This week, Governor Mitt Romney (R) signed S.2255, a bill addressing a conflict in Massachusetts law concerning the difference between a loaded and unloaded muzzleloading shotgun or rifle. For purposes of this section, "loaded shotgun or loaded rifle" shall mean any shotgun or rifle having ammunition in either the magazine or chamber thereof, such ammunition including a live cartridge, primer (igniter), bullet, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm, rifle or shotgun and, in the case of a muzzle loading or black powder shotgun or rifle, containing powder in the flash pan, a percussion cap and shot or ball; but the term "loaded shotgun or loaded rifle" shall not include a shotgun or rifle loaded with a blank cartridge, which contains no projectile within such blank or within the bore or chamber of such shotgun or rifle.
The bill contained an "emergency preamble". Under normal circumstances a bill does not become law until 90 days after the governor signs it. With the emergency preamble, the bill became law immediately. On behalf of our members, we would like to thank the Gun Owners Action League as well as Senator Stephen Brewer (D-Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester) and Representative George Peterson (R-Worcester-9) for their special efforts in seeing this bill through the legislative process in time for the upcoming muzzleloader season.