Massachusetts ‘Bruen Response’ Bill Introduced in State Senate

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Last year there was a flurry of coverage about the Massachusetts Bruen response bill that was introduced via the State House and passed. Representative Michael Day hosted a dishonest, several months long, dog and pony show called the “Gun Law Listening Tour.” Day pretended to listen to the public on gun policy. Two weeks after the tour ended, he dropped a 129-page bill that would completely gut the Second Amendment in the Bay State. The senate just introduced their version of the bill, S.2572, and it is different from the House version – that could be good or bad.

The house version of the “carry-killer” in Mass., dubbed by the Gun Owners Action League as the “Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act,” would effectively end the Second Amendment in the Commonwealth. To say the language and provisions were contentious is an understatement. The bill is so bad the Massachusetts police force representatives wouldn’t endorse it – even though Rep. Michael Day continually lies about that in his talking points and social media posts.

Some lowlights of what the house version of the bill would do: Define strict “sensitive areas” making carry close to impossible throughout the entire state, “Assault Style Firearm” definition could ban all semi-automatic long guns, there is a live-fire training mandate, a so-called “ghost gun” mandate requiring serialization of all firearms and much more.

I read the senate version of their Bruen response bill and at first I was thinking, Man, that’s not that bad. Then I woke up to the reality that it is “that bad.” All of it is. Being from an occupied region myself, New Jersey, we’re used to getting rights stripped from us, so when a final version of a bill comes out “not as bad as the other,” we feel good. That’s malarkey. We won in June of 2022 and the pinkos need to get over it.

No, the measures are not quite as strict as the house version, there are still some serious liberty restricting elements in there. Lot’s of provisions dealing with so-called “red flag” laws as well as “assault weapons” law changes that would completely obliterate modern sporting rifles from existence in the state. Ghost guns, homemade firearms/3d printed guns and reporting provisions are also injected into the bill.

The “not so bad” portion was the sensitive locations portion. The house version went full on scorched Earth. The senate version would only affect municipal and government buildings/property locations.

“A state, county or municipal administrative building or a judicial or court administrative building,” including a carte blanche for municipalities to add to the list of sensitive locations:

Nothing in this subsection shall limit the authority of any state, municipality, county or judicial body from adopting policies restricting the possession of firearms, rifles, shotguns or other dangerous weapons in areas under their control.

Aside from the senate version not banning arms from virtually everywhere, the other upside is a provision in the law that allows municipalities to vote certain areas in the municipality to not be considered sensitive. “A municipal administrative building in a municipality that votes pursuant to section 4 of chapter to exclude its administrative building from the prohibition in paragraph.”

GOAL, the Massachusetts state gun rights organization does not endorse this bill. While they openly admit that the senate leadership was up front with them, and discussed the measures with them, that does not mean the organization would acquiesce to approving of the freedom limiting measures.

“The fact that legislators are constantly telling us, well it’s better than the House bill, does not forgive the substantial assault on our civil rights,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of GOAL. “Like the House bill, there is absolutely nothing in this bill to address crime and mental illness. The senate’s proposal would produce massive authority to create limitless regulations and authority of the Attorney General to use the proposed laws in a punitive manner even against people outside of the 2A community!”

GOAL further stated in a release that, “Senator Creem, had an open-door policy with GOAL. We actually met with her and her staff on several occasions as well as other senators. The end product was very bad, but that part of the process was indeed better. At least the Senate did not lie to us like the House leadership consistently did.”

The fact that the bill is different from the house version might end up being a bad thing, rather than a good thing. The way everything could be staged if the bill is passed, it might end up being only an edit to the house version. GOAL elaborated on this.

Furthermore, regarding the process, is the concern that this bill is actually an amendment to the House’s version of the bill. This means that, if the Senate decides to vote for this bill, it will then move to a Conference Committee where the House’s version comes back to the table where some of the most egregious proposals still has a pathway to becoming the law. We will have more of an explanation about this on the GOAL website soon.

The timeline on S.2572, in typical progressive Massachusetts fashion, has been fast-paced. The text only came out on January 25th, amendments were due in on the 29th and the measure is due to go to a vote on March 1st. “Not that bad” is not good enough. Massachusetts gun owners need to reach out to their senators – and representatives – ASAP. And if this measure is passed, let’s all hope for the sake of Bay State patriots that the house version does not get to come along for the ride.

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