Proposed Massachusetts Firearms Legislation

An important message from Certified Firearms Instructor Bruce A. Blessington:

Since early this year, in the aftermath of the horrible Newtown School shootings,  Massachusetts legislators have filed nearly 20 separate bills dealing with firearms. Some of these are sensible and quite constructive measures. Others, are highly restrictive, abusive and destructive of the rights of law abiding citizens to own and use firearms. As is so often the case in this state, anti- gun lobbyists seem to have the ear of the legislature and the press and are thus able to push their ideology that seeks to eliminate all firearms ownership by private citizens. These pieces of legislation often mask the motives of their authors with pious titles such as “An Act to reduce gun violence and to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth” or  “An Act regarding the prevention if illegal trafficking and gun violence among youth in the Commonwealth”. In fact these legislative proposals are nothing more than political theater designed to persuade the press and the uninformed electorate that they, the legislators, are really “doing something about guns”. At the same time, some of these legislative initiatives, if passed, will, among other things, drastically curtail the rights of gun owners to possess and use all types of rifles and semi-auto pistols and impose draconian and invasive liability insurance requirements on any individual that owns guns. As is usually the case, the tougher societal issues involving mental health records, locking up gang members with guns and enforcing the volumes of gun laws already on the books get little if any attention.

My colleague Rick Swasey and I have reviewed 13 of the more significant of these legislative proposals and drafted extensive written comments on each. Our focus has been to identify and review those legislative proposals that we felt were the most destructive of our second amendment rights and one or two that we thought should be supported. In the category of initiatives that deserve gun owner support, I would ask you to consider HB 1560, HB 2181, HB 2182, HB2183, HB 3247 and  HB 3256. Due to limited time, we have not generated detailed written comments on any of these six bills but believe we should all support them.

I have attached two .pdf files: the first entitled Comments by Key Legislative Provisions deals with subject matter (gun club storage, gun registration etc.) since the same subjects and the same language appear in multiple bills. Also included in this file is a chart listing the bills and their content by Key Provision. The second file, Comments by Bill Number  is a set of comments on each individual bill listed on the chart. I have also attached a PowerPoint Presentation that deals with the fictional problem of “Assault Weapons”.

I hope that you will use these files with your elected representatives to see if we can collectively head off a disaster. You should feel free to merely forward them and this e-mail unaltered over your own name, without attribution. Rick and I plan to personally place copies of these materials in the hands of each of the members of the Joint House and Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and to attend as many of the public hearings as possible. In order to learn the schedule of these meetings in your area it is necessary to call the Committee since the web site is never up to date. Please help us with this important effort by forwarding these materials over your signature to your elected representatives as well as the members of the Joint Committee. Please also forward this to all the  gun owner friends in your e-mail directory and ask them to pass it on. I would like to bury Beacon Hill under the weight of these comments. Together, we can change the outcome. Thanks for your help.

Bruce A. Blessington
Certified Firearms Instructor:
Basic Pistol, Rifle, Advanced Personal Defense
Tel: 508-353-6401 Fax: 617-580-8483