Marijuana & Firearms Licensing

Although possession of less than an ounce of Marijuana was decriminalized, a conviction for unlawful marijuana possession, a Class D Controlled Substance in Massachusetts, remains a statutory disqualifier for a License to Carry Firearms. However, a conviction for simple possession of marijuana will not disqualify someone from being issued or holding a Firearms Identification Card, so long as the conviction is at least 5 years old. A conviction for trafficking in marijuana would constitute a lifetime disqualifier.

Also, although possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is now a civil infraction in Massachusetts, it is still a violation of federal law. Furthermore, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(3), it is a federal offense for a person to sell or transfer any firearm or ammunition to a person who the transferor knows or has having reasonable cause to believe that the transferee is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

The Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 completely prohibits all medicinal use of marijuana by placing it in the most restrictive category of Schedule 1. The DEA has determined that controlled substances placed in this category 1) have no therapeutic value, 2) are not safe for medical use, and 3) have a high abuse potential. Therefore, under federal law, there are no “lawful users” of marijuana, notwithstanding any state registration, decriminalization, or “legalization.” As such, the possession or use of marijuana still violates federal law.

When it comes to deciding whether or not to issue a LTC, a police chief or licensing officer can still use marijuana use or possession as a reason to determine than the applicant is unsuitable to hold such a license.

There are ways to overcome disqualifying marijuana convictions when seeking a License to Carry Firearms, especially if you have an otherwise clean record and a legitimate need for such a license for employment or other valid purposes.

The DUIL Program & “Habitual Drunkenness”

Those convicted of a 2nd of subsequent operating under the influence offense (OUI) are often assigned to an alcohol education program approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The 2nd offense OUI program is known as the Massachusetts DUIL Program. The program is operated by the Middlesex Human Service Agency and the acronym DUIL stands for Driving Under the Influence of Liquor. This program assignment is often made as a condition of probation. In order to satisfy this probation condition, the person convicted of a repeat offense DUI must satisfactorily complete a 14 day in-patient component which is held at Tewksbury State Hospital.

Massachusetts DUIL program attendance may disqualify a person from holding a Firearms Identification Card or License to Carry Firearms (LTC) in Massachusetts. Competing this program may cause a Chief of Police or Licensing Authority to deny you a firearms license, including a LTC, because G.L. c. 140 § 131 statutorily disqualifies a person who “is or has been under treatment for or confinement for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness.” Some licensing officials have decided that being treated at the DUIL program qualifies as “treatment” or “confinement” for “habitual drunkenness.”

Interpreting completion of the DUIL program as “confinement” is wrong because a person is not “confined” at the program. Attendees are not locked in or incarcerated while attending the DUIL program at Tewksbury State Hospital, which is not a correctional facility.  Attendees are free to leave the program. Of course, leaving the program will likely result in a violation of probation. However, those who participate in the alcohol education program are not “confined” there.

Secondly, all that is required to convict someone of DUI is that the person operated a motor vehicle on a public way or public right of access while they were “under the influence” of alcohol. The law does not require that the person was “drunk.” The law only requires that a person’s ability to drive safely was diminished by alcohol, not that the person was intoxicated or drunk. Therefore, someone could be assigned to complete the DUIL program without ever having been drunk.

Fortunately, for LTC applicants and Mass. Firearms license holders dealing with this issue, Massachusetts Firearms Lawyers such as Attorney Jesse Cohen have been able to overcome this obstacle when it comes to LTC applications, renewals, and suspensions. If you have been denied a firearms license due to confinement or treatment for what some are calling “habitual drunkenness,” you should contact a lawyer to discuss your situation and ways to resolve this issue.

 

Firearms Records Bureau v. Simkin

On November 6, 2009 Jay Edward Simkin went to a doctor’s appointment in Stoneham, Massachusetts. He used a pseudonym when he registered for the appointment and he paid cash for services rendered. An employee of the medical practice became alarmed when she discovered that Simkin was carrying firearms, even though he held a valid license to carry firearms (LTC). Hours after Simkin  left the doctor’s office, a call was placed to the Stoneham Police.

On November 13, 2009 the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau revoked Simkin’s LTC claiming in part, “On Friday, November 13, 2009 I spoke with the manager *** who confirmed that on Friday employees were alarmed and concerned their safety on November 6, 2009.” On February 5, 2010, the  Firearms Records Bureau refused Simkin’s request to reconsider the decision to revoke his license to carry firearms, on the grounds that he was no longer is a “suitable person” to hold such a license because he was armed during his doctor’s visit.

He has never been arrested and he was a Federally-licensed Firearms dealer who underwent extensive training in proper defensive uses of firearms and other weapons.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments in this case earlier this month and a decision is expected in August or September of this year.

The Massachusetts Instant Record Check System & “Subsequent Activity”

The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Systems (DCJIS) operates the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System, which is more commonly referred to as MIRCS. An important component of this system is the subsequent activity feature.

The subsequent activity component of MIRCS receives a nightly download of criminal court activity from courthouses across Massachusetts and it compares that information with the names and dates of birth of those who have been issued Licenses to Carry Firearms or Firearms Identification Cards. When a match between the court activity and firearms license records is found, the system alerts the licensing officer that someone who he or she licenses was involved in court activity, which may result in the suspension or revocation of the person’s firearms license on the grounds of suitability or statutory disqualification.

Under this system, if you are licensed in one community but arrested in another, the Police Chief or his designee who issued your LTC or FID will be electronically notified when you appear in court as a criminal defendant. Your appearance may result in the suspension or revocation of your firearms license. If this happens, you should contact a lawyer such as Attorney Jesse C. Cohen.

The National Firearms Act (NFA)

Title II NFA refers to certain firearms, firearm accessories and other devices that are specifically regulated on a federal level. These regulations are separate from, and in addition to, those which are dictated at the state level by Massachusetts. Many of these federal laws differ sharply from Massachusetts Firearms Laws, and involve processes which may seem foreign to those unfamiliar to how the acquisition of such items is done. Because violation of federal NFA laws can carry severe penalties (often harsher than the worst penalties for violating Massachusetts firearms law) it is extremely important that one understand exactly what they are getting into when they decide to dive into the “NFA world”.

Note: Federal firearms law, including title II NFA items, is very complex. It is so complex that an entire book could be written on the subject, probably even several. The following is a guide that in many ways covers the main topics and common issues and questions that arise insofar as Massachusetts gun owners are concerned. It should not be considered a comprehensive outline on every facet of federal firearms law; this is just the tip of the iceberg. One should always consult with a firearms attorney experienced in federal Class III and NFA items.

Download our NFA Article (PDF) for more information.

This article was written by Marcus Dillof and posted by Massachusetts Firearms Attorney Jesse C. Cohen.

Washington D.C.’s Gun Ban: A Failed Experiment

Those politicians in Washington D.C who champion a platform advocating for stricter gun control must be unfamiliar with the city in which they work, because aside from D.C. acting as our nation’s capital it is also infamously regarded as the murder capital of the nation. This has been true for decades, despite its almost unprecedented level of oppressive gun control – an outright ban on handguns.

In 1976 D.C. banned all future purchase of handguns by its residents (a ban, which mind you, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2008 District v. Heller case.). At the time the ban was praised as being an effective response to the districts ridiculously high violent crime and murder rate (the highest in the nation). In summary, the ban basically stopped all sales of handguns in the city for over 30 years. Careful analysis of crime rates should indicate whether the ban was a success or not. On face value one would expect the former, since close to 70% of murders in the district were committed with a firearm (generally speaking, nearly all murders are committed with handguns). So we should see a drastic decline in the aforementioned types of crime following the 1976 ban, and an increase following it’s abolishment in 2008.

Data indicates that the murder rate per 100,000 in Washington D.C. fluctuated by as much as 5.0 during the early 1970’s. 1976 was 4.0 less than 1975, yet to the surprise of many gun control advocates 1977 witnessed a slight increase which remained stable for several years and then shot up again to where it was prior to the ban by 1980, hovering around 35 murders per 100,000 (the national average was roughly 9 from 1970-1980). Basically, following the ban there was no reduction in the violent crime rate.

Surprisingly, following the SCOTUS ruling in 2008 the crime rate actually dropped; significantly, in 2009 (data for years 2010 and 2011 were not available at the time I researched this material). 2008 had 31.5 murders per 100,000, while 2009 had 24, over a 30% decline. Is it possible that the (albeit still heavily regulated) availability of handguns persuaded some criminals to avoid targeting newly-armed victims? We may never know. What is certain is that violent crime was not affected by the districts handgun ban.

Some may argue that had it not been for nearby states with less stringent gun control measures thereby allowing illegal influx of firearms into Washington D.C., the districts violent crime rate may actually have decreased. Often ATF trace date is cited to support this position, stating that the majority of firearms confiscated and submitted to the ATF by the Metropolitan PD originated from out of state. It is my intent to point out several serious flaws with this approach.

  • In 2008 for example of 1,951 firearms submitted to the ATF for trace requests only 30 were used in homicides in 103 in assaults. Therefore the vast majority of firearms that the ATF attempts to trace are not representative of firearms used in violent crimes in the district.
  • We must also consider the fact that WashingtonD.C. maintains its own database of firearms and would likely utilize that before contacting the ATF. As a result ATF trace data in many ways specifically represents firearms that did not originate in Washington D.C. and excludes those that did, thus rendering it useless in supporting any theory that out of state firearms contribute, let alone cause Washington D.C.’s high violent crime rate.
  • Additionally, nearby cities in states such as Virginia and Maryland had single digit murder rates nearly 1/3 that of Washington D.C., which also climbed at fractions of 1 while the districts shot up often by 5 to 7 per 100,000. It would therefore be hard to argue that the violence spilled over to nearby states, when in reality the violence was an issue plaguing just the district.

It is much easier for politicians to “blame the guns” than it is to address what may be the actual root of the districts violence issues. Washington D.C. is perhaps the most unique in the county in terms of demographics, containing both a highly educated and well paid population as well as a poor minority population, each consisting of roughly half the city. This stark contrast is found in few other places in the nation, perhaps resulting in what is known in criminology as “strain theory”, where one group feels compelled to commit crime to attain the status and materials possessed by another, often better-off group. Indeed, only a small percentage (20%) of Washington D.C.(geographically speaking) accounts for over 60% of the crime in the district. Most of this area is represented by lower income individuals. These findings indicate that the true cause of crime within the district has nothing to do with guns at all, but rather far deeper societal issues.

It is a dirty secret often ignored by left-wing politicians arguing for further gun control that our nation’s capital is so bloody. Yet we must not allow them to sweep such realities under the rug. Gun control, in its strictest and most oppressive form had over 30 years to prove its success in a crime ridden city. It did not succeed; gun bans do not work. These same politicians who argue that you do not need firearm XYZ or XX number of rounds to defend yourself and family are also the ones who often have armed security escort them throughout the dangerous city, exempted from the restrictions that affect the “mere citizens”. Do not buy into their “Do as I say, not as I do” logic.

Written by Marcus Dilloff, posted by Mass. Firearms Attorney Jesse Cohen

The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Fact & Fiction

As the current debate surrounding firearms heats up, in particular regarding devices often incorrectly referred to as “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines, many gun control advocates are demanding a renewal of the 1994 Assault Weapons which expired in 2004. The ’94 AWB was responsible for non-retroactively prohibiting the possession of “assault rifles” that had certain features (pistol grips, bayonet lugs, flash hiders etc.) and magazines of capacities greater than 10rds. What it was not responsible for is any reduction in the crime rate during the time it was in effect, and here is why.

Before graduating with a bachelor’s degree from St. Anselm, those students in their senior year majoring in criminal justice are required to write a comprehensive research paper on a crime-related topic of their choosing. I choose to write about gun control; the title of my paper being “The Effectiveness of Federal and State Gun Control Measures at Reducing Crime Rates”. One area of legislation I examined was the 1994 AWB. I dove deep into areas and aspects of crime that are rarely if ever are mentioned when discussing the topic of gun control. I did this not only by examining existing scholarly research but also by closely analyzing crime rates of varying types to see what, if any effects the ban had. What I found flies in the face of nearly all the so-called facts and evidence that gun-control advocates offer in support of renewing what was clearly a failed piece of legislation from the ground up.

I wrote the paper before this current climate ensued, but I firmly believe my findings discussed below are more relevant now than ever before. It is my hope that when accurate, true facts such as these come to light people will be unwilling to support any renewal of the ’94 AWB. Perhaps philosopher George Santayana explained this situation best, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. So for the sake of all law-abiding gun owners who were and would be affected again, please do not forget that an assault weapons ban has been tried before and that it was a failure.

Myth: The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for the sharp reduction in crime during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

 Facts: It is indeed true that crime drastically declined beginning in the early 1990’s, but few if any criminologists believe the decline to be a result of the ’94 AWB. Instead, there are three major factors that are widely held to be responsible for the drop.

Crack – The 1980’s witnessed what is now referred to as the crack epidemic. It was a period of steadily increasing addition to crack cocaine by lower-income individuals, usually within inner cities, that was accompanied by a great deal of drug-related violent crime. In the early 1990’s, for reasons still debated, the crack epidemic suddenly ended.

Prison – The national average of incarcerated individuals per 100,000 rose from 292 in 1990 to 444 in 1997. Many of these individuals were responsible for the violent crime associated with the crack epidemic, and incarcerated as a result of laws aimed at crack that carried strict mandatory sentences.

Police – In 1994 Congress appropriated 9 billion dollars to hire an estimated 100,000 additional police officers, greatly increasing the ability of law enforcement to respond to and combat crack and violent crime.

Furthermore, the violent crime rate began to decline in 1993 (1,926,017 incidents) from its peak in 1992 (1,932,274 incidents), one year before the ban. It continued to decline throughout 1994 (1,857,670 incidents), and although that was indeed the year the ban was passed, it did not go into effect until near the end of the year in September, thus 1994 represents in large part a pre-ban year.

Myth: Crime began to again increase once the ban expired in 2004.

Facts: Crime did slightly increase in 2005, however much of this increase was property crimes such as theft and burglary. The second half of 2005 was a year of economic downturn and slow growth, events many criminologists attribute to rising crime rates, particularly those monetary related.

This slight increase was similar to spikes in firearm homicides that occurred in 2002 and 2003, and the national violent crime rate in 2001, during which time the ban was in effect. Furthermore, the spikes in robberies that were committed with a firearm correlated with spikes in robberies committed with other weapons. By 2009, 5 years after the ban expired and “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines were freely available, the violent crime rate was lower than it had ever been during the AWB despite an increase in the national population by nearly 50 million since 1994

Myth: “Assault Weapons” are popular amongst criminals and widely used in crime

Facts: This is flat-out untrue. Almost every study that has examined the prevalence of “assault weapons” has found that it is exceptionally rare that they are used during the commission of a crime. Take a look at the following statistics, reported as part of research studies conducted by criminologists during the early 1990’s regarding “assault weapons” prominence amongst criminals:

In 1993, 16% of murders and 8% of ATF trace requests involved an AW in NYC. During the past while researching gun legislation in NY I have found the NYPD to use a very liberal (in the traditional sense of the term) interpretation of what constitutes an AW, so I believe these statistics to be comparatively high.

According to the ATF, none of the ten most frequently traced firearms in 1994 were “assault weapons”. Instead they were mostly cheap .25 and .38 pistols.

According to criminologist Gary Kleck, only 1.8% of firearms recovered as part of criminal investigations were “assault weapons”.

When interviewed by the LA Times in 1992 the LA Sheriff’s department reported only 28 of 341 homicides, and the LAPD only 2% of homicides involved an “assault weapon”.

Only 8% of prisoners reported having possessed an “assault weapon” when questioned in 1993, and less than 1% said they had used it during the commission of the crime for which they were imprisoned.

It is also worthy to mention that in 1994 almost 80% of firearms submitted for trace requests to the ATF were handguns; few were rifles (11%) or shotguns (10%). The percentage of rifles is actually comparatively high, as many studies have found the number to hover around 3-5%.

Myth: “High capacity” magazines dramatically increase the carnage of shootings and result in criminals firing dozens of rounds without needing to reload.

Facts: Aside from the technical impossibility of continuous fire that the media seems to believe is not only possible but frequent, it is rather uncommon that anywhere approaching 10rds are ever fired by suspects during the commission of a crime. While recent events such as the shootings in CO and CT are tragic, they exceptionally rare and constitute only a fraction of a percent of all criminal shootings. Take a look at the following numbers regarding shots fired:

In NYC in 1994 the NYPD reported the average number of shots fired by suspects during shootouts with police was 3.7. These are altercations which typically have a higher number of shots fired than other types of shootings.

Studies cited by Gary Kleck found a similar trend, with well under 10rds fired during homicides.

The number of gunshot wounds sustained by those admitted to Washington D.C.’s main trauma ward was 4 or less for 92% of victims. This was during the height of the crack epidemic in a city well known for a high violent crime rate.

Between 1974-1995 when semi-automatic rifles and “high capacity ” magazines were gaining popularity, firearm fatality rates actually decreased from 4.3 to 3.3 to 2.9%.

Written by Marcus Dilloff, posted by Massachusetts Firearms Lawyer Jesse C. Cohen

The AR-15 Rifle: Myths Dispelled

The recent push by certain groups towards further regulations on gun ownership has been aided by a fervent media eager to capitalize on a tragic event. This often results in shoddy reporting and journalism by writers who seem to regard themselves as experts on firearms, when in reality the vast majority couldn’t tell an AR apart from an AK. The consequences are at best honest mistakes in gun terminology, and at worst deliberately misleading information on firearms intended to scare readers into developing inaccurate beliefs of firearms. This article hopes to offer honest, factual information that corrects the many myths and outright lies present in current news articles regarding firearms, particularly the AR family of rifles.

Myth: AR15’s are not widely owned by gun enthusiasts.

Facts: Gun control advocates and the media would like you to believe that AR’s are a firearm on the fringe of the gun community in the hopes of convincing people that it is a firearm that lacks acceptance even by gun owners. This is simply untrue. AR15’s are arguably the most popular civilian rifle of the 21st century. They are used for informal recreational target shooting and plinking, formal competition, hunting and home defense.

Their popularity stems from many factors that make them an attractive rifle; thorough testing and proven ability via 50 years of use by the military, widespread availability of parts and ability to customize an AR to the particular needs of each individual. One needs only step foot in any general gun shop (excluding specialty shops that cater to specific shooters) and they will likely see a particular wall or corner of the store devoted to AR’s and their parts/accessories/ammunition. These are not uncommon rifles.

Myth: The type of firearm used in shooting XYZ was an AR15 and they were banned during the 1994 Assault Weapons ban.

Facts: The AR15 has never been banned on a federal level. Certain features were banned, features that would have made zero difference whether or not they were present during some of the more recent shootings (see below).

Myth: AR15’s are assault weapons that have particularly deadly features.

Facts: It is first necessarily to point out that “assault weapon” is a term invented by those opposed to gun ownership to demonize certain firearms. “Assault weapon” sounds scarier than “AR15” or “modern sporting rifle”, right? It was never and is currently rarely referred to as such within the gun community, and few self respecting gun owners give such a derisive term any validity.

The features often criticized of AR’s do not make them any more dangerous. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban regulated features such as collapsible stocks (the ability to adjust the length of the buttstock for comfort), flash hiders (reducing the amount of flash at the muzzle when a round is fired) and pistol grips (holding the rifle via a grip that is more vertical than it is horizontal – again associated with comfort). Even those with no knowledge of firearms should realize these features pose no additional danger.

It is true that some AR15’s do contain a bayonet lug designed to attach a knife. However, such devices are widely considered obsolete, and this author is not aware of any recent mass shooting where a bayonet attached to a rifle has been used to injure or kill anyone.

Myth: AR15’s, Glocks and other pistols have “high capacity magazine clips” that hold too much ammunition and make the firearms excessively dangerous.

Facts: First, “magazine” and “clip” are two different pieces of equipment and the terms are not interchangeable, despite the media’s frequent misuse of the terms. There is no such thing as a “magazine clip”. A magazine is a unit into which rounds of ammunition are inserted. A clip is often a strip of metal on which rounds of ammunition are aligned and then pressed into a magazine, or pressed into the integrated magazine of a firearm (typically antique and vintage firearms used integrated, internal, non-detachable magazines).

Gun control proponents often cite a 10rd limit on magazine capacities as being standard. This is a flat-out lie. Take for example the Glock 22, a .40 caliber handgun popular with civilians and police. Its standard capacity is a 15rd magazine, as it was designed and intended to use a 15rd magazine which fits flush with the grip. A 10rd magazine would therefore be considered a reduced capacity magazine, not standard. Similarly, the AR15 was designed to utilize 20 and 30rd magazines, both of which are far off from a 10rd limit. In fact, a 10rd magazine barely protrudes from the magwell of an AR15, and often causes malfunctions. Likewise, the 100rd drums that gun control proponents often cite as responsible for carnage are actually responsible for the conclusion of some shootings, as they are known to be unreliable due to spring tension and thus responsible for malfunctions. The shooter in Aurora was stopped due to a malfunction caused by the drum he utilized.

Myth: AR15’s are dangerous automatic assault rifles that can fire 100’s of bullets.

Facts: Again, this is simply incorrect. The vast majority of AR15’s are semi-automatic, meaning they fire one round for each trigger pull. Fully-automatic firearms of any variety have been regulated on a federal level for civilians since 1934, and civilian possession of post-1986 examples is prohibited. This means that a registered, fully automatic AR15 lower receiver or drop-in auto sear ranges in price anywhere from $10-16,000. They are very rare and this author knows of no instance where one was ever used in the commission of a crime.

Following up on this point, an assault rifle is a military rifle which by nature is select fire (three round burst or fully automatic). As mentioned above, such devices are exceptionally rare and never used in crime.

Myth: AR15’s shoot high-powered ammo that is exceptionally dangerous.

Facts: Rifle calibers generally range from .22 to .50 cal. The AR15 shoots a .223 diameter bullet, one of the smallest bullets used by any rifle. In comparison, many muzzle loading rifles (400 year old technology) shoot a .50 caliber ball. Although many variables affect the potency of a round, size is one of the major factors. So while the AR15 utilizes an effective round, on a scale containing all military rifle rounds from the past 100 years the .223 would be near the bottom in terms of “power”. For example, grandpa’s .30-06 deer hunting rifle would do far more damage to a human than a modern .223 AR15 would.

This article was written by By Marcus Dilloff and posted by Attorney Cohen.

Another Assault Weapons Ban?

Following the re-election of Obama there has been a lot of talk of a renewal of the failed 1994-2004 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Not that this discussion is anything new; gun owners talked about it from 2008 all the way to 2012. Yet it does seem that this topic has reached a renewed vigor within recent weeks, and if the lack of available, new AR15 lowers, uppers and 30rd mags is any indication many gun owners are seriously concerned (terrified) that the ban may come back from the dead.

Here’s my opinion why that is unlikely at best:

This isn’t 1994 – Attitudes towards guns have changed since the early 1990’s. More people are applying for their carry licenses, taking classes, buying handguns and enjoying their 2nd amendment rights. Also, the factors that influenced the original ’94 ban, such as a staggeringly high violent crime rate and the crack cocaine epidemic have since passed (for the most part). And most importantly, the items that were targeted in 1994 such as mags in excess of 10rds and AR15’s with “evil” features were relatively unpopular in the early 90’s and made easy prey for gun grabbers. Currently however these firearms are perhaps the most popular amongst shooters; nearly every shooter today owns a “wonder nine” or tricked-out AR15.

People don’t support it – Many people realized after the ’94 ban that such measures have no correlation with reduced crime. Yes, there will always be people clamoring to grab every “assault weapon” and “high capacity ammunition clip”, but they are part of a dwindling minority desperately clinging to a dying, ill guided cause. Just login to facebook: the Brady Campaign has about 30,000 likes, the NRA about 1.7 million.

There are more pressing issues – Gun control just isn’t a hot topic right now, despite the media’s attempt to make it seem so. People care much more about the failing economy and how they are going to put food on the table than what gun you take to the range.

For those who base their purchasing decisions on probabilities and likely outcomes the above is probably enough to dissuade them from endeavoring on a buying frenzy. But for those not convinced, consider this. If somehow, on some crazy off chance another ban does get enacted, it’s unlikely the drafters will make the same “mistakes” they did in 1994. The provisions may be much worse, with perhaps no grandfather clause exempting pre-ban items, or perhaps a tax requiring registration if you wish to be exempt. If only for this reason alone, it isn’t worth it to drain your bank account to stock up on PMags and lowers when those may have little relevance to a new ban. So instead of spending your money, spend a little of your time being vigilant and prepared for any gun control legislation on the horizon, as unlikely as it may be.

This article was written by By Marcus Dilloff and posted by Attorney Cohen.

Firearms on College Campuses in Massachusetts

There appears to be a growing national trend towards allowing students to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights on college and university campuses. Unfortunately this trend has not yet reached Massachusetts, and there is a good chance it never will.

Unlike many states,Massachusetts has written it into law that students are essentially barred from possessing firearms on campus. This law, like many other Massachusetts gun laws, likely stems from misunderstanding and irrational fear of firearms. Specifically, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, Section 10J prohibits carrying firearms in school, college, or university property.

There is little evidence that someone responsible enough to carry a firearm elsewhere in the state would suddenly engage in bloodshed upon setting foot on campus. It is also hard to believe that criminals or those dedicated to harming others would be deterred by a sign or law stating “This Campus is a Gun Free Zone”. Indeed, there is much credibility to be given to the argument that college “gun free zones” create a class of disarmed victims vulnerable to criminals who be definition disregard such laws. It seems like almost weekly there are reports of female students being assaulted on campus’ inBoston, and surely no one has forgotten the Virginia Tech massacre. All too often in cases such as these the victims have been systematically disarmed by ill guided laws that pander to anti-gun sentiments.

This article was written by By Marcus Dilloff and posted by Attorney Cohen.