Skip to comments.Mass. Lawmakers Give Police Chiefs Power to Decide Who Can Purchase Shotguns, Rifles
Posted on 08/01/2014 4:30:26 PM PDT by bkopto
On July 25 Breitbart News reported that Massachusetts police chiefs wanted "sole discretion" over who can purchase a long gun, be it a rifle or a shotgun.
On August 1 state lawmakers passed a bill that gives police chiefs such discretion.
According to Reuters, police chiefs already had final say on would-be handgun purchasers, and the new law would extend that by providing them with "the authority to turn down a resident's request to buy a rifle or shotgun."
House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D) commented on the law: "We seek not to be the safest state in the nation but strive to make our communities the safest in the world."
On July 25 Breitbart News reported that Boston Police Commissioner William Evans spoke in support of giving police chiefs "authority" over long gun sales.
At that time Evans also said, "For the most part, nobody in [Boston] needs a shotgun. Nobody needs a rifle."
The gun control legislation now goes to the governor....
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
Insanity personified. That is why zero vacations here.
And this is the state that, back in 1775, had patriots at Lexington and Concord. Massachusetts committed suicide when it became a firmly-entrenched Democrat state.
And yet, here we are. :-(
This is a flagrant violation of the Second Amendment. Every one of these bastards need to be arrested and their asses thrown in prison where they belong.
Please change “Chief” in title to “Chiefs”. Thx
Anyone who remains in MA deserves what happens when they cannot defend themselves.
There is hunting on the Vineyard.
What? I think that each individual should make that decision. Wow what a arrogant SOB
The strongest guarantee in the Bill of Rights covers the Second Amendment: “shall not be infringed”. That isn’t just a restriction at the federal level, “Congress shall make no law”, it’s an absolute. This new rule has no legitimacy.
I miss the rule of law.
Thanks. I’ll remember that.
Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts , Romney said. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.
Massacussetts deserves the dictators they elect.
Bring out the tar and feathers for these so called lawmakers or a rope.
So 200+ years hence and the king finally gets control over guns?
The police chief says essentially no one needs a shotgun or long gun.
You gonna decide what cars I dont need?
What size my home ought to be or how many I should be able to lawfully own?
I will never live in your POS state.
California pulls this, I can guarantee you I’ll leave.
Now the citizen has no means of self defense nor the ability to threaten, by force, the bumbling bureaucrats, who seek to undermine the constitution and make fellow citizens bow and pay fealty to tyrants.
Patently Unconstitutional and will be overturned.
We call this an ‘SS Officer’.
BS. Legislators are acting against the Constitution.
Blame THEM....not the people who are suffering because of them.
Legislators and police chiefs needs to be held PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for Unconstitutional laws such as this. They should be sued to bankruptcy.
At that time Evans also said, “For the most part, nobody in [Boston] needs a shotgun. Nobody needs a rifle.”
Somewhere in Hell, Pol Pot, Stalin and Mao are smiling while in Cuba, an old,tired warped, tin pot dictator is nodding in agreement.
Yes. Start here:
misses is from there and I convinced her to leave the hell hole of the north east over 10 years ago, and she said it was the best move she has ever done.
How any conservative can still stay up there is beyond me, and voting there is a waste of time as there are far too many ignorant people voting.
I don’t think Democrat is the correct term ... Progressive (aka communist/socialist) is correct and it seems that all of New England is wearing the hammer & sickle badge. Progressives fear any citizen owning firearms as they know eventually the unwashed masses will rebel against their excesses.
Obambi unconstitutionally sold off Chrysler to Fiat and we are now being bombarded with those insipid commercials for those ugly roller skates.
>>Legislators are acting against the Constitution.
Blame THEM....not the people who are suffering because of them.<<
Nonsense, it is still your family that is left defenseless. Get out now to somewhere you can defend your loved ones.
I lived there 55 years ago. Joined the Navy and never went back.
- and house speaker de Leo is a punk.
Agreed. Should we all run like cowards to other states? No.
And in a recent Federal criminal indictment (one that recently led to at least one conviction) he was named as an "unindicted co-conspirator".Looks like he'll eventually join the last half dozen House Speakers to boast a Federal felony conviction.
Let's think about this carefully. It says, "Congress shall make no law . . ." The fact that it doesn't say, "No State shall make a law . . ." means it's not unconstitutional for Mass. to go all nanny-Nazi over guns. Crazy, but not unconstitutional. The powers of the Federal government are "few and defined" for a reason: to allow States to compete against each other, improve on each other, copy each other, or move in the opposite direction to attract all the best settlers.
The legal fashion that all States must duplicate the Federal Bill of Rights when governing their respective citizens is in itself an example of unconstitutional over-reach by the Feds. Hard cases (such as slavery) have resulted in many bad laws indeed.
That's why the Marxists have always loved this false doctrine: With particular intensity since the late 19th century, they have focused on controlling the Federal culture, adding all sorts of unconstitutional and onerous powers to itso that, whoever controls the Federal government can obliterate the States' interpretation of their own laws. That way, uniformity, Kaiser-like, can be enforced on individual citizens from the top.
It may be that only civil chaos resulting from the corruption and incompetence of Federal rule will be the force powerful enough to unwind Federal overreach. Unfortunately, I think that is what will occur, as the more prosperous and better-led states or alliances of states exert increasing independenceto the point where the Detroit-like central government is unable to contain them. It's unfortunate because it will be attended by warfare.
Not all of New England is gun-grabber territory.
Maine has a conservative TEA Party governor who is far more conservative than Rick Perry. Gov. LePage ended Maine’s status as a sanctuary state two days after taking office. Our governor is VERY pro-second amendment sort of guy.....not your typical northeast governor.
The Second Amendment is alive and well in Maine, with many gun owners and private sales. Semi-automatic rifles are freely bought and sold, and advertised for sale on store marquees. We have open carry.
Hunting, plinking, firearms defense and training courses, shooting sports, gun shows, classified ads for firearmsa, etc. are all popular and common here.
Yes, our federal delegation are idiots, but no state is perfect.
Same with Vermont and New Hampshire when it comes to firearms. The three southern New England states of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are the pain-in-the-ass states when it comes to firearm ownership in New England.
That wording is not in the Second Amendment. Here is what it says:
"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
That wording is not in the Second Amendment.
You raise an interesting question, and I would love the idea of the 2A riding supreme over all the other Amendments, as the only one that applies to the laws of the States. But I've never heard of that as being the intent of the document, have you? The whole text of the USC seems to be a pact between the States (as representatives of their respective People), defining and restricting the powers of the Federal entity that will unite them, rather than the laws of the States.
What do comments from the time tell us about whether the 2A was considered unique in that way or not? You have me curious.
I’m not clear on this new restriction. Despite being trapped in Massachusetts, at least we have GOAL, the Gun Owners Action League.
Believe it or not, although I could be mistaken, I believe the bill that passed the legislature is a net gain for MA gunowners, and had it not been for GOAL, it would have been a disaster.
If I have it right, what this refers to is that a police chief can now prevent someone from getting an FID card, which is required to buy a rifle or shotgun. However, the way the below e-mail reads, instead of just a flat denial, the chief has to go to court and prove the applicant is unsuitable.
On top of that, laws around a license to carry (LTC) seem to have improved, whereby instead of a simple denial by a chief, the applicant for the first time has the right to appeal a denial in district court, and the Chief has to defend the denial, whereas before the applicant had no course of action.
Trust me, I still can’t stand MA draconian laws including the “consumer protection” laws that prevent many handguns from being sold here, but if you read this e-mail, thanks to GOAL, gunowners of MA made a good leap forward.
One final example... Until now you had to get the FID card to buy pepper spray. I think MA was only state in US with that requirement. Now if you are 18 you can buy over the counter. As you read the list below you’ll see how crazy the laws already were and I’m pretty happy at the outcome.
Here is the e-mail I got yesterday.
H.4376 One Step From Becoming Law.
Bill awaits Governor Patrick’s Signature.
First off, we would like to thank you for all of the unprecedented hard work in communicating a strong and clear message to our legislature. Over the last 10 weeks we have overwhelmed state house phone lines, emails and mailboxes and we were heard. In a rapidly evolving legislative climate you did an amazing job staying current and on message.
Going back to the genesis of this fight, Speaker DeLeo’s H.4121, the bill we faced on May 27, 2014 was drastically different from what was passed yesterday. It literally went from being a gun control bill to being a crime control bill. Some of the many anti Second Amendment provisions that we stopped included a renewed ban on modern sporting rifles and one gun a month legislation. There are no new magazine or gun bans passed in this legislation.
We were also able to pass many good provisions including a fix of the 90-day grace period in regard to license renewals, elimination of LTC B’s, and legalization of pepper spray.
We were successful in stopping many negative and onerous articles and amendments.
The original bill would have criminalized private sales of firearms between licensed individuals.
This section was struck and private sales remain legal.
The original bill would have applied a “suitability” clause to the issuance of FID cards. This was modified so that the licensing authority now has to prove in court that the applicant is unsuitable. For the first time ever in MA, the burden of proof is upon the licensing authority.
The original bill would have made an FID applicant list a “reason” for applying. This was struck from the legislation.
The original bill would have given the licensing authority the ability to place restrictions on FID cards. This was struck from the legislation.
The original bill had very onerous language regarding confiscated/seized firearms. We were successful in getting that removed.
The original bill would have drastically increased penalties for improper firearms storage, we were successful in removing this language.
The original bill would have granted even more power to the MA Chiefs of Police and EOPSS to determine what unsuitability is. We were successful in removing this language
The original bill would have penalized licensees for not renewing early. We were able to remove this language.
The original bill would have given the MA Attorney General unprecedented power over which firearms can be purchased in MA. (EOPSS list). We were successful in removing this language.
The original bill would have given the Colonel of the State Police power to define the curriculum for firearms safety training programs and to determine suitability of trained instructors. We were successful in removing this language.
The original bill would have forced hunter’s safety courses and firearms safety courses to include a module on suicide prevention. This was amended so that the state will now provide hand out materials for the teachers.
We were able to defeat a Senate amendment which would have added one gun a month legislation.
We were able to defeat a Senate amendment which would have added a renewed AWB ban
H.4376 Accomplished many positive things for Massachusetts gun owners including:
Critical training language correction for juniors, this now allows trainers to provide firearms to junior shooters and hunters with parental consent
Allow juniors to apply for their FID card a year early (age 14) and receive their card at 15.
Person over the age of 18 will no longer need an FID card to purchase pepper spray
15-17 year old can still possess - but must have an FID card
Chiefs must first petition the court to deny someone his/her FID card.
Because it is in the courts, it gives GOAL and others the ability to track what Chiefs are doing
The term “prohibited person” is now being used for both licenses - instead of “suitable”
This change in the language provides a much need change in framework around whom is prohibited
The 90 day grace period - license renewal issue was fixed. Gun owners will now receive a receipt upon renewal, which makes the license valid until the new license is received.
Added language so that people who voluntary seek mental health help will not be listed as a prohibited person
There will be exemptions for the sale of Olympic-style handguns in the Commonwealth
They were previously not legal to transfer by licensed dealers in the Commonwealth.
Curios and Relic Collectors:
Collectors can now purchase handguns and firearms that may not comply with the approved firearms roster
Created online portal for face-to-face transfers, preserving private sales
The Class B License was eliminated; going forward there is only one License to Carry. (LTC).
Chiefs now have to put denials in writing
For the first time, gun owners can appeal their LTC restrictions in District Court - now the burden of proof is on the police chief to defend the denial or restriction in District Court and in writing
We added language that if your firearms get confiscated that the licensing authority shall at that time inform the person in writing of their ability to transfer their firearms to an independent licensed individual
Lost & Stolen Firearm:
GOAL put in language so that a person who, in good faith, reports their firearm as lost or stolen - this shall not make them considered a prohibited person - period.
We extended the time period an active duty military member has to become licensed, or renew their license from 90 to 180 days.
We exempted active duty military members from having to take the mandatory gun safety training classes
Once again, we would like to thank all of you for all of the hard work. With your help we changed the tenor of the bill away from being an all out assault on lawful gun owners.
After all, he has the authority to grant & deny.
Apparently, the chief danger is that of tyranny. Someone needs to do something about that.
"You raise an interesting question, and I would love the idea of the 2A riding supreme over all the other Amendments, as the only one that applies to the laws of the States. But I've never heard of that as being the intent of the document, have you?"
Let me skip Amendment 1 and 2, and illustrate how absurd other laws would read if the writers kept to the phrase "Congress shall make no law," and why this and other amendments were constructed to make sure that the people's rights were to be honored EVERYWHERE in this nation.
The Third Amendment states:
" No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
If this Amendment had started with "Congress shall make no law," it would have left it open for States to allow for the quartering officers of the state in private residences. Absurd isn't it? But it wasn't worded that way, and we accept without question the wording of the Third Amendment as a flat prohibition of ANYONE from forcing private owners to house military personnel.
It leaves no wiggle room for States, and subsequently Counties or Cities to decide otherwise.
Let's look at the 4th Amendment.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Again, this didn't start with "Congress shall make no law," and we accept as a finality that NO ONE shall make laws which would compromise the right of the people to be secure in their houses, persons, papers, and effects. Again, this leaves no wiggle room for States, Counties and Cities to decide otherwise.
And now, the 5th Amendment.
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Again, this doesn't start with "Congress shall make no law," as it is evident that the the Amendment prohibits ANYONE from passing laws taking away our right not to testify against ourselves, or taking away our right to life, liberty, or property without due process. We understand these are OUR rights, and all governmental agencies are flatly PROHIBITED from altering them to our detriment.
Back to the 2nd Amendment. It didn't start with "Congress shall make no law," and it's damned fortunate for us that it didn't start this way. Despite the rhetoric of the left, there is no wiggle room in this Amendment either, to allow States, Counties, or Cities to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. There is a unifying theme to the bill of rights. The theme is that they are OUR RIGHTS, and all governmental agencies are FORBIDDEN to violate them.
This is openly inviting ass-kissing and/or bribery.
Okay, so I looked up "Does Bill of Rights . . ." and auto-complete offered me "apply to the states". I'm not always a fan of Wikipedia, but this link seemed pretty user-friendly and also scholarly. It has a time-line of when parts of the Bill of Rights were "incorporated against" the States. The article says the Supreme Court in 1833 flatly held that the Bill of Rights did not apply to State governments, but to Congress.
A case in New York that was decided by the USSC in 1925, Gitlow v. New York, is said to be the first where the Court held that States were bound to protect freedom of speech because of an obligation to incorporate the Bill of Rights. Through the rest of the 20th century, more and more provisions of the Bill of Rights were incorporated to the States and localities, rather than the Federal government. Judging quickly from the names, it was mostly liberal judges supporting liberal causes, but that's not necessarily here or there.
Unless the article is completely upside-down on its facts, it would appear that the freedoms of the Bill of Rights in earlier times were defended within States and localities through the kind of "peer pressure" of other American localities. On the desired result, there's no dispute possible among real Americans. But it appears that the liberty enshrined in American civic and legal culture did not come about because of the incorporation doctrine. It seems to have preceded that doctrine by 150 years. Let me know what you think!
I read this differently. The "Congress shall make no law . . ." in the First Amendment rather than, "shall not be infringed . . ." as in the Second Amendment means it was not explicitly unconstitutional for Mass. to go all nanny-Nazi over free speech and over freedom of the press when the Bill of Rights passed. It's only the Second Amendment that was approved with the absolute blanket protection of "shall not be infringed" to prevent any level of government from interfering with the fundamental, God-given right of the people to keep and bear arms. It is only the Second Amendment that was written explicitly so that it was already incorporated when written.
So they passed this? IOW if anti Second Amendment Chief Goebbels says no one needs to be armed but us then Chief Obie Goebbels decides he doesn’t want anyone to purchase or own firearms his word is law? Well it would make his being run out of town on a rail more difficult. It would also strengthen his awthaaaawity. When government decides what you can own or how much then government owns you likewise.
Well, except for the Swarms of Taxachusetts Officers, whose job it is to harass the Massachusetts peasants, and eat out their substance.
THOSE officers need automatic weapons, MRAPs, Bearcats and dozens and dozens of smalltown SWAT teams, dressed in Tacticool like the Gear Queers that they are...
Which is why the Swarms of Officers at the federal, state & local levels are all armed with deadly assault weapons...