Massachusetts gun rights group sues over state ‘assault weapon’ ban

Massachusetts gun owners are suing over semi-auto rifles.
Massachusetts gun owners are suing over semi-auto rifles.

The Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston, challenging the state ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

According to the Boston Globe, which erroneously described GOAL as “the Massachusetts chapter of the National Rifle Association,” defendants in the case are Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey. Last year, Healey infuriated gun owners by cracking down on an alleged “loophole” in the law that had allowed thousands of gun owners to purchase what she has determined are “copies” of allegedly “illegal guns.”

The newspaper quoted attorney Jay Porter, representing GOAL and its co-plaintiffs, who asserted, “The level of hostility to the gun-owning public in the state of Massachusetts has grown to be intolerable. At this point, it had grown to the level where litigation had become necessary. At some point, if you have a fundamental right, you have to protect it.”

This statement is reminiscent of another era in which complaints about government hostility toward the citizens led to the American Revolution, with the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775.

The attorney also contended that the state lacks the authority under the Second Amendment to ban commonly-owned firearms. The AR15 and similar rifles are the most popular rifle type in the country right now. Millions of them are owned across the United States, and at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show last week in Las Vegas, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of these rifles on display by many manufacturers. Additionally, the show floor also saw numerous displays of accessories for these rifles.

What has happened in Massachusetts might be a signal to citizens in other states about how creeping gun laws can gradually erode the rights of law-abiding gun owners faced with increasingly restrictive laws and regulations. California is another example, and this year in Washington, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is backing a proposed “assault weapon” ban.

Massachusetts enacted a ban in 1998, but did not allow the ban to expire, renewing it in 2004, the newspaper said.


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