The conference committee appointed to iron out differences between Senate Bill 2265 and House Bill 4285 has only three days left to act in the 2014 Massachusetts legislative session. It is possible that the conference committee report could be voted on by the end of today, and it is absolutely critical that you continue calling and e-mailing your state legislators, PLUS members of the conference committee, in the final hours.
As previously reported, the state Senate stripped some of the most egregious anti-gun provisions from S.2265, including the elimination of the discretionary component which would have created a new “may issue” FID issuance standard. This discretionary component would allow issuing authorities unlimited discretion to deny firearms identification cards. Other significant changes were made, including the adoption of an amendment which addressed the provision denying a person who has had their firearms seized with the ability to have their personal property transferred within ten days to a lawfully licensed individual.
Last week, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans went on Boston Public Radio to discuss how he wanted the anti-gun discretionary provision restored in S.2265 so that he could strip law-abiding gun owners of their rights to possess rifles and shotguns in Boston. Completely out of touch with reality, Evans stated:
“For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun, nobody needs a rifle, and I don’t know a lot of people who are into hunting who, being lifelong residents, would actually want that who lives in the city, but, especially here in the city I want to have discretion over who’s getting any type of gun because public safety is my main concern and as you know it’s an uphill battle taking as many guns off the street right now without pumping more into the system.”
Statements like this are exactly the reason that the state legislature should not grant an issuing authority discretion in the issuance of FID cards. Personal bias should not be enough to strip a law-abiding gun owner of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms and self-defense, and it is critical that this discretionary provision remain out of the conference committee report.
Please call and e-mail your state Senator AND Representative urging them to put pressure on leadership to retain the Senate changes made to S.2265 and to report a clean bill from the conference committee that does not infringe on your Second Amendment rights. In addition, using the contact information provided below, please also contact members of the conference committee. Your action today could make all the difference.
Senator Anthony Petruccelli (D - First Suffolk and Middlesex)
Senator Bruce Tarr (R - First Essex and Middlesex)
Senator James Timilty (D – Bristol and Norfolk)
Representative George Peterson (R - Ninth Worcester)
Representative Ronald Mariano (D - Third Norfolk)
Representative Garrett Bradley (D - Third Plymouth)