filed This Coming Session
(Note: Other bills may be filed later.)
AN ACT RELATIVE TO FAIR LICENSING
This is GOAL’s lead bill for the 2007/2008 legislative session. For far too long the state’s licensing laws have been too complex and lacking in accountability. The current laws leave lawful gun owners confused about what the can legally own, how they can carry or transport different firearms, how and why they have restrictions imposed on them and why they can be denied certain licenses for no reason. This bill begins the process of simplifying the licensing laws, adding some much needed accountability and clarifying many pieces to establish a fair licensing standard. The following are some of the things this bill attempts to do:
A firearm identification card shall be valid for all lawful purposes subject to the following:
(a) A firearm identification card holder aged 15 through 17 shall be entitled to borrow, possess and carry any rifle or shotgun;
(b) A firearm identification card holder aged 18 through 20 shall be entitled to purchase, own, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry any rifle or shotgun;
(c) A firearm identification card holder aged 21 and over shall be entitled to purchase, own, rent, lease, borrow, possess, carry or carry concealed any firearm, rifle or shotgun;
AN ACT RELATIVE TO CERTAIN AMMUNITION
There is currently an exemption in the “Large Capacity Feeding Device” definition in Section 121 of Chapter 140 for tubular magazines found on very common .22 caliber rifles. These firearms are commonly referred to as “plinking rifles”. Since this law was passed, the firearms industry has developed a new small caliber, the .17 rimfire. This bill simply seeks to exempt this new small caliber.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO SPECIAL POLICE OFFICERS
This bill would repeal the laws that allow special interest groups to have their own private police officers.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO TAXING RAFFLES
This bill seeks to change the law governing how licenses raffles are taxed. Currently licensed raffles at taxed a rate of 5% of the “gross” receipts. Meaning if an organization conducts a raffle with a $1,000 worth of prizes but breaks even, the group still has to pay taxes on the entire $1,000. This basically forces an organization to pay taxes on money they don’t have.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE COMMON DEFENSE
This legislation seeks to strengthen the laws protecting victims of crime who are put in a situation where deadly force is necessary to protect themselves or others. Currently a citizen is protected from civil suits if force is used in their home. This bill would extend that to anywhere they have a right to be. It also clarifies that the use of lawful force is not an offense subject to arrest.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE LAWFUL SALE OF AMMUNITION
For as long as anyone can remember, licensed gun owners in the Commonwealth have been able to purchase ammunition and ammunition components through catalog companies outside of the commonwealth. A recent new interpretation of the ammunition sales laws by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office claims that companies outside of our state would have to be licensed in every town they intend to do business in and that sales would have to take place face to face making it impossible for lawful transactions to take place. This bill makes it clear that out of state companies can sell to licensed gun owners provided they keep a copy of the gun purchaser’s license on file and that the materials are shipped via restricted signature.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO AN UNLOADED RIFLE OR SHOTGUN
This bill would repeal the law that fines gun owners up to $1,000 for simply crossing a public way without putting their unloaded rifle or shotgun in a case. Currently if a hunter is traversing a forest or field and finds it necessary to cross a public way, commonly a back road somewhere, he/she must be carrying some sort of case with them or face stiff penalties. There seems to be no practical purpose for this law.
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GOAL is the Official State Association of the National Rifle Association