GOAL Massachusetts

501 CMR.
New Proposed Regulations to Close Public Access to Firearms Training and Education in Massachusetts

GOAL has just been made aware of yet another attack on our Second Amendment rights by the Patrick Administration. Below is a copy of proposed regulations that the Administration seeks to put in place to cut off any access the general public might have to firearms education and training.
These new proposed regulations would affect any events that clubs might have that involve nonmembers possibly including junior shooting programs, Women on Target, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, First Step, state required firearm training courses, the Massachusetts Outdoor Expo, trap and range days where a club might charge a nonmember fee, etc.
The regulations would also end any events open to the public in regards to machine guns.
As GOAL has just learned about this attack prior to the July 4th holiday weekend, we will be providing more in depth information throughout the upcoming week. Please check GOALnews.org next week for more details.
The regulations are scheduled to have a public hearing on Monday, July 20, 2009 at 10:00 am at the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters, 470 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01702. To submit written comments in advance of the hearing, please send them attn: Catherine Bailey, Assistant General Counsel, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, One Ashburton Place, Room 2133, Boston, MA 02108. An official copy of the proposed regulations may be obtained from the same address.


The following is a hand typed copy of the regulations since no copy is available electronically, as such there may be typographical errors.

501 CMR 15.00 FIREARMS EXHIBITIONS
Section
15.01 Purpose and Scope
The purpose of 501 CMR 15.00 is to establish rules and regulations governing firearms exhibitions open to the general public. 501 CMR 15.00 is promulgated pursuant to M.G.L. c 140 § 122B and M.G.L. c 140 § 131(r).

15.02 Definitions

Certified Firearms Safety Instructor means a basic firearms safety instructor certified by the Colonel of the State Police or a firearms instructor certified by the Municipal Police Training Committee.

Firearms Exhibition means any event held at a sporting or shooting club or facility open to the general public or to non-members where firearms, rifles, shotguns or ammunition, all as defined in M.G.L. c.140 § 121, are provided to attendees for the regulated shooting on the premises of the said sporting or shooting club or facility.

Regulated Shooting means any skeet, target or trap shooting.

15.03: Firearm Exhibition Requirements


(1) Any sporting or shooting club or facility that hosts a firearms exhibition shall:
a) Possess a valid license to sell or supply ammunition pursuant to M.G.L. 140 § 122B;
b) Possess a Class A club license issued pursuant to M.G.L. 140 § 131(a);
c) Provide for an adequate police detail as determined by the police department of the city or town in which the event is to occur;
d) Ensure that one certified firearms safety instructor is present at the exhibition for every 20 members of the general public present at the exhibition; provided however, if persons under the age of 18 years old are to be admitted to a firearms exhibition, there shall be one firearms safety instructor present for every five individuals present at the exhibition. The certified firearms safety instructor(s) present at the exhibition shall be directly responsible for the instruction, supervision and safety of members of the general public participating in the regulated shooting during the firearms exhibition.
e) Submit a basic safety plan to the municipal police department located in the town in which the firearms exhibition is to take place and to the Firearms Records Bureau of the Criminal Justice Information Services not less than 30 days prior to the date of said exhibition. The basic safety plan shall include, at a minimum, the following:
1. A list of the types of weapons and ammunition that will be used to regulated shooting;
2. The number of people expected to attend the exhibition;
3. The names of the certified instructors that will be present at the exhibition and the ratio of instructors to general public;
4. Whether persons under the age of 18 will be admitted;
5. The size of the police detail requested; and
6. A detailed description of any additional safety measures the sporting or shooting club or facility intends to implement during the firearms exhibition.

(2) Machine Guns. The use of machine guns, as defined in M.G.L. c.140 § 121, is prohibited at any firearms exhibition.

 

12/14/07
501 CMR - 71

501 CMR: EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY

15.04: Severability Clause

If any article, section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of 501 CMR 15.00 is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, contrary to statute, in excess of the authority of the Secretary of Public Safety and Security or otherwise inoperative, such decision shall not affect the validity of any other article, section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of 501 CMR 15.00

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

501 CMR 15.00: M.G.L. c. 140, section 122B, and M.G.L. c.140, section 131 (r)

 

Newly Proposed “Bona Fide Collector” Regulations

The Patrick Administration through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has proposed yet another change in regulations regarding firearm issues. This particular change would alter 501 CMR 6.00 MACHINE GUN LICENSE BONA FIDE COLLECTORS OF FIREARMS. This regulation determines who is eligible to receive a machine gun license under Chapter 140, Section 131(o)(ii) and 131 (p).
 (o) No person shall be issued a license to carry or possess a machine gun in the commonwealth, except that a licensing authority or the colonel of state police may issue a machine gun license to:
  (ii) a bona fide collector of firearms upon application or upon application for renewal of such license.
  (p) The executive director of the Criminal Justice Information Services shall promulgate regulations in accordance with chapter 30A to establish criteria for persons who shall be classified as bona fide collectors of firearms.
While the intentions of the newly proposed regulations are not spelled out, what is clear is that they will further restrict machine gun license holders.
Comparing the current regulations and the newly proposed, the administration is removing the words “demonstration” and “test firing” from the regulatory language. The new language also adds the ability of licensing authorities to establish restrictions on the license and set further conditions on the actual licensing. This is the same abused authority that is currently given to local licensing authorities over Licenses to Carry.
To understand what is being done here we must cross reference several things (all found below):

  1. Sections 9, 11, 12 and 15 of the Governor’s legislative package H.4102 “An Act to Reduce Firearm Violence” that deal with changing the laws regarding machine guns, and
  2. The last sentence of the proposed Firearms Exhibition regulations, and
  3. The proposed regulations concerning “Bona Fide Collector”

After reviewing these items collectively, it appears that what the administration is attempting to establish is a license that might allow a citizen to possess a machine gun, but that the licensee would never be allowed to fire it. For certain, they would never be allowed to let anyone else fire it.
Once again, the citizens of Massachusetts are facing a systematic erosion of our Second Amendment rights and the continuation of a culture of government that continually abuses and persecutes lawful citizens. GOAL urges our members to oppose these regulations and the combined effort of the Patrick administration to erode our rights.
The regulations are scheduled to have a public hearing on Monday, July 20, 2009 at 10:00 am at the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters, 470 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01702. To submit written comments in advance of the hearing, please send them attn: Catherine Bailey, Assistant General Counsel, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, One Ashburton Place, Room 2133, Boston, MA 02108. An official copy of the proposed regulations may be obtained from the same address.

Current Regulatory Definition:
Bona Fide Collectors of Firearms: A “bona fide collector of firearms”, for the purpose of issuance of a machine gun license, shall be defined as an individual who acquires firearms for such lawful purposes as historical significance, display, research, lecturing,  demonstration, test firing, investment or other like purposes. For the purpose of issuance of a machine gun license the acquisitions of firearms for sporting use or for use as an offensive or defensive weapon shall not qualify an applicant as a bona fide collector of firearms. An individual licensed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 Sections 921-929 and 27 CFR part 178 shall be deemed a bona fide collector of firearms for the purpose of this regulation.
Newly Proposed Regulation Definition:
Bona Fide Collectors of Firearms: A “bona fide collector of firearms”, for the purpose of issuance of a machine gun license, shall be defined as an individual who:

  1. I licensed to carry firearms pursuant to M.G.L. c. 140, S 131:
  2. Is licensed to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or importing or manufacturing ammunition, or is a person licensed to be a collector of curio and relics pursuant to 18 U. S.C. c. 144, SS 921 through 929 and 27 CFR Part 478;
  3. Meets at least one of the following criteria
  4. Is an individual who can demonstrate that he collects firearms for investment purposes; or
  5. Is an individual who can demonstrate that firearms are necessary for historical display or research or lecturing conducted by the individual; and
  6. Is subject to such license conditions and restrictions as the licensing authority deems proper.

Newly Proposed Firearm Exhibition Language
Firearms Exhibition means any event held at a sporting or shooting club or facility open to the general public or to non-members where firearms, rifles, shotguns or ammunition, all as defined in M.G.L. c.140 § 121, are provided to attendees for the regulated shooting on the premises of the said sporting or shooting club or facility.
(2) Machine Guns. The use of machine guns, as defined in M.G.L. c.140 § 121, is prohibited at any firearms exhibition.

Sections of H.4102 pertaining to changes in the machine gun laws:
SECTION 9. Section 129C of chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word  “purpose”, in line 84, the following words:- , provided, however, that nothing in this subsection shall allow for the holding, handling, or firing of a machine gun by any person other than a person licensed to possess a  machine gun under section 131(o) or police personnel receiving instruction from a firearm instructor  certified by the municipal police training committee or the colonel of the state police.
SECTION 11. Section 130 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by 70 inserting after the word “shotgun”, in line 8, the following words:- or machine gun
SECTION 12. Section 130 is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “years”, in line 28, the following words:- ; and provided further, that nothing in this section shall allow for the holding, handling, or firing of a machine gun by any person other than a person licensed to possess a machine gun under section 131(o) or police personnel receiving instruction from a firearm instructor certified by the municipal  police training committee or the colonel of the state police

SECTION 15. Section 131 is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 341-347, subsection (o) and  inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-

(o) No person shall be issued a license to carry or possess a machine gun in the commonwealth, except that a licensing authority or the colonel of the state police may issue a machine gun license to an individual who possesses a valid license to carry under this section and is:

(i) a firearm instructor certified by the municipal police training committee for the sole purpose of firearm instruction to police personnel;

(ii) a bona fide collector of firearms upon application or upon application for renewal of such license; or

(iii) a law enforcement officer employed by such licensing authority or a law enforcement officer employed by or appointed as a special state police officer by the colonel.

 

No Public Support for Governor’s Club Event Regulations

The public hearing for the Governor’s regulatory proposals concerning club events “Firearm Exhibitions” and the redefining of “Bona Fide Collector” was held today at the State Police Headquarters in Framingham.

The hearing was to begin at 10:00 am but was slightly delayed as the State Police had to move the hearing to the gymnasium due to the large attendance. Approximately 150 citizens took the time to attend today’s hearing in opposition to the Governor’s proposed regulations. Not a single person in attendance spoke in favor of them.

There was a tremendous representation of the firearms community in attendance. Clubs from all over the state sent members to testify including Fin Fur and Feather of Millis, Holbrook Sportsmen’s Club, Maspenock, Danvers, Reading, Haverhill Hound, Southboro, MRA, Braintree, Harvard, Taunton R&P, MIT P&R Club, Hopkinton SC, Bass River an others.

GOAL was also very pleased to see the many junior shooters, parents and coaches that took the time to come to the hearing and testify against the proposed regulations. It was very inspiring to listen to the junior shooters talk about how the shooting sports had changed their lives for the better. Perhaps one of the most memorable quotes of the day came from junior’s coach Rick Johnson who concluded his testimony by stating: “Laws and regulations don’t save lives, education does.”

GOAL would like to thank State Representatives George Peterson and John Fernandes came to the hearing to testify in opposition of the proposal. Representative Carolyn Dykema also sent her legislative aide to attend the hearing.

Others that came to testify against the regulations included Jake McGuigan of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Lt. Scott Sencabaugh, of the Willmington PD, Michelle Young and Brian Pouliot Harvard law students, representatives from the Boy Scouts and Selectwoman Elizabeth Coughlin.

“I am always proud to have the honor of representing our members, today I was exceptionally proud. The well thought out personal testimony that our members provided today expressed the intelligence, passion and personal investment they have in standing up for their rights,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “To watch these junior shooters get up in front of a large audience and stand up against a government that is trying to destroy their heritage was a lesson for all of us and a site I will soon not forget.”

It was announced at the hearing that the period to submit written comments on the regulations has been extended to Friday, July 24, 2009. To submit written comments, please send them attn: Catherine Bailey, Assistant General Counsel, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, One Ashburton Place, Room 2133, Boston, MA 02108.

No action was taken on the regulations at today’s hearings. We should know within a few weeks what the administration intends to do with them.

GOAL would like to thank al of those who traveled and took time of their day to attend and testify. Attached is the the written testimony that GOAL provided at today’s hearing.

Testimony on the Firearms Exhibitions Regulations

Testimony on the Bona Fide Collectors Regulations

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