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Gun Group Sues MA AG Over Unilateral Assault Weapons Ban

Gun Group Sues MA AG Over Unilateral Assault Weapons Ban

The AG’s “changes are overly broad, vague, and unconstitutional”

In July, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued a statement in which she announced her unilateral ban on “assault weapons,” including “copycat assault weapons.”

On Thursday, the Washington Free Beacon reports, “the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the largest trade association in the firearms industry, in conjunction with four Massachusetts gun dealers filed the suit against Attorney General Maura Healey (D.) in response to her attempt to redefine the state’s assault weapons ban.”

The Washington Free Beacon continues:

Healey announced on July 20 that she was officially reinterpreting the language of the state’s decades-old ban. She said she would be vastly expanding what constitutes a so-called “copycat” of guns that are explicitly banned under the statute and accused the gun industry of skirting the law for years.

“The gun industry has openly defied our laws here in Massachusetts for nearly two decades,” Healey said in her announcement. “That ends today. We have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that combat-style weapons are off our streets and out of the hands of those who would use them to kill innocent people.”

For its part, The NSSF said “the changes are overly broad, vague, and unconstitutional.”

“Attorney General Maura Healey’s actions were unconstitutional. Firearms retailers in Massachusetts cannot determine the meaning or scope of the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” Larry Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President, said in a statement on the suit. “Because criminal penalties can result due to Attorney General Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

“In addition, if the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice is understood as applying to all semi-automatic firearms, it violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to keep and bear arms because it bans the manufacture, sale, and possession of a broad range of firearms in common use by the citizens of Massachusetts,” Keane continued.

The full complaint can be read here.

Watch Healey explain her “assault weapon” ban  . . . .  against a backdrop of Massachusetts’ citizens lining up at their local gun store.

Healey has previously used consumer protection law to attack Glock and Remington (Glock doesn’t even sell firearms to private citizens in Massachusetts).

In response to Healey’s ongoing anti-Second Amendment crusade, the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb noted, “Attorney General Healey has declared war on guns.  Her goal is to eliminate gun ownership. What we need is a ban on assault politicians who do not respect constitutional rights.”


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I hope you guys follow up with if/how this is an overreach of the AG’s authority.

    Sanddog in reply to Jazzizhep. | September 26, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Since she basically rewrote state law without the consent of the legislature to declare all firearms that possess the same operating system as any banned weapon a “copycat” (thus making damned near every semi-automatic firearm illegal), I’d say an “overreach” doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. She’s destroyed any pretense of the rule of law and replaced it with the Rule Of Healey.

      Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | September 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Her view is that the law has always said this, and has merely been misinterpreted until now. Surely you’re not claiming that an attorney general is not entitled to her own understanding of the law, and must be bound by her predecessors’ understanding, which she believes to be mistaken.

Can’t wait for Trump to rewrite all federal law, in his opinion, of course.

“The gun industry has openly defied our laws here in Massachusetts for nearly two decades,”

From where I am standing, what I see is that “your” laws and “your” grandstanding behavior openly defy the Constitution of the United States.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to Exiliado. | September 25, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Can you imagine the gall of those gun manufactures?? Bastards built those AR’s to comply with state law! /s

      To comply with one narrow interpretation of state law, an interpretation that has never been upheld by a court, so what makes it more privileged than the current AG’s interpretation?

Just mounted the 6-position buffer tube on my now no-longer MA-compliant AR this afternoon.

Magpul MOE stock on the way for installation.

Take THAT! 🙂


“The gun industry has openly defied our laws here in Massachusetts for nearly two decades,” Healey said in her announcement.

Um… wouldn’t that indicate that Healey herself is incompetent, for not prosecuting those so-called violations of Massachusetts law?

    Milhouse in reply to Rusty Bill. | September 26, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    No, it means that her predecessors have been misinterpreting the law, and she is now correcting that error. No matter what your view on the underlying issue, how can you deny that an AG is entitled to take such a position?

Another reason that I left RI for the great state of Texas twenty-six years ago… Freedom to exercise my Second Amendment rights fully.

As of 7/20, I and tens of thousands of other MA residents are unindicted felons. Our guns were not, as some think, grandfathered, but rather she has said she will not prosecute us for owning them (for now). Also, we don’t know if it is legal to sell them. Imagine if an AG reinterpreted abortion as murder or overrode gay marriage laws by interpretation. Why not?

    Milhouse in reply to Obie1. | September 26, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The AG’s legal opinions are just that — opinions. Every AG must have them; otherwise how can s/he enforce any law? And it’s obvious that every AG is entitled to change that interpretation if s/he believes the previous one to have been incorrect. You are not bound by the AG’s view; if you think it’s wrong, then when she prosecutes you you can put your interpretation to the court and hope it agrees with you rather than her.

    I cannot understand how you can possibly believe that once an AG has decided what a law means, and has begun to enforce it in that way, all future AGs are bound by that interpretation, and must enforce it in exactly the same way.

Seems to me the fact that Healey’s “partner” is Gabrielle R. Wolohojian, who serves as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, raises all kinds of potential conflict-of-interest issues as well.

If not for the armed citizens at Lexington and Concord, we would still be speaking English.

Those documents, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written because the folks who wrote it knew there were people like Healey then and there would likely be people like Healey in the future.