Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New Mass Gun Law Proposed

Here is an open letter to the Mass State House:

I wanted to take a moment to write you on the new gun laws that are being discussed to “Prevent Gun Violence”.

I attended the hearing at the State House on Tuesday and it was good to see a very strong turn out to speak against this law.  To sum it up this law is trying to do too many things and infringes heavily on lawful gun ownership in this state while doing very little if anything to prevent crime or increase gun safety in MA.  Mass gun laws are already very confusing, convoluted and hard to understand for a lawful gun owner, this will not help.

A few key points that are a big problem:

List all guns you own to renew a license:
So if they state does not have the same list I do what happens?  What about folks that move into state and were told they did not have to register them?  What about guns inherited years ago?  What about lost paperwork at the state level?  This seems like a set up to entrap gun owners who have tried to follow our mess of gun laws.  Will there be any way to check what the state thinks I have and let me fix any errors without legal issues?

One year NON VIOLENT minor misdemeanor convictions disqualification:
So anyone who did something dumb like swimming in a public water supply or tossing something onto the field at Fenway in college is now banned FOR LIFE from their right to own a gun?  This is crazy these folks have done noting to show they are a danger to anyone in owning a gun.

No private transfers:
 All transfers in this state are from LICENCED
person to LICENCED person.  They have had a background check already and have to file the right forms with the state to record the transfer. . . there is no “gun show” loophole in MA law now.  Gun dealers will not want to lose time processing this paperwork when they should be selling their own stuff and dealing with customers.

Straw Purchase laws:
these are already on the books, we need to enforce existing laws, not make new ones.

Make FID license “may issue” non “Shall Issues”:
We already have problems with different towns having different rules as to who is suitable to get a permit for a pistol and many law abiding citizens have had their rights denied for no good reason beyond the chief does not want to issue the permits.  In my neighboring town of Scituate they have a new police chief and people who have had carry permits for years are now being denied permits.

Let the State Police determine training for a license:
This would remove current requirements for instructors to have been certified to teach by the NRA or other recognized group and replace it with what?  The NRA is a recognized expert in gun training and safety that is used as a reference by everyone from the military and courts to insurance companies.  Why would we want to go to some other form of training?  The NRA has been doing this successfully for years all over our country why start over?

I could keep going but I know many of these points were already brought up while I was at the hearing.

The last point I want to bring up is the speed at which this is being pushed through.  This has been studied for 18 months or so and they came up with a badly flawed bill.  Why are we not taking the care and time to fix it?  This bill should be broken up into parts – Permits, Mental Health, and Criminal Justice.  This law affects our basic Constitutional rights both at the state and federal level.  It should not be rushed but slowed down so we can all review the laws, and fix what needs fixing.  When I hear we need to pass it now I wonder what is being hidden in it. . .  .

I ask that you vote against this bill as it stands.  This is a huge imposition on lawful gun owners and infringes on our rights without doing anything to prevent crime or make us safer.  This bill is not good for Massachusetts.

Thank You