Public Safety Committee Releases Anti-Civil Rights Bills Favorably
February 5th was the deadline for Joint Committees in the State House to move bills. We just learned today that the Joint Committee on Public Safety released five bills that could spell trouble for lawful gun owners in the Bay State. The following list of bills were released favorably and sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means:
This represents the largest number of anti-civil rights bills released by that Committee in a very long time. The current legislative session ends on July 31st of this year. The next few months could bring a battle for the very survival of the Second Amendment in Massachusetts. Very shortly GOAL will provide summaries and talking points about these bills.
On the deadline for deciding bills fates early in February the Joint Committee on Public Safety released H.2055 An Act relative to the lawful return of property. The bill was filed by State Representative Shawn Dooley on behalf of GOAL.
H.2055 would protect the property rights of gun owners who have been forced to surrender their firearms temporarily for a variety of reasons. The two major pieces of the bill are as follows:
- There are certain guns that, once on the books of a retailer/bonded warehouse cannot be transferred back to the owner. This is caused by the approved handgun roster, the Attorney General’s Regulations on handguns and the Attorney General’s 2016 actions on so called “assault weapons”. H.2055 would allow for the lawful return of that property.
- In many instances where guns are surrendered temporarily, they are often transferred by local authorities to “bonded warehouses” without the consent of the owner. By doing so, local authorities enter the owner into a contract with the bonded warehouse making the owner responsible for fees. H.2055 would alleviate the burden of expensive fees if written consent was not given by the owner.
The legislation was released favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Safety. It now resides within the House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling.
Chapter 140 of the general laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 123 the following new section:-
“Section 123A. Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, any person having temporarily stored a weapon with a private business including, but not limited to, a licensed retailer under section 123 or a bonded warehouse under section 129D shall be entitled to the return of their property.
If in the event that said property was transferred to and stored by a private business without the expressed written consent of the property owner, no fees may be charged as a requirement for the return of said property.
Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, any person having temporarily transferred a weapon to a private business including, but not limited to, a licensed retailer under section 123 or a gunsmith for, but not limited to, repair, modification, warranty work, replacement or maintenance shall be entitled to the return of their property.”