Massachusetts Gun Control Bill Raises Concerns among Lawful Gunowners
In Massachusetts, the Second Amendment is under fire as House Democrats passed a controversial gun control bill. This move, which has garnered significant opposition, is perceived by many as a direct assault on the rights of lawful gun owners.
The House vote came after adjustments were made to address concerns voiced by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. While off-duty police officers were excluded from the proposed concealed carry restrictions, lawful gun owners were left with new, onerous regulations infringing on their fundamental right to bear arms.
The modified bill includes changes to where firearms could be carried and extends the state’s assault weapons ban to include firearms developed after 2004. It also aims to combat the flow of illegal firearms. Additionally, it prohibits the carrying of firearms in schools, government buildings, and polling locations. Law enforcement officers were the only group exempted from this prohibition.
The bill mandates that individuals obtain permission from homeowners to bring firearms into private residences; businesses retain the right to prohibit firearms on their premises. The legislation focuses on addressing “ghost guns,” untraceable firearms. It requires these firearms to be registered with the state. While the legislation mandates the serialization of receivers, it does not extend this requirement to barrels or feeding devices.
Critics argue that the idea of criminals registering untraceable firearms with the state is impractical, and they believe that these new regulations primarily burden lawful gun owners. Many see the bill as a misguided response to gun violence. Representative David K. Muradian Jr., a Republican from Worcester, denounced the legislation as an “egregious infringement” on the rights of lawful gun owners. He asserted that more gun control measures would not effectively reduce gun violence.
Muradian also criticized the gun violence data presented to justify the bill, as it did not distinguish between those in lawful or illegal possession of firearms. Peter J. Durant, another Republican from Worcester, argued that efforts should be directed toward prosecuting criminals seeking to commit “felonious acts” rather than restricting firearms. He emphasized that firearms are safe in the hands of responsible owners, calling for a focus on addressing underlying societal issues.
While the Massachusetts Senate has yet to introduce its gun control bill, the situation has sparked debates and concerns about the fate of Second Amendment rights in the state. The controversial gun control bill is viewed by many as an attack on legal gun ownership, and it is seen as part of a broader effort to make gun ownership more expensive and burdensome while increasing legal risks for gun owners. The legislation is even causing gun owners to contemplate the idea of relocating to more gun-friendly states, given the ongoing challenges to their civil liberties in Massachusetts.