Massachusetts Legislature’s Anti-Civil Rights Tantrum Continues

GOAL’s proposals to focus solely on “prohibited persons” continually rejected.


As the current Massachusetts legislature works its way to the end of their session (July 31st) the Second Amendment community waits to see what will happen to us.

The conference committee on H.4139 continues to deliberate in secret to “work out” a compromise between the House and Senate anti-civil rights language. Because these talks happen behind closed doors, GOAL does not have a lot of information on what precisely is being discussed. What we do know is that, so-called, “Ghost Guns” are a high priority.

Ever since Speaker Mariano and Chairman Day began their all-out assault on our civil rights, GOAL has provided quite a lot of language that we could support. Among that is a concise draft on criminal manufacture, possession, and transfer of firearms and parts. (See below) 

The argument we are getting is that our language does not include punishments for unlicensed persons who are not statutorily prohibited. Our contention is that lawful, but unlicensed, citizens exercising their civil rights should never be treated the same as a prohibited person committing crimes.

Over the years, many have said that the State should enforce the current laws of possession without a license. But, should that really be enforced on everyone?

The United States Supreme Court in five different decisions has declared the Second Amendment to be an individual civil right. With that, should an unlicensed citizen who is not legally prohibited face prison for exercising a civil right?  Our stance is absolutely not!

The majority of states in the nation, no longer require a firearm license. They recognize the Second Amendment as a civil right and are focusing on criminals. While Massachusetts claims to be “leading the nation in common sense gun control”, it is actually lagging way behind. Old habits are hard to break. Just ask Governor Wallace of Alabama in the 1950s.

During a meeting in the State House concerning H.4139, we were actually told that it would be very difficult to separate the bad people from the good citizens in law. Really? Because we drafted language that does just that.

The outright rejection of GOAL’s proposal tells us what we have always known. That HD.4420 (now H.4139) was never about combating violent crime. It was simply and anti-civil rights tantrum as a result of the historic Bruen decision in June 2022. Like Governor Wallace’s reaction after Brown v. Board of Education in the 50’s, the Massachusetts legislative “leaders” could not bear the fact that the highest court in the nation told them they were wrong.

HD.4420 (H.4139) is the worst attack by the Massachusetts Legislature on civil rights in modern history! It is clear they are not looking for well-reasoned laws that would, separately, respect civil rights and combat violence. What the leadership is looking for is headlines and a continued legacy of oppression.

 

 GOAL's "Ghost Gun" Language

An Act relative to criminal manufacture and possession of certain weapons

 

SECTION 1.

Chapter 269 of the General Laws shall be amended by inserting a new section:

10L: Criminal Manufacture and Transfer of Weapons

For the purposes of the section:

“Firearm”, a weapon, including but not limited to, a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, sawed-off shotgun, assault-weapon and machine gun which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a shot or bullet via a chemical reaction; provided, however, that the term firearm shall not include any antique firearm or permanently inoperable firearm.

“Firearm Part”, shall mean a frame, receiver, barrel or trigger assembly.

“Unlawful Manufacture”, the unlawful production, assembling, or manufacturing of firearms or ammunition for purposes of unlawful transfer, sale, possession, or distribution. Any person lawfully licensed to possess, carry, or transfer any type of firearm in the Commonwealth shall be exempt from this section.

Any prohibited person who is in possession of a firearm part, as defined in this section, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years.

Any prohibited person who unlawfully manufactures a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years.

Any person who unlawfully manufactures a firearm and transfers or supplies said weapon to a prohibited person within or without of the Commonwealth shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years.

Whoever transports an unlawfully manufactured firearm into the Commonwealth to use the weapon for the commission of criminal activity shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years.

Whoever, while in the commission of a felony, has in his possession or under his control an unlawfully manufactured firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 10 years.

Whoever transports an unlawfully manufactured firearm into the Commonwealth to unlawfully distribute, sell, or transfer possession of a firearm or firearm parts to a prohibited person, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years.

Whoever transports an unlawfully manufactured firearm into the Commonwealth to unlawfully distribute, sell or transfer the weapon to a prohibited person and the firearm is subsequently used to commit severe bodily injury or murder, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for up to life imprisonment.

Upon conviction of this section, the courts shall notify the appropriate federal authorities of potential violations of federal manufacturing and transfer laws.


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