Healey’s office continues attempt at re-writing law for MA Legislature via her “Enforcement Notice”.
In the last 24 hours a new page has shown up on Attorney General Healey’s website, titled “Guns That Are Not Assault Weapons”.
8/22 Update: The Q&A page has been updated again today, they attempted to fix their mistake re: .22 caliber ammo but didn’t actually fix it because they screwed up again, but we’re not going to point out their mistake for them. They also revised the language regarding handgun sales.
Once again, amateur hour from the Attorney General’s office. As always, nothing on this enforcement notice resembles any law in MGL, nor federal law, see below for more info.
8/19 Update: The Q&A page has been updated again today, and incredibly, adds to the confusion and worse, adds new “enforcements”. Here are the questions, just added. We now know that the AG’s office has limited knowledge of both firearms and MA law pertaining to them.
Q: I am a law enforcement officer. Does the notice affect me?
- No. The notice does not change the law with respect to ownership of Assault weapons by law enforcement officers. Your existing right to buy and possess Assault weapons remains protected under Massachusetts law.
Q: I am a dealer. May I re-stock my inventory of Assault Weapons for sales exclusively to law enforcement officers?
- No. However, you may take orders for sales of Assault Weapons to law enforcement officers, and you may obtain those weapons from your distributor and possess them until you complete the transfer. When you do so, you must retain information sufficient to verify that the transferee is a law enforcement officer.
Things to note here, first off “your existing right to buy and possess Assault weapons”. Is the AG’s office recognizing a right for a certain class of individuals? Is she saying that law enforcement officers are more privileged than the rest of us? Dealers cannot and were never able to transfer post ban “assault weapons” to LEO’s, so how is their “right to buy and possess” them protected?
In the second question you will notice that the AG’s office is now trying to tell dealers how they can run their business, and when they can carry inventory. This is a farce for many reasons, mainly because the existing MA law regarding possession of “assault weapons” is c.140 s131m. This law doesn’t apply to dealers, that’s another section of law altogether (s.122) thus a licensed dealer is exempt from the “assault weapon” law. The AG’s office has no business, or authority to tell dealers what sort of inventory they can carry, and when they can carry it, how much, or for how long. This newest bit of information has nothing to do with any law in existence at the state or federal level, is she making this up as she goes along?
As always the information is vague and leads to questions. How long can a dealer retain a firearms before they transfer it? What “information” are dealers expected to retain? How can a dealer transfer an “assault weapon” to a LEO if it’s already illegal? Is she changing that as well?
Another huge reason for concern here, with each new day we see the AG attempting to exact more authority via her enforcement notice, what’s next?
This entire thing has become so bizarre that we are now to the point where “violation of Q&A” carries a 10 year felony charge!
Upon viewing the page there are many new questions, which make this untenable situation increasingly murky. This is disturbing considering that Healey has threatened gun owners not in compliance with a ten-year felony charge for transferring items that are legal to transfer according to Mass General Law (MGL). By her action she has put licensed gun owners and dealers in a tough spot, should they follow existing law as outlined by the MGL and recognized by the courts, or should they follow the enforcement notice and fear the threatened ten-year felony charge?
Here are some questions/comments regarding this new information. Bear in mind that all of the items mentioned in the AG’s Enforcement Notice are LEGAL per MGL:
- Is she attempting to re-write law again? It appears so!
- Is the AG’s office finally recognizing the Approved Firearm Roster? It appears as if they did, stating; “The Enforcement Notice makes no change to the list of handguns, including semi-automatic pistols, approved for sale in Massachusetts. The most recent list (August 2016) is available here. The Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban does prohibit the sale of five semi-automatic pistols, the INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and the Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil. Only these weapons and copies or duplicates of these specific pistols are prohibited under the ban, and none appear on the approved list.”
- The Appendix A says as manufactured in 1993, is she attempting to change that as well?
- Every time they rewrite the enforcement notice, they demonstrate their glaring lack of knowledge of firearms (see next comment).
- The AG’s office declared “Any .22 caliber rifle;” is not an “assault weapon” (by her definition), however, almost all AR style rifles ARE .22 caliber*. The two most common cartridges are 5.56 and .223, both use .22 caliber bullets, by her own decree she disqualified firearms on her own enforcement notice.
- She is threatening firearms owners with a ten-year felony charge for not following her enforcement order, yet, the MGL state that transferring these same firearms is LEGAL. Are gun owners expected to follow standing law as recognized by the legislature and courts, or the enforcement notice released by Attorney General Healey? What are we to do when they directly contradict each other?
- There are many AR style, and a few AK style rifles that are chambered in .22LR caliber. According to the enforcement notice these are OK because they are “.22 caliber”. Via this enforcement notice, is the AG threatening gun owners with a ten-year prosecution for transferring one of these? Also, if this style rifle is not an “assault weapon” (per her enforcement notice) does that mean these rifles can now use a collapsible stock, etc.? Once again, her enforcement notice is in contradiction to MGL as MGL states that the stock cannot be collapsible. Once again, are we to follow standing law, or “Healey’s rules”?
- How are gun owners and dealers supposed to follow MA law (MGL) AND this enforcement notice when they directly contradict each other?
- The (not an) “assault weapon” section of the enforcement notice also includes “Any Ruger Mini 14 or substantially-similar model weapon;” What exactly does “substantially-similar” include/mean? (Or not include) virtually every semi-automatic magazine fed rifle is substantially similar to the Mini 14.
The enforcement notice also states “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.” Once again, what does that mean? What are the other weapons that aren’t “assault weapons” (per this enforcement notice)? Is there yet another list to be added at a later date?
*From Wikipedia: The 5.6 mm caliber or .22 caliber, is a small, extremely common size of ammunition, fitted to firearms with a bore diameter of 5.6 mm (0.22 in). It is the most common bore for rimfire ammunition.
5.6 mm caliber rimfire variations include:
- .22 Long Rifle (LR), the most common cartridge type of this caliber, often referred to simply as “.22 caliber”
- .22 BB (Bulleted Breech Cap)
- .22 CB (Conical Ball Cap)
- .22 CB cap, an American rimfire cartridge
- .22 Long, same length, but lighter bullet than .22 LR
- .22 Extra Long, an American rimfire rifle and handgun cartridge
- .22 Short, used mostly in pocket pistols and mini-revolvers
- .22 Winchester Rimfire, an American rimfire rifle cartridge
- .22 WMR, (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) a cartridge that is longer and more powerful than a .22 LR
- .22 Winchester Automatic, an American rimfire rifle cartridge
5.6 mm centerfire cartridges include:
- 5.56×45mm NATO, an intermediate cartridge widely used in modern sporting rifles
- .22 Accelerator, a special loading of the .30-30, .308, and .30-06 cartridges that is manufactured by Remington
- .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer, a cartridge for a rifle
- .22 Hornet, a powerful variation, also known as 5.6×35R mm 5.728mm
- .22 Remington Jet, an American centerfire revolver and rifle cartridge
- .22 BR Remington, a wildcat cartridge commonly used in varmint hunting and benchrest shooting
- .22 Savage HP, aka 5.6×52R, .22 Savage Hi-power, .22 Imp, a cartridge similar to the 22 Hornet introduced by Savage in 1912
- .22 Spitfire, an American rifle cartridge
- .22 PPC, a firearm cartridge used primarily in benchrest shooting
- .22 TCM (AKA .22 Micro-Mag), a 9mm diameter case necked to a .22 caliber bullet and designed to load into standard 9mm magazines; currently proprietary of Rock Island Armory and accommodating of that companies pistols and carbines also sold with 9mm barrel swap kits.