At the O’Leary Library, University of Massachusetts Lowell, was stop five of the MA Gun Law Listening Tour. The panelists were Massachusetts State Police Trooper Steve Grasso and Joseph Morgan, owner of Outer Limits Pro Shop, in Holbrook, MA.
Trooper Grasso had a PowerPoint presentation on his experience and knowledge of so-called “ghost guns,” which I will be calling DIY firearms henceforth. The presentation was good and thorough with pictures of frames, slides, and barrels. He showed that most of the DIY firearms were “GLOCK” style, but he also had photos of SIG, 1911, and AR-style rifles. Grasso stated “Most of the ghost guns seized were from non-license to carry holders.” It seems to be that people who have LTCs aren’t committing crimes.
Grasso went into how he was able to acquire parts online and have them shipped to his home. It took 2 hours to complete the first one, but he could complete another in only 30 minutes or so if he wanted to make more. He had a video of him firing the DIY handgun that he made.
Joseph Morgan, owner of Outer Limits, former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, and instructor of several courses talked about many things including how serializing parts would be a challenge for shop owners and gunsmiths. He also defended several of the untruths that the opposition brought up. Morgan stated “criminals don’t respect the law.” Talking about writing new laws concerning DIY firearms, he said he’s “not sure new legislation will prevent” criminals from buying, making, and selling DIY firearms.
There were several of the Moms Demand Action red shirts and a few of the orange shirts from MA Coalition to End Gun Violence there as well. Unfortunately, the DC Project delegates and members weren’t able to turn out en force, as they did previously in Brockton. The MDA crowd also said the Massachusetts gun laws are good and working well.
The encouraging thing is that there were several folks on the Second Amendment side that have been attending these and speaking up. Some asked about the judicial system and its failure to keep criminals off the street asking if there’s a way to keep criminals once the police have them.
There was an attorney who worked for the previous AGAG (anti-gun attorney general) in attendance. He pushed the limit of sense by comparing someone who is already a prohibited person and making and selling DIY firearms to Morgan’s store. Morgan did a wonderful job saying that a prohibited person isn’t a threat to his business as they’re conducting illegal activity.
Several of the red shirts spoke up. One told a story that her step father was shot by someone four times, lost eyesight in his left eye, and had 2 of the bullets lodged near vital organs. Another spoke about how she’s a teacher and she’s fearful every day at work because they did a drill requiring her to hide in the closet with her class.
Mike Harris of Gun Owners Action League spoke again at the attorney saying that “We can put people on double secret probation all we want, but making something extra illegal, it’s still illegal.”
One of the Second Amendment supporters spoke up telling everyone that he isn’t a criminal and he is a responsible gun owner, jumping through all the hoops MA sets out for their law abiding, background check passing citizens. He explained that it’s timely and costly. The citizen asked “Where’s the common sense in putting more gun laws that will be ignored?”
An MDA said she didn’t care that the process in MA is time consuming, expensive, and a burden… but if it saves just one life, it’s worth it. This is one of the usual tactics used to stir up emotions on the anti-civil liberties side. They also very often point out that the gun laws have a “good balance in Massachusetts.” Most of the things the MDA and anti-gun crowd push are things we already have in MA and still don’t stop crime in the Bay State. There’s so-called “high capacity” magazine restrictions, “assault weapon” bans, and an approved firearm roster; too.
I got up and said that people like making firearms, just like they enjoy working on cars, doing woodworking, and making their own wine. I also pointed out that people want to make their own handguns or rifles and may like that there’s no serial number, and they shouldn’t have to be reported to the government because “Legislation leads to registration. Registration leads to confiscation. Confiscation leads to extermination.” I do have to give credit to New Jersey & New Hampshire attorney Evan Nappen for that line. He’s been using it for years.
There was another GLLT stop this past week that I was not able to attend. But my intel who did make it reported that much of it was focused on what is the city of Boston going to do for teenagers during the summer months to keep them from joining gangs, there should be Scouts in Boston to keep the youth busy and out of trouble, and how the police talking to the teens will use any information they got against the teens. Also the MBTA (subway system) came up, suppressors becoming legal in MA, and the gun store that sold firearms to the Uvalde murderer came up too.
This week I will be making it to the GLLT which is going to be about preventing school shootings. I don’t think we’ve had a school shooting in MA. As someone who has been teaching in public and private schools for longer than I’d like to admit, and who has been through FASTER Saves Lives training, I did write to Representative Day and volunteered to be on the panel. Representative Day’s office said they have a full panel already.