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Massachusetts: URGENT Gun Ban Amendment Scheduled for Possible Vote Tomorrow on Beacon Hill

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yesterday, 63 amendments were filed to Senate Bill 2265 that would affect your rights as a gun owner and sportsman in the Commonwealth.  It is critical that you contact your state Senator early tomorrow morning and ask him or her to oppose amendments which attack your rights, and support those that make pro-gun improvements to S.2265.

Amendments to support:

  • Amendment 6 would remove the discretion component of S.2265 in determining “suitability” when issuing authorities issue firearm identification cards (FID cards). 
  • Amendment 56 would fix the language denying a person who has had their firearms seized the ability to have their personal property transferred within ten days to a lawfully licensed individual.

While there are many anti-gun amendments that have been filed, the most egregious ones to oppose are:

  • Amendments 11 and 20, which would both criminalize the private sale of firearms,
  • Amendment 57, which would limit gun purchases to one-gun-a-month, AND
  • Amendment 60, which is essentially a ban on many commonly owned firearms and magazines.

Without Amendments 6 and 56, S.2265 contains language that would create new "may issue" FID issuance standards by giving issuing authorities unlimited discretion to deny firearm identification cards and would require Massachusetts to submit unnecessary records to NICS, including records of individuals who are NOT prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.  S.2265 also contains a new provision that would deny a person who has had their firearms seized the ability to have their personal property transferred within ten days to a lawfully licensed individual.  Instead, law enforcement would be given the discretion to keep the firearms, sell them after a year and benefit from their profits. 

It isn’t difficult to imagine how allowing issuing authorities discretion in the issuance of FID cards will be abused if S.2265, as is, 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 . . . .” 

The Massachusetts Senate is expected to take up this legislation and vote on these amendments tomorrow, and it is critical that you contact your state Senator tomorrow morning and express your OPPOSITION to Amendments 11, 20, 57 and 60, and your SUPPORT for Amendments 6 and 56.  Continue urging them to OPPOSE S.2265 in its current form, and ask how they plan to vote.

 

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