Massachusetts’ post-Newtown gun control legislation—An Act To Strengthen and Enhance Firearms Laws in the Commonwealth—is old news. Governor Duvall Patrick filed the legislation back in January. Think of it as political cover. But don’t get to thinking that Bay State pols’ anti-gun jihad has lost momentum. “Massachusetts lawmakers are planning a series of public hearings across the state on proposed changes to the state’s gun laws,” boston.com reports. “The first hearing by the Public Safety Committee is scheduled for June 19 at Cape Cod Community College. The committee is looking at more than 60 gun bills that touch on everything from mental health and school safety to background checks and hunting issues.” Whatever the Committee ultimately recommends you can be sure that . . .
A) It will have nothing to do with the opinions of highly vocal gun rights supporters sure to crowd Committee meetings and B) the final legislation will not, I repeat not, contain a carve-out for cops. Well, not much of one. Well, one that will require some serious schmoozing with the boss. How do we know this? As Tevye pronounced, tradition! First let’s take a closer look at Duvall’s bill.
In Section 21, Duvall proposes a one-gun-a-month (OGAM) purchase limitation. The language specifically states that cops have to abide by this rule except for “police officers or other peace officers who are acquiring firearms for the purposes of performing their official duties or when duly authorized by their employer to purchase them.”
According to the wording of this clause, if you’re a cop whose boss signs off on the purchase of more than one firearm a month—regardless of your “official duties”—you’re good to go. You can even buy a gun not on the Attorney General’s approved handgun list or an otherwise illegal AR-15 (a.k.a., “assault rifle”). And then sell it for a profit. Ah, beak wetting bliss!
Nothing new there. Over at masscops.com, Office Unknown bitches and moans about the lack of a police carve-out in the current laws that doesn’t depend on a willing boss. After sharing the section of Boston City ordinance Chapter 596 that prohibits Beantown law enforcement officers from personally owning an “AR-15-style” (note: not “assault”) rifles, OU lays it out for his brother and sister officers.
So basically unless your department will vouch for you if anything should ever arise you are basically in violation of MA laws if you, as a law enforcement officer, want to personally own any of the equipment you may use every day at work. Good luck getting your department to claim any personally owned weapons are for work purposes, unless you’re at a small department and on a first name basis with the chief.
As sworn officers in MA we should be outraged that we a subject to the same overbearing restrictions civilians are. Especially when we use and operate the same “banned” equipment on a daily basis. We can have a 15 round capacity Glock at home because its department issued but cannot have a similar handgun in our homes if it is personally owned. Where is the logic in that?
Yeah! Where’s the logic in that? Why should cops be treated like common civilians? There are bad guys out there! As the blogger himself acknowledge, “Officers should take note that not one of these regulations above applies to criminals. Because since when do criminals obey the law?”
I am, for once, speechless.