What Problem Exists that Live Fire Mandates are Supposed to Solve?
For several years Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) has been fighting against legislation to mandate so-called “live fire” mandates. The proposals would require anyone seeking a firearm license to undergo a certain amount of live fire training. Some of the bills require a certain number of rounds fired or time spent doing it. Even a few gun owners have said it just makes good sense, comparing it to driving before getting a driver’s license.
Setting aside the fact that driving is not a protected civil right, the question we continue to ask with these efforts is: “What problem exists that these proposals are intended to solve?” the clear answers is, there aren’t any problems. Lawful gun owners in Massachusetts do not have an accidental death problem so why the need to require live fire training?
At GOAL, we encourage folks to get all the training they can get. We currently supply a long list of training courses for all levels experience. GOAL also has a growing list of cooperative certified instructors across the state that offer a host of different training. What we don’t support are government mandates that at as roadblocks to people exercising their civil rights.
Keep in mind that during the COVID lockdowns, the Baker Administration singled out the 2A community and shut down all things related to exercising our rights. They intentionally shut down our ranges, the retailers and even mandatory training courses. In short, the government blocked access to mandates that prevented new people from acquiring a license. Knowing this was done intentionally, why would the 2A community ever agree to more mandates.
However, if people still insist on comparing the safety record of the 2A community and licensed drivers, let explore those records in Massachusetts.
According to the latest data (2020) from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) only 1 person died as a result of a gun accident in the Commonwealth in 2020. Compare that to the 374 people that died in accidents on the State’s highways and roads!
It is also important to point out that the State does not spend a penny on firearms safety in the Commonwealth. Case in point, in 2014 GOAL was successful in passing the following law:
Chapter 284 of the Acts of 2014, SECTION 69. Said section 131P of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following subsection:-
(f) The colonel of state police shall produce and distribute public service announcements to encourage and educate the general public about: (i) safe storage and transportation of weapons pursuant to sections 131C and 131L; and (ii) importance of firearms safety education and training, including information on places and classes that a person may attend to obtain firearms safety education and training.
To date no such public service announcements have been produced. This is proof positive the State has no interest in safety. Its only interest is to burden the 2A community with punitive laws and mandates.
* It is important to note that the state does not track whether these accidents were lawful citizens or criminals.
Storage Law - MGL Chapter 140, Section 131L: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Section131L
Transportation Law – MGL Chapter 140, Section 131C: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Section131C
Massachusetts Injury Surveillance Program: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/annual-statewide-injury-reports
Chapter 284 of the Acts of 2014: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2014/Chapter284
Federal Highway Admin Numbers on Licensed Drivers: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2019/dl22.cfm