Massachusetts Attempts to Become More Anti-Gun AND More Pro-Gun … At the Same Time!
Residents in Massachusetts have long been subjected to strict gun control laws that are often some of the most restrictive in the country. Unfortunately, a new bill would make them even worse.
House Bill 4038 was introduced by State Representative David Linksy and it would redefine the state’s definition of so-called “assault weapons.” It should be noted, though, that their definition is already one of the broadest on record.
Essentially, this new bill would replace the phrase and definition of “assault weapons” in the current law and put in its place the phrase “any rifle or shotgun containing a semi-automatic mechanism.” This would impact a total of 17 different sections of Massachusetts law where “assault weapons” are currently listed.
But wait – there’s more! House Bill 4038 would also change and expand the definition of “large-capacity weapons.” It adds the following language: “‘Large capacity weapon,’ any firearm, rifle or shotgun: (i) that is semi-automatic with a fixed large capacity feeding device; (ii) that is semi-automatic and capable of accepting, or readily modifiable to accept, any detachable large capacity feeding device; (iii) that employs a rotating cylinder capable of accepting more than ten rounds of ammunition in a rifle or firearm and more than five shotgun shells in the case of a shotgun or firearm; or (iv) any rifle or shotgun containing a semi-automatic mechanism.”
Interestingly absent is any mention of new restrictions on so-called “high-capacity magazines,” or what everyone else knows as “standard capacity magazines.” This omission is on purpose, because it’s irrelevant since the proposed ban on “large-capacity weapons” takes care of the magazine issue by including semi-automatic rifles that can hold more than ten rounds and semi-automatic shotguns holding more than five shells.
Representative Linsky didn’t stop there. He also introduced House Bill 2487, which would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance in order to continue owning firearms.
That legislation states: “Whoever possesses, carries, or owns a firearm, rifle or shotgun without a liability policy or bond or deposit required by the provisions of this chapter which has not been provided and maintained in accordance therewith shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year in a house of correction, or both such fine and imprisonment.”
As you can see, lawmakers in Massachusetts are working overtime trying to further erode Second Amendment rights in the state. Yet at the same time, there are other lawmakers who are attempting to restore Second Amendment rights.
Introduced by Representative Paul Frost, House Bill 1570 would legalize civilian ownership and use of suppressors for legal purposes in Massachusetts. Firearm suppressors, also referred to as “silencers,” are currently illegal to own under Massachusetts state law, despite the fact that they are legal to own under federal law and in 42 of the 50 states.
Suppressors are commonly used by hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Americans who know and appreciate the many benefits of reducing harmful decibel levels. Unfortunately for citizens in Massachusetts, under current law, they can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison or up to 2.5 years in jail for possession of a suppressor. House Bill 1570 would change that entirely and make Massachusetts state number 43 where suppressors are legal.
Suppressors were legal for regular purchase all throughout the United States until the passage of the National Firearms Act. Along with short barrel rifles and short barrel shotguns, suppressors were also on the chopping block in 1934. The NFA added registration and a tax to ownership of these items. Predictably, the law did little to stop crime and the only impact it had was on law-abiding citizens.
And that is how we end up here, with House Bills 4038 and 2487 attempting to weaken the Second Amendment while House Bill 1570 is trying to strengthen the Second Amendment, all within the same legislative body of one state.