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When The Man Comes Around

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Finally, a bill has the police speaking up. On June 26, 2023, Representative Michael Day (D) introduced HD 4420. He calls it “An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws.” The Massachuetts-based Gun Owners Action League is calling the “The Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act.”

It’s gun-mageddeon! The bill requires live fire, de-escalation, and active shooter response training. It also requires firearm and magazine registration, which also means magazines will need serial numbers. It seems like the state is going to get involved in doing the serializing process. The bill, if it were to become law, will allow someone with a license to carry to only carry where it’s posted that you may carry. No post, no carry. Kids not yet 15 are prohibited from taking training or participating in shooting sports. They can only fire or handle non-semi-automatic rifles, and shotguns for hunting and target shooting. Teenagers 15 and above can participate in shooting sports and training and can use semi-automatic, including handguns for these purposes. One would have to be 21 in order to buy any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun. It makes up a new term “assault style firearm,” which includes things like a Hi-Point carbine rifle and a Kel Tec Sub 2000. There’s storage laws, banned rifles, and new definitions. This bill takes what New York and New Jersey have done and upped the anti-gun ante and downed the common sense. The state can barely issue some LTCs within the 40 days required currently. If this passes, they’ll also be required to issue certificates for those who have taken and passed the written exam. I’m not confident that certificates will be issued in a timely manner either.

The good news, if there is any, is that the police departments of Ware and Plymouth have spoken out and against the introduced  bill. The bill does not leave carve outs for the police. Police officers will not be exempt from the bill should it become law. They will have to obey the same laws while they are off duty.

There’s also going to be more work the state will be making the city and town police do. Magically, they will have to enforce people not carrying in businesses and buildings without signs saying they can carry. The police have plenty to do trying to stop the real criminals and not the “law abiding criminals” that Mass. LTC holders will become.

It is nice to see that the Ware Police Department has given advice to what’s left of the law-abiding citizens a few things to do to help combat this nonsense bill. They say the people in their town need to be educated, encouraged in open dialogue and reach out to their elected officials, and stay informed and updated on the possible changes.

This Bill does not address criminals. Rather it focuses on making criminals out of law-abiding citizens and further hampers police agencies from combating true crime.

The Plymouth Police Department goes a little bit further. They talk about how this proposed bill is not going to lower crime, but it’s only going to impede and infringe on regular citizens with their LTC’s. They also talk about how off-duty police officers are not going to be allowed to carry. Then they bring up a couple of stories where off-duty police officers, carrying a sidearm, were able to stop acts of violence, including one at a restaurant. They also have a story about an LTC holder who stopped a kidnapping during a domestic violence incident.

If nothing else, this bill will make both enforcement and compliance with our laws even more complicated and confusing. As anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of trying to navigate our already-strict gun laws knows, it’s already confusing enough. The firearms law guide used by our officers already clocks in at well over 400 pages. This bill will jostle definitions and provisions all around the books with various changes, placing our laws into an even greater state of misunderstanding and chaos.

The Barre Police Department say they are a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and the United States Constitution and have recently added themselves to the list of departments speaking up against the bill. Included in the Facebook post is a graphic from GOAL about the “Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act”.

This is just a sample of some of the law changes in this bill. Many of these proposals are unconstitutional and will not survive appeal to the SJC. So why include them?

This is yet another “feel good” bill crafted by individuals with zero firearms and/or hunting experience. Real world experience has proven that criminals don’t play by the rules and that “gun free zones” only create soft targets for criminals.

It is nice to see that the police, even if it’s only two out of 351 towns and cities, are speaking up against this nonsense – so far. Maybe it’s because it’s going to affect them and their off duty life. Maybe it’s because it’s going to give them much more work to do. Maybe it’s because they do care about civil liberties. Let’s face it, the work of checking people in public businesses and private properties, making sure people aren’t carrying is busywork that will not stop any crimes. Regardless, it’s nice to finally have the police speaking out against the verkakte bill.

Rep. Day said that he was tasked with trying to make the Mass. gun laws less confusing and easier to understand. With his bill, not only will it be more confusing and harder to understand, he will also be making it impossible for police officers to obey and even enforce these new laws. The gun owners knew all this and for a long time. It’s nice to finally have the police on our side. We can’t lean just on the courts, so having civil servants turn to for the law-abiding gun owner is refreshing.

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Renee Gagne

There are so many problems with this bill. It cannot be amended. The first mistake was to attack a civil right when there was no problem to start. There have been no accidental gun deaths in the Commonwealth. A few years ago there was one according to the state and we don’t know if it was a criminal or a law abiding gun owner. No one cared to publish that data. So why make citizens tack on several more components in order to exercise their civil right? Are we going to start doing this to civil rights now? You can… Read more »

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