Mass FID card (courtesy granbypdblog.org)

The Huffington Post’s Mike Weisser is over-the-moon about the following provision in Massachusetts’ new proposed gun law (Bill H.4278): “The task force shall study and report on suitable and feasible options for the safekeeping of a distressed [i.e. potentially suicidal] person’s firearms in a location away from the household, by his or her relations or community nongovernmental organizations including, but not limited to, legal protections for: (1) private citizens acting as good samaritans, who are of direct relation to the distressed person by family or affection; (2) turn-in and temporary storage of a distressed person’s firearm by a licensed gun store or gun club; (3) and turn-in and temporary storage of a distressed person’s firearm by any other type of organization or facility under registration as a firearms safe harbor.” Apparently, this is ground-breaking stuff! Here’s the HuffPo’s take . . .

The bill creates a task force to consider ways to create “safe harbors” that can be used by families and friends of “distressed individuals” to remove and store their guns temporarily — and informally — until the mental crisis is considered as having passed. The whole point here is to give loved ones, family members, and close friends a way to prevent a depressed parent, sibling or child from having access to guns while not invoking or involving formal contacts with the courts or the police. Maybe it would be another town resident, or perhaps some storage space could be set aside in a local church, but here is a law that will empower individuals to deal with controlling guns precisely so that the government doesn’t have to get involved.

Check the wording of the proposed bill at the top of this post again. Where does it preclude mandatory governmental supervision for this “temporary transfer process”? Remember: this bill doesn’t create a legal framework for that transfer process. It creates a task force to study the potential process; a committee whose findings might very well include a government-supervised protocol for identifying at-risk gun owners.

In fact, why wouldn’t they recommend government supervision? Down here in Texas, we call taking guns away from someone without their express permission stealing. Unless there is some legal protection for the person taking the distressed gun owner’s firearms, they’re committing a crime. And what of the background check required for all firearms transfers in the Bay State? Is MA going to forgo that little proviso to help prevent suicides? I don’t think so.

Weisser is dreaming of a better world, where people are responsible for themselves and others without Big Brother breathing down their neck. I share that vision. As do many, many gun owners. Rest assured, however, that Bay State statists do not. They want the government to intervene to make it as difficult (a.k.a., “safe”) as possible for Massachusetts citizens to keep and bear arms. Whether they’re suicidal or not.

Mike doesn’t see it that way. At all. But he knows a good opportunity to bash the NRA (i.e. any opportunity) when he sees one.

For the very first time a gun control issue will be determined not by the government, but by the people themselves. This is a remarkable precedent, and it has gone unnoticed in all the pro and con reactions to the bill. In typical fashion, the NRA wasted no time trying to gin up its membership to oppose the whole thing, stating shortly after its passage that the bill “still contains provisions which will directly and adversely affect your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” The fact that the bill gives us the responsibility to protect people from using a gun to hurt themselves is something that the NRA wouldn’t even understand, even though We The People is emblazoned on virtually every NRA poster that you can find.

For the very first time gun control won’t be determined by the government? How about when our nation was young? When there were no gun control laws (only a government control law called the Bill of Rights)? Anyway, Mike’s so anti-NRA he happily repeats their objection to H.4278 – currently heading to the Massachusetts state senate – without specifying it. In the interests of fair play, here’s the NRA’s reasoning for their opposition:

While an improvement over prior versions of this bill that would have given essentially unfettered discretion to issuing authorities to deny applicants or renewal applicants, it isn’t difficult to imagine how this provision will be abused if H.4278 becomes law. For example, a government official with a personal grudge against an applicant or an opposition to individual gun ownership could use almost any “bad” conduct in an applicant’s past to deny the applicant, which might include any number of menial acts that wouldn’t normally prohibit a person from possessing a firearm. Simple speeding tickets might be enough to show that a person “has exhibited or engaged in behavior that suggests the applicant or card holder could potentially create a risk to public safety . . . .” Like current law, denials of a FID card would be reviewable by a court, however, because the bill does not include a standard for review of a denial under the new discretionary provision, a court would likely review those decisions under a very deferential “abuse of discretion” standard, which, in layman’s terms means that very few discretionary denials would likely be overturned.

Well, that doesn’t sound good. In fact, it sounds so bad who gives a you-know-what about what the bill’s task force on suicide prevention may or may not recommend, that may or may not become law? Mikey does! He likes it! Hey Mikey! What about the bill’s “shall issue” Trojan horse that lets bureaucrats deny Americans their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? How “We the People” is that?

I’m hardly surprised by Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser’s silver lining acceptance of Massachusetts’ post-Newtown clampdown. I am surprised that MA’s very own Gun Owners Action League is OK with H.4278. I’m not. And neither is anyone who believes that the phrase “shall not be infringed” means what it says: no gun control laws whatsoever. Which makes perfect sense: all gun control laws are inherently, fundamentally and irredeemably flawed. And that’s the truth.

41 Responses to MA Gun Law Proves All Gun Control Laws Are Bad Laws

    • Massachusetts is fighting a war of attrition.

      Given the extreme leftist political climate there, it’s oftentimes a question of how much “less bad” bills are.

      “Freedom in the 50 States” ranks Massachusetts one from the bottom for gun control.
      http://freedominthe50states.org/gun-control/massachusetts

      Sad, considering how it was on the front lines against British tyranny.

      Today, a modern-day equivalent of Paul Revere would shout “Yeah! The British are coming!” as he led them directly to the hiding place of the New England patriots and their arms supplies.

  1. If you’re gonna let family take their guns, you better make sure to get all of the knives too. And their car. And put safety barriers on the second floor windows. And on the nearby bridges. Better yet, why not put 24/7 security monitoring on them so they can’t hurt themselves.
    How to actually fix the problem: Talk to the depressed person and ask them to talk to a counselor. Much cheaper and it’s not tyrannical.

    • If they’re hoping family members are aware enough to recognize pre-suicidal behaviors, or even see depressed behaviors, they’re not going to prevent very many suicides.
      Maybe it’s unintentional ignorance, maybe it’s willful disbelief that someone they know is feeling that low, but far too many people ignore the signs of a suicidal person.

  2. And to think… there was tea in the harbor for 3% tax (back when it was ‘cool’ to dress like a redskin).

    Some new Marie Antoinette wannabe up in Bean Town must have said ‘let ’em eat marijuana brownies’.

    The whack, if they don’t knows what’s whack, don’t get to say who’s whack. Which Quisling’s gonna check spelling on the MAD Magazine mental deficiency mixing chart? All y’all crazies put your firearms in the bed of my pickup as I drive by and we won’t have no violence when I institutionalize ya.

    • I think HUFFPO just got more mileage (in the columned discussion here) than it does in its standard readership.

      If we can’t get a fence at the border, can we put up one around MA?

    • Let’s bow our heads in remembrance of those faithful minutemen who stood against the British at Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts so that future generations could be safe from bottled water.

      Nanny State Alert: Massachusetts Town Bans Bottled Water!
      http://tinyurl.com/llghszh (Fox News Insider)

  3. In typical fashion, this writer is using terminology to demonize NRA members with his use of the term “gin up” playing into the anti stereotype that guna owners are nothing more than a mob of drunken idiots who are ruled by emotion.

  4. This bill could have been a lot worse. Pressure from GOAL members did cause a revision and removed out some of the worst parts, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

    • I’m not giving GOAL any credit whatsoever. Its position on this bill is “neutral.” My position on GOAL is now “negative.”

      • Ralphy, I couldn’t agree more. I got my LTC 1 year ago but of course as a resident in Springfield it is restricted to hunting and target. I called GOAL and asked if I had any recourse and in a non interested voice I got “no, not really”. For them to be neutral on any gun regulation is mind boggling which is why I will not be sending them my dues this year.

        • Preaching raise with a massive “I’m not an attorney” warning. Basically, your only recourse is to go back to the chief / licensing officer and explain why you need a firearm for personal protection. I’ve only heard of that being successful one, and the chief and just changed. Remember, you are at the whim of the chief or licensing officer. Whether to issue you a permit is completely at his discretion.

          Your only other options, as I understand it, are to move to a less crazy state (New Hampshire sounds nice this time of year), or to sue. However, your likely to fail in the state court, and you’re a wealthier person than most if you want to pursue a suit all the way up through federal courts.

  5. It sucks, I know. It’s a very mixed bag. None of it will really do anything at all to do what the proponents of this/these bills hope to accomplish. It’s largely ” we must do something!!” feel good nonsense. That said, this is Massachusetts, it could be staggeringly, ridiculously worse. That this hasn’t gone full retard, a la the NY SAFE Act, is truly an affirmation of Devine intervention. Ultimately it’ll all get settled out in the courts.

      • Yes, MA gun laws suck. And this go-round could have been much, much worse.

        Which is what Greg said. But you weren’t paying attention.

  6. They are going for broke in blue states because they know they’re losing their jobs or a good portion of their influence here in a few months. Stop funding those who are funding them.

    If you live in a blue state, you may be part of the problem, if you have a (D) after your name, the problem is part-of-you.

  7. Mob rule anyone? You look suspiciously neurotic to me, I’m going to exercise my responsibility to ‘temporarily’ confiscate your guns. Opps, I lost them in an odd ‘boating accident’.

    Let’s not forget that the constitution was written to protect the rights of the minority & individual from the whims of the majority. So this ‘revelation’ that this new regulatory restriction would be enforced by the public doesn’t impress me, it only scares me more.

  8. By what mechanism does someone, a not cop, seize/steal a firearm (but not title/ownership?) from the legal owner and transfer it to himself or someone else. While conforming to the legal requirements of existing Fed firearms infringement laws/regulations.

    “Mr Gunstore Owner – here is the gun I stole from my _______ you store it for us”. Riiiiiight.

    Likely need some Obuma “I got a pen” “legislation” to “clarify/modernize” fed gun laws.

  9. but here is a law that will empower individuals to deal with controlling guns precisely so that the government doesn’t have to get involved. Sounds like a Catch 22 from the Ministry of Love and Truth. This seems like a lot of government to me, something similar to the Salem Witch Trials.

  10. You know how they include suicides in the gun death numbers because there are so many more of them? Targeting suicidal people allows them to cast a wider net. A federal law like this would target something like 6 million people who have “had suicidal thoughts but did not act on them;

    http://www.samhsa.gov/samhsanewsletter/Volume_17_Number_5/SuicidalThoughtsBehaviors.aspx

    Targeting POTENTIALLY suicidal people based on the screeching of nosy relatives would add something like 180 million people, a stat I made up.

  11. “but here is A LAW that will empower individuals to deal with controlling guns precisely so that the GOVERNMENT doesn’t have to get INVOLVED.” (emphasis added)

    Uh, is anyone else getting a wif of male bovine excrement?

    • In addition, does anyone else wonder how the government is not involved when the talk is of passing a law? How would that work, passing a law while uninvolved? Or is it just the usual, passing a stupid law and then denying you did so, proving your expertise as both a liar and an imbecile, and by extension a politician?

  12. “Hey friend the law says I can take your guns without getting the authorities involved!”
    1. Due process what is that?
    2. If a person denies this intervention what then? trying to seize someone’s guns will go poorly.

  13. … whose findings might very well include a government-supervised protocol for identifying at-risk gun owners.

    Useless biased legislation. What about all the other at-risk products they own? What about the toilet bowl cleaner suicide method? Detergent suicide method? Are they going to propose legislation for them as well? Again, let’s look at whatever we can do to hassle gun owners.

    You want to stop suicides? Maybe they should look into a task force to check out anti-depressants and their side affects.

  14. While the committee is deciding what to do with the guns of the identified incompetent certainly they should as well consider other property. What about available cash that might be abused? Accounts, landed property, livestock, heavy equipment (including automobiles) all should be taken over by the state committee for the benefit of the incompetent, the village and state. The committee can later determine what properties are appropriate to return to the incompetent and what should be kept safeguarded by the state. What a crock o’ shit.

  15. “For the very first time a gun control issue will be determined not by the government, but by the people themselves.”
    How very libertarian of you, Mr. Weisser. We, too, are frustrated when governments override the will of the people, as they did in New York and Colorado. I’m glad to meet an American whose principles are sound, and doesn’t change them just to get what he wants. Thank you for standing with us.

  16. They make it seem like every suicide is evident and they’re not. Plenty of suicides happen that no one saw coming. So now not only are the people left behind stuck with the guilt of not seeing it coming but now they’ll also have the guilt that they could have prevented it by removing the tools. I had a good friend kill himself about 11 years ago and no one in his family, myself or any of his other friends saw any signs that he was going to do it. He didn’t use a gun but still the act was completely unpredictable.

  17. Massachusetts liberals are only following the rubrics set forth by one of their heroes, MAO. They harass, retreat, harass, retreat, harass, retreat until the enemy (gun owners in this case) are so weak and demoralized that they just give up. They are also keenly aware of Mao’s maxim of “political power comes from the barrel of a gun”, so they want to control and eventually eliminate private ownership because the state, in all its beneficence, should control ALL firearms. Massachusetts sucks, really sucks.

  18. Open season on your guns. Now who might want to take my guns? Ex-spouses, mom who hates guns, etc. And family has a much expanded definition these days too. Could be anyone… Even the friendly mailman..errr..person. And when “family” gives it back, do they have liability when it is used in a crime… Suicide included.

    • Good point. Who’s to guarantee that the individual coming to take the guns isn’t the unstable one looking for a gun?

  19. Should my neighbors come calling in order to relieve me of my many thousands of $$ worth of firearms, legal protection will be the last thing they ever need.

    • ^ This! Wonder if MA has a Castle Doctrine. If it did, I doubt it’s as comprehensive as ours in TX.

  20. Just more hacking away at former rights, now highly regulated privileges, and don’t feel left out non-bay staters, coming to a town near you soon.

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