BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT FOR GOAL’S EFFORTS TO PROTECT POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

June 20, 2017

BOSTON – Today the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts and State Representatives Kate Campanale (R-Leicester) and Colleen Garry (D-Dracut) announced bi-partisan support for their domestic violence prevention bills, H. 736 and H. 2492 respectively. H. 736 seeks to heighten awareness of self-defense choices to prevent domestic violence and the legal protection of victims. H.2492 will legalize stun guns in the Commonwealth. A total of 44 legislators (20 Democrats and 24 Republicans) have signed on to letters of support to the two committees assigned to hear the bills.

“There is a critical difference between feeling safe and being safe,” said Jim Wallace, Executive Director of GOAL. “The bi-partisan support clearly shows that domestic violence and safety are not partisan issues. Our laws should allow citizens to protect themselves from domestic violence. We must also do all we can to make sure victims do not become legally ensnared by the Commonwealth’s convoluted laws.”

“The majority of the Commonwealth residents do not have a basic working knowledge of their legal rights to self-protection – and that is completely unacceptable in these days and times,” said Rep. Kate D. Campanale. “I’m glad my colleagues have joined us in supporting a person’s right to self-defense. Knowledge is power!”

“During my life, I experienced fear first-hand and needed to defend myself,” said Rep. Colleen M. Garry. “The roadblocks to self-defense methods in Massachusetts, such as a stun gun, are completely unacceptable and only helps attackers perpetrate their crimes. Stun guns are available for public sale in 42 states. I’m glad my colleagues agree that it’s time we take a step into the 21st century and help victims and potential victims gain the upper hand.”

H.736, An Act Relative to Violent Protection Order Violations would require the state to produce materials that detail all available self-defense options and what it takes to obtain them. The bill also would prevent victims of domestic violence from being sued by their attackers.
Currently, Massachusetts law prohibits the sale of stun guns to the general public. Following a recent Supreme Court decision, where in Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016) it ruled that the state’s ban on stun guns is unconstitutional and out of touch with traditional self-defense options.

H.2492, An Act Relative to Defensive Electric Devices repeals the 20+ year old ban on the sale of electronic self-defense devices in the Commonwealth and makes them available for public purchase without a license. These products are available over the counter in the vast majority of the United States including Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Legislators Supporting the legislation:

Colleen M. Garry
State Representative
36th Middlesex Room 238

James J. Dwyer
State Representative
30th Middlesex Room 254

Hannah Kane
State Representative
11th Worcester Room 236

Marc T Lombardo
State Representative
22nd Middlesex Room 443

Brian M. Ashe
State Representative
2nd Hampden District Room 236

Elizabeth A. Poirier
State Representative 14th Bristol
Room 124

Thomas A. Golden, Jr
State Representative 16th Middlesex
Room 473B

Susannah M. Whipps
State Representative 2nd Franklin
Room 540

Kate D. Campanale
State Representative
17th Worcester District
Room 542

Mathew J. Muratore
State Representative
1st Plymouth District
Room 39

Keiko M. Orrall
State Representative
12th Bristol
Room 540

Donald F. Humason Jr
State Senator
2nd Hampden & Hampshire District
Room 313A

Kimberly N. Ferguson
State Representative
1st Worcester District
Room 473B

William L. Crocker, Jr
State Representative
2nd Barnstable
Room 39

Viriato M. deMacedo
State Senator
Plymouth & Barnstable
Room 313C

David T. Vieira
State Representative
3rd Barnstable
Room 167

Jon Zlotnik
State Representative
2nd Worcester
Room 26

Shawn Dooley State Representative
9th Norfolk
Room 167

Shaunna O’Connell
State Representative
3rd Bristol District
Room 237

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr
State Representative
12th Hampden
Room 122

Joseph D. McKenna
State Representative
18th Worcester
Room 33

Susan Gifford
State Representative 2nd Plymouth
Room 124

Kevin J. Kuros
State Representative
8th Worcester
Room 443

David F. DeCoste
State Representative
5th Plymouth District
Room 236

Jennifer E. Benson
State Representative 37Th Middlesex
Room 42

Brain W. Murray
State Representative
10th Worcester District
Room 443

Donald R. Berthiaume, Jr
State Representative
5th Worcester
Rom 540

Donald H. Wong
State Representative
9th Essex
Room 541

Paul W. Mark
State Representative
2nd Berkshire
Room 160

James R. Miceli
State Representative
19th Middlesex
Room 237

Todd M. Smola
State Representative
1st Hampden District
Room 124

William Smitty Pignatelli
State Representative
4th Berkshire
Room 146

Paul A. Schmid, III State
Representative 8th Bristol
Room 466

James Arciero
State Representative
2nd Middlesex
Room 172

Tackey Chan
State Representative
2nd Norfolk
Room 134

Anne M. Gobi
State Senator
Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire & Middlesex
Room 513

John C. Velis
State Representative
4th Hampden
Room 174

Josh S. Cutler
State Representative
6th Plymouth
Room 26

David K. Muradian, Jr
State Representative
9th Worcester
Room 156

Timothy R. Whelan
State Representative
1st Barnstable
Room 39

Paul K. Frost
State Representative
7th Worcester District
Room 542

Angelo L. D’Emilia
State Representative
8th Plymouth
Room 548

Hannah Kane
State Representative
11th Worcester District
Room 236

Jennifer L. Flanagan
State Representative
Worcester and Middlesex
Room 312D

Linda Dean Campbell – H736 Only
State Representative
15Th Essex
Room 238

GOAL Self Defense Bills Have Strong Bi-Partisan Support
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