Massachusetts expands 'assault weapons' ban

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has issued a statement that she will add guns that have been modified to comply with the state’s ban on so-called assault weapons to the list of prohibited firearms.  In her announcement, she said, “Gun manufacturers have manufactured these weapons as legal versions of prohibited guns.  These weapons are illegal. They are copies or duplicates of banned weapons, and they cannot be bought or sold in Massachusetts.”  In her editorial for The Boston Globe, she explained that any firearm that has the same operating system as a banned gun will also be illegal to sell within her jurisdiction.

In other words, there are no more Massachusetts-compliant AR-15s or AK-47s.  The state’s law forbids purchase of any semiautomatic firearm with a naughty set of features, including barrel shrouds or folding or telescoping stocks.  Several weapons are banned by name.  The attorney general’s opinion here now declares that as long as the gun has the same mechanism internally, the cosmetic features are irrelevant.

We who support gun rights have been pointing this out for a long time, but we meant that bans make no sense.  Healey has decided that if she can prohibit one example in a group, she might was well prohibit the whole category.  When someone tells you that no one wants to ban guns, here’s yet another name to add to the long list of supposed nobodies.

This, by itself, would be bad enough.  But any time one of the repressive states imposes some new burden on the law-abiding, the advocates of control swoop in to celebrate.  One example of this is to be found on the blog of Mike Weisser, a writer for The Huffington Post who is referred to there as The Gun Guy.  In his article, “It’s About Time: Maura Healey Takes Aim At Assault Weapons And Scores A Bullseye,” Weisser goes through the details of the new extent of regulations, crowing that

Maura Healey’s announcement is a resounding shot across the bow because it sweeps away the rhetorical nonsense cynically foisted on the public to disguise the fact that some guns are simply too dangerous to be put in anyone’s hands. Which is why the AR is not a sporting rifle, because no sporting gun requires a magazine that holds 30 rounds.

An M1 Garand is currently legal in Massachusetts, since while it has evil features like a bayonet lug, it lacks a detachable magazine.  Given the continual confusion about magazines and clips among the opponents of rights, the Garand’s status may be in doubt, but I’d expect a self-professed gun guy to understand that a rifle chambered in .30-’06 that allows rapid reloading in between each group of eight shots is no slouch with regard to power.  And the ones available to the public are genuine military rifles, retaining all the features that made General Patton express such appreciation for them.  Whatever a “sporting rifle” might be, the M1 was made for something else.

And the Second Amendment protects the fundamental right of all of us to own an M1, an AR-15, and the many other classes of firearms, allowed or not by the Bay State.  But the worst part of Weisser’s article is his opener:  “If you own an assault rifle you can keep it (thank goodness because I own three).”  Note the insufferable smugness in that statement.  He has not just one gun now banned for sale, but three, and while he regards himself as a worthy owner, if you live in Massachusetts and are a newcomer to guns, you’re simply not good enough in his view to buy any of your own.

Rules for thee, but not for me—I’d ask if there has been a clearer example of this arrogant position, but I’ve seen many in the years that I’ve been studying the subject.  I don’t know if people like Weisser are even aware of themselves when they speak in this manner.  Some probably have their noses stuck so far up in the clouds that they have no clue, but others clearly enjoy looking down on the little people who must obey the laws that their betters can ignore.

The greatest mystery is why gun control advocates feel that arrogance is an effective attitude to present to the American people.  Whatever their reasoning may be, it’s our job to make sure that their demands never become the law of the land.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of

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