Procedural Screw-Up Spikes MA “Gun A Month Club” Bill

The Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts House Bill 4102 (“An Act to Reduce Firearms Violence”) died due to a procedural error (a.k.a. a screw-up). “On Tuesday afternoon, the votes were counted: 4 in favor and 4 opposed, along with several non-votes. Lacking a majority, an adverse report on the legislation was transmitted to the House clerk for official recording. It was a blown call. Whoever tallied the votes counted only those submitted by the House members of the Joint Committee (possibly because it carried a House designation) and mistakenly left off those cast by the Senate members. The true vote was 6 in favor and 4 opposed. However, by the time the procedural blunder was discovered, the erroneous outcome had already been recorded and set in legislative stone. Game over.” Hmmm. Accidentally on purpose? Anyway, the good news . . .

Bay State residents can continue to buy as many firearms on the Attorney General’s approved list (no mags more than 10 rounds, etc.) as they like, subject to the usual conditions. The bad news: the no-bail provision for gun crimes dies as well. The “meh” news: the bill would have made it illegal for anyone to fire a machine gun unless they had a state permit to own one.

The “mistake” condemning this bill to the dustbin of history has The Globe’s Raskolnikov, Crime and Punishment reporter James Alan Fox, waxing lyrical, vowing to fight another day (despite being a journalist rather than a legislator).

Just like the Tiger’s hurler, Governor Patrick was jobbed and robbed. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig couldn’t reverse history, nor can anyone at the State House. Galarraga has no recourse but to return to the mound hoping he may sometime taste perfection. And, apparently, Governor Patrick also has no recourse but to re-file his gun legislation and hope for better luck next time.

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