Massachusetts Assault Weapons Debacle: Schrödinger’s Gun!

So from Day one when Attorney General Maura Healey declared that the long-standing Massachusetts “Assault Weapon” ban, that was first enforced as the Federal AWB for 10 years, and enforced at the state level since 1998, totally didn’t mean what it said it meant, EVERYBODY knew it was a political stunt.

Still when the questions started arising, about what she meant I really chalked this up as incompetence. People have made some valid arguments that this could technically include ANY semi-auto firearm, or any semi-auto firearm that accepts a detachable magazine.

Really from AG Healey’s press conference, she directly addresses AR and AK pattern rifles that were made to comply with Massachusetts and other state laws, as does her enforcement letter, and given that the vast majority of “Ban compliant” rifles sold in this state fall into either “AK Pattern” or “AR Pattern” camps, I kinda assumed that’s really what she was going for with her little enforcement notice.

Given that she held her press conference in the middle of the Republican National Convention, and then promptly left the state for the Democrat National Convention, which just so happened to be just before the Summer Recess for the State Legislature, I assumed her ambiguous notice was so sloppy because she wrote it on a compressed timeline, and likely didn’t have anybody on staff that knew what end of a firearm the bullet came out of.

So I expected a clarification letter, especially when the heat was turned up by politicians from both political parties.

And when a month went by, I was wondering if that was going to happen…..well it did….kinda.

First up, I must give Credit to GOAL for their coverage of this.

Here are my own observations on the update that can be found here:

Guns That Are Not Assault Weapons

Good start! That’s just what we’ve been asking about for the last fucking month! You’d think it could have been done quicker given her vastly superior understanding of this law, given that she found hidden definitions within the text of the existing bill that she could change enforcement without needing to change the law….allegedly.

Any handgun on the current version of the state’s Approved Firearms Roster, available here links to PDF file. Handguns are still subject to MA 940 CMR 16.00 et seq Consumer Protection Regulation

Well that is very clear. So clearly her “Similar Operating System” test doesn’t apply to handguns: ie the Tec-9 and Uzi are blowback pistols that were named in the Assault Weapons ban, but any other blowback pistol isn’t considered a “Similar Operating System”.

I’m not saying it’s a good or rational clarification, I’m just saying it does clear some big questions.

Any weapon that is operated by manual bolt, pump, lever, or slide action;
Any weapon that is an antique, relic, or theatrical prop;
Any semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition;
Any semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than five rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine.

Ok, well the first bit was a concerned raised by some more reactionary people. They noted that some manually operated guns, like pump shotguns, or lever-action rifles, or bolt-action rifles have been made with AR-15 parts or accept AR-15 magazines etc, but the Assault Weapons ban ONLY applied to semi-auto guns in the first place…still given what you’re going to read in this post, I Guess it isn’t so crazy.

I have no idea on the laws of “Theatrical Props”, but “Curios” tend to be pre-94 guns, so again moot.

Nice on her to include fixed-magazine guns, that has been long-established, but that was brought into question with the new insanity.

Sounds like she’s trying to exclude sporting shotguns….still the AWB never applied to fixed tubular magazines….and what defines “Capacity”, As I can probably stoak up my wife’s Beretta Ureka with mini-shells and get it to hold 7-8!

Any of the hundreds of rifles and shotguns listed on this list PDF file —Appendix A to 18 U.S.C. § 922, as appearing on September 13, 1994;

Obviously this is just some PDF she dug out of the archives, as it’s almost 22 years old, and only lists the following center-fire semi-auto rifles:

Browning BAR Mark II Safari Semi-Auto Rifle
Browning BAR Mark II Safari Magnum Rifle
Browning High-Power Rifle
Heckler & Koch Model 300 Rifle
Iver Johnson M–1 Carbine
Iver Johnson 50th Anniversary M–1 Carbine
Marlin Model 9 Camp Carbine
Marlin Model 45 Carbine
Remington Nylon 66 Auto-Loading Rifle
Remington Model 7400 Auto Rifle
Remington Model 7400 Rifle
Remington Model 7400 Special Purpose Auto Rifle
Ruger Mini-14 Autoloading Rifle (w/o folding stock)
Ruger Mini Thirty Rifle

Gee super nice for her to give us a list of guns from the Clinton Administration. Also let’s laugh at the Typo of the Remington Nylon 66 .22 LR being listed as “Center-fire”

There is also a similar list of rim-fire rifles given. The only gun I need to reference is the 10/22 is specified to be WITHOUT the folding stock, much like the listing for the Mini-14. This is interesting because the AG made the case that changing cosmetic features like adding a fixed stock, or changing the muzzle configuration had no relevance to the law…..so why is she citing a legal document that makes that distinction?

Also that list shows further incompetence that 90% of the guns listed are manually operated guns….as in guns that were, and always have been exempted from the law….so why publish an inclusive list of manually operated guns in reference to an ban on semi-auto guns????

Now onto the doozies!

Any Ruger Mini 14 or substantially-similar model weapon;
Any Springfield Armory M1A or substantially similar model weapon

Let that sink in she says “ANY” and is referencing it as a separate point from the list I just talked about. ANY, implies…well ANY rifle of that line…including folding-stock guns that were previously considered banned in the state.

So what is it? Can I buy and M1A or Mini-14, or only Massachusetts compliant models? She’s already stated that “Massachusetts Compliant” is a completely bogus term, and that we shouldn’t be following the law the way it’s actually written, but how she has decided to enforce it….

Also note the irony that she’s declaring legal rifles that are declared ILLEGAL in her supporting documents.

it gets worse:

Any .22 caliber rimfire rifle

Ok so first up below in the Q&A section it reads:

Still there were dedicated .22 LR rifles you couldn’t legally buy in Massachusetts. A Ruger 10-22 with a folding stock, or a threaded flash-hider were illegal (and note folding-stock 10/22s are referenced in the 1994 Document!), as well as the S&W M&P15-22, which comes from the factory with a threaded muzzle, pistol grip, flash hider, and collapsible stock. Per every other reading of the Assault Weapons ban, that’s an “Assault Weapon”, but she’s now declaring it exempt because it’s chambered in .22 LR.

I’ll note that for the last several days it only read “.22 Caliber Rifles” not “Rimfire”….again more rank incompetence, as 5.56mm ammo is .22 Caliber.

So what the fuck is the law? Do we follow the law as it’s written, and that she’s said is meaningless, or do we follow her contradictory edict?

This list is not exhaustive; it is meant for illustrative purposes only. Many other weapons are not assault weapons or “copies or duplicates” of assault weapons.

Nope it’s neither Exhaustive, clear, or consistent!

Prison time is the only thing I would accept for her!

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4 Responses to Massachusetts Assault Weapons Debacle: Schrödinger’s Gun!

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