NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Massachusetts: “Gun Control” Bill Passed State House, Sent to Senate

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Unfortunately, the Massachusetts House of Representatives today passed House Bill 4278, a watered-down version of House Bill 4121, by a 112 to 38 vote.  While concessions were made and the NRA was able to scale back some of the anti-gun aspects, H.4278 still contains provisions which will directly and adversely affect your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  As previously reported, this bill has already had multiple redrafts and was not given adequate time for review from stakeholders and policy makers.  Considering the draft of H.4278 was circulated late last night and became available to all stakeholders early this morning, it would be a wonder if many state Representatives even read it at all.

While H.4278 has been significantly improved in many areas, perhaps the bill’s most egregious provision, which gives issuing authorities discretion to deny firearm identification cards, remains in the current version of the House-passed bill.  This discretionary provision has been somewhat limited compared to prior versions to require that the issuing authority can show “reliable and credible information that the applicant or card holder has exhibited or engaged in behavior that suggests the applicant or card holder could potentially create a risk to public safety if issued a card; or (ii) existing factors that suggest that the applicant or card holder could potentially create a risk to public safety if issued a card.”

While an improvement over prior versions of this bill that would have given essentially unfettered discretion to issuing authorities to deny applicants or renewal applicants, it isn’t difficult to imagine how this provision will be abused if H.4278 becomes law.  For example, a government official with a personal grudge against an applicant or an opposition to individual gun ownership could use almost any “bad” conduct in an applicant’s past to deny the applicant, which might include any number of menial acts that wouldn’t normally prohibit a person from possessing a firearm.  Simple speeding tickets might be enough to show that a person “has exhibited or engaged in behavior that suggests the applicant or card holder could potentially create a risk to public safety . . . .”  Like current law, denials of a FID card would be reviewable by a court, however, because the bill does not include a standard for review of a denial under the new discretionary provision, a court would likely review those decisions under a very deferential “abuse of discretion” standard, which, in layman’s terms means that very few discretionary denials would likely be overturned.

Some of the other misguided provisions include new requirements which will create problems for hunter education courses and requirements that Massachusetts submit unnecessary records to NICS, including records of individuals who are NOT prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.

While H. 4278 does include some positive provisions, such as fixing the process for renewing both FID and LTC (License to Carry) cards, for the aforementioned reasons, the NRA remains opposed to this bill.  It is critical that you contact your state Senator and urge him or her to oppose H. 4278 in its current form.

Please also contact your state Representative and urge him or her to advocate for elimination of these misguided components in the state Senate.

Click here to identify who represents you.

TRENDING NOW

News  

Friday, May 20, 2016

NRA Endorses Donald Trump for President of the United States

The chairman of the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Friday:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Pro-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 312 into law.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

California: Anti-Gun Legislators Steamroll Through the Senate

Today, Thursday, May 19, anti-gun Senators continued the assault on your rights, voting through ten anti-gun bills and moving one step closer to the Governor’s desk. The ongoing feud between anti-gun senators and Lt Governor ...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sen. Schumer Introduces Gun Control Bill After Brady Campaign Tantrum

For the past several months, Brady Campaign President Dan Gross has been repeatedly telling anyone who will listen that support for gun control is at a “tipping point.” Gross’ theory suffered a blow this week as the Brady Campaign ...

News  

Monday, May 23, 2016

NRA Mentors, Take Someone To The Range

Along with encouraging budding shooters to enroll with local NRA Certified Instructors for expert training, mentors can provide actual places to shoot that are safe and welcoming, help new shooters understand firearm safety, handling and ...

Hunting  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pennsylvania: Sunday Hunting Legislation Gathering Momentum After Senate Committee Hearing

Yesterday, May 18, the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee held a hearing to discuss legislation that would repeal the ban on Sunday hunting.  The groups that were invited to testify consisted of two panels - ...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Federal Judge (Again) Suspends Enforcement of D.C.'s Prohibitive Concealed Carry Regulation

The fight to restore Second Amendment rights in the Nation’s Capital gained an important victory on Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered D.C. officials to begin issuing concealed carry licenses without regard to the ...

Monday, May 16, 2016

California: Immediate Action is Needed by All Gun Owners and Second Amendment Supporters

On Monday, May 16, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed and sent nine anti-gun bills straight to the Senate floor.  This move is of great concern not only for the egregious subject matter of the bills ...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Outrage of the Week: Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin Blocks Efforts to Restore Rights to Veterans

We have long reported on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) scandalous practice of reporting to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)  any VA beneficiary who has had a “fiduciary” appointed to help the individual ...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ninth Circuit Holds that Second Amendment Protects the Right to Acquire Firearms

On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the right to keep and bear arms necessarily includes the right to acquire them.  The case, Teixeira v. County of Alameda, involves a ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.