Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Massachusetts: Hold Your State Legislators Accountable

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On August 13, Governor Deval Patrick (D) signed H.4376 into law.  In spite of active opposition from the NRA, this draconian anti-gun bill was passed and enacted, and contains a variation of the original discretionary component, allowing a licensing authority to file a petition to the district court to request that an applicant be denied the issuance or renewal of a Firearms Identification Card (FID).  This discretionary component, and many other main provisions of this law, take effect on January 1, 2015.

H. 4376 went through numerous versions, some better and some worse than the originally drafted bill.  At one hopeful point, the discretionary provision was removed in the Senate version.  After lobbying by several current and former Massachusetts police chiefs -- the very sorts of officials whose authority over individual rights were expanded under this bill -- a “compromise” was reached by a conference committee of the House and Senate.  The new provision would allow issuing officials to deny the mandatory license needed to obtain a firearm on any basis of risk they could think of, subject to a court’s determination they had proven their case by a preponderance of evidence (a far lesser standard than required for conviction of a crime).

If there is any question of how some officials view the authority they have gained from this bill, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans made it clear how a discretionary provision would be used in Boston.  As we previously reported, in an interview with Boston Public Radio, Commissioner Evans claimed that “[f]or the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun, nobody needs a rifle, . . . 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.”

Just what sort of theories licensing officials will come up with to exercise their discretion under this new law is anybody’s guess.  A past version of this bill would have expanded the automatic “prohibited person” categories to cover many new misdemeanors.  This was eliminated from its final version, but the discretionary provision could be used to deny applicants licenses based not just on convictions but on mere arrests or police contacts that never led to judgments by a court.  Another provision in H.4376 seems to make clear that the intent of the discretionary provision is to significantly expand who would be prohibited from possessing firearms.  That provision would require the collection and reporting of convictions of a number of misdemeanor crimes that are not prohibiting under federal or Massachusetts law.  Clearly, somebody thinks this information will be considered relevant in who does and does not “deserve” a firearm.

While H.4376 did contain some beneficial provisions for gun owners, leaving the mere exercise of the right to arms up to the discretion of government officials was a deal-breaking and unprecedented overreach by the state legislature. Yet this is far from the bill’s only problem.  It also imposes increased penalties for violations of so-called “lost or stolen” and “safe-storage” laws, the creation of new crimes that might be used to prosecute those who use their firearms defensively, and a provision that encourages doctors to intrude on their patients’ privacy to discuss firearm ownership.

H.4376 is yet another example of the importance of electing representatives who will support the Second Amendment in the 2014 elections.

TRENDING NOW
Obama Says Goodbye to America’s Gun Owners with (a Likely Short-lived) Lead Ammo Ban

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Obama Says Goodbye to America’s Gun Owners with (a Likely Short-lived) Lead Ammo Ban

Gun owners knew that Barack Obama would not leave quietly. The only question was what else was coming.  

Federal Appeals Court: Chicago Violates Second Amendment … Again

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Federal Appeals Court: Chicago Violates Second Amendment … Again

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that Chicago had once again violated the Second Amendment, this time with its regulations for gun ranges.

Gun Owners Welcome Donald J. Trump as President of the United States

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gun Owners Welcome Donald J. Trump as President of the United States

Gun owners across the nation breathed a sigh of relief as Donald J. Trump was sworn in Friday morning as the 45th president of the United States.

Web Scraping: A Means to Push the Anti-Gun Agenda

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Web Scraping: A Means to Push the Anti-Gun Agenda

You may have read recently about a “breaking analysis” that includes numbers derived from a “mass shooting tracker,” which purports to present to the world, real world cases in which mass shootings have occurred.  One ...

New York Times Relies on Gun Prohibitionist Propaganda, Stigmatizes Suicide

News  

Friday, January 20, 2017

New York Times Relies on Gun Prohibitionist Propaganda, Stigmatizes Suicide

In a December 5, 2015, front page editorial, the New York Times finally admitted what discerning readers had long understood – that the paper advocates the prohibition and confiscation of certain types of now-lawfully possessed firearms. ...

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

New Hampshire: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Senate!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Hampshire: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Senate!

Today, Senate Bill 12, legislation eliminating the requirement to obtain a permit in order to lawfully carry, passed the Senate without amendment, by a 13-10 vote.  SB 12 will now go to the House of ...

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Maryland: House Committee to Hear Anti-Self-Defense Bill Next Week

Monday, January 23, 2017

Maryland: House Committee to Hear Anti-Self-Defense Bill Next Week

On Tuesday, January 31 at 1:00pm, the House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hear anti-gun legislation revived after failing last year in the Senate. 

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.