Reminder: Winter/Spring Town Meeting Season Approaches – Keep An Eye On Town Meeting Articles – Stay Active!
Last year we documented numerous attacks on our Second Amendment and legal hunting at the local, city-town level. These were devious and well organized, many shared the same language and went after the same thing, notably legal discharge on private property, or legal carry on public/town lands. The anti freedom crowd, thinking they had found an area to exploit, attempted to take advantage, filing articles to pass bylaws at the town level.
The town level of politics is a “soft target” so to speak, for the anti freedom crowd. It takes very little to get an article onto a town meeting warrant, and once there, few take notice until shortly before town meeting, if at all. Meanwhile, the people who file the petition can organize and activate, with very little publicity.
Between 2014 and 2016 we worked with residents of Wayland, Northborough, Reading, Natick, Yarmouth, Edgartown, Harwich, Sheffield and Berkley to stop articles, many of which were aimed at private land owners legally discharging firearms on private property.
Thanks to the hard work of our members and residents from each town, these attacks failed every time, usually by a landslide. It turns out that the “not in my backyard” axiom is a two way street, people do not want their freedom restricted in their town!
With the winter/spring town meeting season approaching, we need to remain vigilant and also become more pro-active. One of the few successful attacks of 2015 was in Weston, there was no warning of the article in question until the day of the vote. The town then voted to ban law abiding gun owners from carrying on town conservation land.
Things to do.
First, please take a moment today or tomorrow to call your town clerk, visit your town hall, and/or check your town’s website. Do a little bit of research and find out what is on the town meeting warrant and up for vote at town meeting this winter or spring. If there are any articles which are intending to restrict our Second Amendment freedom, or hunting, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can get word out and stop it in it’s tracks.
Second, please consider using the town meeting warrant to our advantage. GOAL has prepared a simple article, which can easily be filed to be included on your town meeting warrant. It’s a pre-emption article, which bans your city/town from passing anything that is more restrictive than current state law.
The city/town of _________________ shall pass no bylaw, ordinance, regulation, or policy that in any way restricts or inhibits any facet of ownership, possession, storage or use of firearms, magazines, accessories, ammunition, ammunition components, or any other weapons.