GOAL thanks Massachusetts Senators Tarr, Moore, Rodrigues, and other members of the senate for taking on “runaway train” house amendment in senate budget bill.
October 13, 2017
Yesterday, the Massachusetts State Senate voted 38-0 in favor of their revision to an amendment to ban bump stocks and trigger cranks that was part of the House version of the budget bill, H.3951.
The amendment, passed by the House nearly unanimously the day before, would have made drastic change to MA gun laws, in that it would have banned trigger cranks, bump stocks, and any other modification of a firearm, including installation of match-grade triggers, or even a simple modification like smoothing out the action of a pump-action shotgun. It would have also granted unbridled regulatory authority to the Commonwealth over all firearms maintenance, enhancements, and modifications.
The Senate version is much clearer in definition and provides a pathway to legal ownership, a drastic improvement over the House version. The Senate version provides clear definition of these items and defines a “Bump Stock” as a device for a semi-automatic firearm that increases the rate of fire achievable with such firearm by using energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger. A “Trigger Crank” is defined as any device to be attached to a semi-automatic firearm that repeatedly activates the trigger of the firearm through the use of a lever or other part that is turned in a circular motion, but does not include any firearm initially designed and manufactured to fire through the use of a crank or lever.
Having been passed in the Senate, this proposal will move to a conference committee. This is far from over and the final version of this amendment is yet to be determined before heading to Governor Baker’s desk. GOAL will notify our members as soon as we know whom the conferees are, at that time we will release an action alert. Stay tuned to www.goal.org and your email inbox for further updates on this bill.
While GOAL did not and does not support any legislative action on these products, we must recognize the hard work of Senator Bruce Tarr, Senator Michael Moore, Senator Michael Rodrigues and other members of the senate. They worked tirelessly yesterday to mitigate the damage that the House amendment would do and Governor Baker promised to sign.
Additionally, GOAL has received word from the State House that the Joint Committee on Public Safety has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, October 16, 2017 on bump stock legislation. After the theatrics of the last few days, this is a curious development as the hearing process is now moot. Regardless, as soon as we have hearing details and see which specific bills are included, we will notify our membership.
Finally, we would like to thank our members for the continued support. This last week has been extremely challenging as we have faced a legislature activated by emotion.