Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Massachusetts Officials Question AG Gun Ban

Friday, July 29, 2016

Massachusetts Officials Question AG Gun Ban

As we reported last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally banned many common firearms via executive action. AG Healey’s “enforcement notice” has now come under attack by officials within the Massachusetts government, including many from her own party. 

In a letter to AG Healey, Democratic State Representative Harold P. Naughton Jr. noted that “this recent directive, concerning so called ‘copies and duplicates’ of banned weapons in the current law is not only confusing, but the vagueness of the guidance has raised significant questions over which firearms are now banned or could be banned in the future.”  Signaling his belief that Healey had overstepped her authority, Rep. Naughton cautioned “I strongly believe that any such review of our gun control laws should be a legislative matter to be considered by both the House and Senate along with public input.” 

Naughton was not alone in his criticisms. 58 of his colleagues in the legislature signed another letter calling in to question the constitutionality of AG Healey’s action where they wrote:

For the last 18 years, the law has been implemented and enforced consistently, both by your office and your predecessors.  Your new directive, which has been presented by your office as nothing more than a closing of ‘loopholes’ in the current law, appears in fact to be much more than that: the enforcement of a whole new law that unfairly infringes on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners in Massachusetts.

Possibly the harshest critique of the substance of AG Healey’s new “enforcement notice” came from Daniel Bennett, the Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety and Security. Secretary Bennett paid particular attention to the vagueness of the two-part test articulated in the “enforcement notice.”  He raised substantial concerns that the new test could be read to apply to nearly any semi-automatic firearm when he directly asked AG Healey “Does your enforcement notice mean that your office considers any weapon, even a pistol like the M1911 that has these characteristics to be an assault weapon?”

Supporting the concerns raised by Secretary Bennett, Governor Charles D. Baker further noted that “ambiguities in [the] notice require clarification for responsible gun owners who simply want to follow the rules and for thousands of gun owners who were told they were following the rules for eighteen years.”

While this widespread government opposition to the action of a sitting attorney general may seem surprising, it is indicative of the clearly unlawful nature and vagueness of the “enforcement notice.”  NRA continues to pursue all legal and legislative remedies to reverse this unilateral executive gun ban.

BY NRA-ILA Staff

TRENDING NOW
Updates to ATF Final Rule on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Monday, January 30, 2023

Updates to ATF Final Rule on Stabilizing Braces

On Monday, January 30, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) published the final Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule for public inspection in the federal register.

ATF Posts “Final” Rule on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

ATF Posts “Final” Rule on Stabilizing Braces

On Friday, January, 13, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) posted the “final” Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule to its website.

Florida: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Monday, January 30, 2023

Florida: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Today, Representative Chuck Brannan (R-10) filed House Bill 543, the NRA-backed constitutional carry bill. The Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee will hear it on February 7th from 4-6PM. Florida is currently in ...

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. the Public Safety Finance and Policy committee will meet in Capitol Room 120 to vote on numerous gun control bills. Please contact the committee members today asking them to oppose the "red ...

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

News  

Monday, January 9, 2023

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

On Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, invalidated the ATF’s Rule classifying bump stocks as machine guns under the Administrative Procedure Act.

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

Friday, February 3, 2023

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

On Monday, February 6, the New Mexico Senate Health & Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 171 by Sen. Bill Soules (D-Las Cruces), legislation that attempts to supersede federal law and make it a ...

Washington: Hearing Rescheduled & Updates on Other Anti-Gun Bills

Friday, February 3, 2023

Washington: Hearing Rescheduled & Updates on Other Anti-Gun Bills

On February 9th, the Senate Law and Justice Committee will hold a public hearing for Senate Bill 5232, the companion to House Bill 1144, which imposes a firearm permit requirement, a 10-day waiting period scheme, and allows indefinite ...

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

News  

Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Today and the List of Radical Gun Control Bills is Long!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Today and the List of Radical Gun Control Bills is Long!

The New Mexico Legislature convenes TODAY for its 60-day session and progressive, anti-gun lawmakers have already filed a laundry list of extremist gun control proposals that would make Biden and Bloomberg proud.

Mexico has Bigger Problems than the Second Amendment

News  

Monday, January 30, 2023

Mexico has Bigger Problems than the Second Amendment

In an attempt to deflect from their own woeful mismanagement, Mexican politicians often try to blame the country’s violent crime problem on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. However, recent news regarding at least one drug cartel ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.