Imitation Gun Bill H.3476 Problems

  • What problem is this bill trying to solve? Is there really a legitimate issue that is being addressed?
  • Will it make law enforcement safer in a stressful situation to see that a potential gun is painted a different color?
  • Where is the education component to teach kids not to point things at police?
  • Will criminals now paint their guns different colors to fool law enforcement?
  • We did already enact the Deceptive Weapons law in the 2014 bill.
  • The bill does not address the thousands of products that are already out there.
  • The bill does not address competition pieces, some worth more than $2,000. (Image below of an Anschutz Air Rifle)


  • Gives police complete authority to confiscate items with no due process, property rights or financial consideration.
  • Definitions are exceptionally vague and would leave it in whose hands.
  • Language would grant the Attorney General’s office to enact further regulations under Chapter 93A “Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices.” The same authority that has already been abused with handguns in Massachusetts.
  • Would allow the Attorney General to prosecute business persons under Chapter 93A. Most likely fines of up to $5,000 per item.
  • There is no grace period for retailers to sell off or return their stock.
  • Offers no solution for non-profit groups like Boy Scouts or 4H that use these items for training and competition.
  • There is an excellent chance that that bill runs afoul of existing Federal law; 18 USC § 921(16(B) – Definitions. Under that law, functioning replica guns which are copies of antique guns, are EXCLUDED from inclusion by law from being treated as modern arms.
  • Current Massachusetts law mirrors the Federal exclusion. See M.G.L. c. 140, §121(B) – Definitions. Replicas are also EXCLUDED from stringent storage requirements under Massachusetts law; see M.G.L.c. 140, § 131L(f). Yet the current bill says nothing about being limited to toys; it uses the term “replica” – and that includes real, functioning, replica guns.

(Thanks to Attorney Keith Langer for the last two points)

Why the imitation gun bill is a bad idea