Robert Rotberg (courtesy cigionline.com)

Dear Fellow Town Meeting Members and other Concerned Citizens:

For all of the obvious reasons, and because Lexington has first mover advantage and responsibilities, I have submitted a Citizen’s Article to the Warrant to regulate the manufacture, sale, and possession of assault weapons and large-capacity gun magazines within the Town of Lexington.  I hope that it will have your support now, and when the article comes before Town Meeting in March . . .

The proposed legislation will be modeled strictly on an ordinance enacted by Highland Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago) in 2013, approved in a Federal district court there, and by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. On Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, implicitly suggesting that local town and city bans on large scale weaponry do not impinge on Second Amendment rights under the U. S. Constitution, and are permissible despite its ruling in Miller in 2014. The U.S. has a long tradition of regulating weapons at the local level – think Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Ariz., not to mention Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

The New York Times reported that the Supreme Court’s welcome inaction in the Highland Park case was the seventieth time since 2008 that the Court has declined to consider a challenge to state or local gun regulation. “This creates a big opportunity,” it said, “for Americans to put pressure on their…local leaders.”

As Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park and candidate for Congress wrote recently, the Supreme Court’s decision encourages “other cities and villages across the nation to follow our lead and pursue assault weapons without the threat of legal action under the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.”

She also wrote: “One piece of legislation is not going to prevent every gun violence tragedy, but with courageous leadership, we can take steps to protect American lives.” I hope that the passage of the proposed amended by-law in Lexington will save Lexington lives and inspire other cities and towns within the Commonwealth to follow suit in this practical and sensible matter.

My proposed amendment to Chapter 97 of the Code of Lexington (Public Conduct) would in no way affect ordinary gun or hand-gun ownership in Lexington. It would, however, prohibit the possession within town limits of assault weapons – semiautomatic rifles that have the capacity to accept large capacity magazines. (The proposed article would specify in great detail exactly what kinds of weapons and magazines were covered.) The Highland Park legislation enumerates the brands outlawed.  Large capacity magazines are defined as holding ten or more rounds.

Assault weapons do not include antique weapons. Citizens of the town would still be able to bear arms, just not weapons of mass murder.

I have consulted with the Selectmen, the Town Manager (and Town Counsel), the Moderator, and the Chief of Police. Everyone has been very helpful.

I will welcome your comments, criticisms, suggestions for improvement, and so on, but, please as few NRA rants as possible. This proposal will, I hope, attract widespread support from TM voters and from citizens of the Town. It is the least we can do to try to limit harm.

Robert I. Rotberg

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86 Responses to Lexington, MA Resident Seeks Local ‘Assault Weapon,’ ‘High-Capacity Magazine’ Ban

    • Wrong town. This type of ordinance would not fly in my town. I think it’s not likely to fly in heavily Democrat Lexington for reasons of expediency, not politics.

        • We don’t- but we have a high cap mag restriction. Although we can purchase high cap mags if they were produced prior to the first AWB.

        • There’s still the restriction on “evil features”, any more than one of the following makes it an assault weapon: conspicuous pistol grip, collapsible/folding stock, flash hider, bayonet lug, or grenade launcher. That’s why I’m forced to sell MA compliant guns.

        • MA’s laws model the Federal 1994 AWB. You can have an AR 15 pattern rifle, but no more than one “evil” feature, so if you have the standard pistol grip, that means no collapsable stock, no threaded barrel, no bayonet lug, ho grenade launcher. An exception is made for AR-15s that were legally registered prior to 1994. Mags are capped at 10 rounds, again with an exception for pre 1994 mags.

          So, this clown is actually proposing something more restrictive than what currently exists at the state level.

  1. I propose that Royal troops also confiscate the dangerous cache of ammunition stored in both Lexington and Concord.

  2. That’s nice dear. Thank you for sharing your ideas but we are not in the business of restricting people’s rights without just cause and due process of law.

    At least I hope that is the answer he is given by everyone on that council.

    • “That’s nice dear.”

      Or, as would be said in these parts, “Bless Your Heart. Thank-you for speaking. Now, on to more important matters. Who was it that volunteered to bring green bean casserole to the town picnic? I didn’t get that name down.”

      Or so I would hope…

  3. Oh look, this time it’s the local tyrants coming for guns in Lexington instead of the British. They should get the exact same treatment.

    • Um, since everyone was a British subject back in 1775, it was local tyrants back then, too.

      Despite modern telling, Paul Revere did not cry “The British are coming!” Which would have made no sense because everyone was British at that point, but instead “The regulars are coming out!” referring to the armed troops.

      O2

      • Those tyrants were anything but local. They were sent by the King of England to slap the misbehaving colonists into submission.

    • Brings to mind the line in “The Patriot”, “I would rather have one tyrant 3,000 miles away than 3,000 tyrants one mile away”.

  4. ” I hope that the passage of the proposed amended by-law in Lexington will save Lexington lives…”

    Keep hoping, moron.

  5. “I will welcome your comments, criticisms, suggestions for improvement, and so on, but, please as few NRA rants as possible.”

    Or, “I welcome your comments, so long as you agree with me.” Got it.

    What exactly is an “NRA rant,” anyway?

  6. This is why I love Texas and State preemption.

    This resident should also not assume the SCOTUS not hearing the case does means they agree with the ruling. They may be waiting for abother circuit to rule another way and have a split.

    The fact that a dissent was written also says a lot about how the court feels. In most cases when cert is denied, no dissent is given.

  7. So this aihole wants to preempt state law that already outlaws magazine made after 1994 with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. Now this scumbag wants to ban essentially all double stack pistol magazines, all currently made 5.56, 300blk, and 308 magazines because nobody makes a 9 round mag yet, even those complaint with state law.
    He wants to ban guns and magazines for Lexington residents that are legal under state law. Glad I don’t live in MA anymore. If I ever had to move back to the Northeast It would be to NH at worst.

  8. In case you’re wondering, here’s an excerpt from the Highland Park ordinance:
    “Any assault weapon or large capacity magazine possessed… is hereby declared to be contraband and shall be seized and destroyed…”

    Contraband possessed prior to the adoption of the ordinance had to be moved out of the city, permanently modified to comply, or surrendered to the police within 90 days.

    This I found in an AP story from last month:
    “Highland Park police Chief Paul Shafer said his department has confiscated weapons under the ban three times, and in all three cases police discovered the guns while responding to unrelated actions involving the guns’ owners.”

    • If true about police confiscating weapons they should all resign and be arrested for not upholding a sworn oath to the U. S. Constitution.

  9. Massachusetts also has preemption. There are two only cities that have enacted an “assault weapon” ban, Worcester and Boston, because they filed a home rule petition that was approved by the State government. Lexington can do the same, but they can’t pass a local AWB without being granted the exemption.

    • What’s the point of having State Pre-Emption if they are going to pass out exceptions like cotton candy at the county fair?

      I know, it may not be quite THAT easy, but seriously. Isn’t that in effect the State .gov saying “We passed this law but it’s only symbolic, so we have no real power over anything. Just ignore us from now on?”

  10. Another moron that just doesn’t see the truth. Let’s take the last two “massacres”, San Bernardino and Roseberg, Or. Both psychos brought multiple weapons. None reloaded. The San Bernardino psychos brought a weapon which was illegal in California, and that had a magazine that was also illegal. So those 2 laws did nothing to stop them. Making any law doesn’t stop anybody, it only punishes them afterwards. I guess since this old man can’t get it up anymore, he wants to feel good in another way.

    • As long as criminals, prohibited individuals and terrorists can acquire evil black guns and handguns in California, gun control measures will continue to be proven ineffective on reducing so-called gun violence. They are only effective (aka punishing) on law-abiding citizens. As my old civics teacher once said, “Locks only keep honest people out.”

  11. Gotta love all the little slights he throws in there…NRA “rants”, pointing out that 12/7 is Pearl Harbor Day to somehow make it seem like gun control is patriotic? That ironically points to the need for an armed citizenry (“…all threats foreign and domestic”).

    #blackgunsmatter

    • I thought about that. It’s conceivable that he means rants against the nra as well, ’cause that crap is seriously unhinged.

  12. “The proposed legislation will be modeled strictly on an ordinance enacted by Highland Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago) in 2013, approved in a Federal district court there, and by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. On Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, implicitly suggesting that local town and city bans on large scale weaponry do not impinge on Second Amendment rights under the U. S. Constitution, and are permissible despite its ruling in Miller in 2014. The U.S. has a long tradition of regulating weapons at the local level – think Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Ariz., not to mention Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.”

    What were the exact effects and purpose of these restrictions? Because it certainly doesn’t feel like Chicago is a model of anything you’d want to follow. An implicit suggestion that local bans do not impinge on Second Amendment rights is probably not a good enough reason to explicitly trample those rights.

    ‘The New York Times reported that the Supreme Court’s welcome inaction in the Highland Park case was the seventieth time since 2008 that the Court has declined to consider a challenge to state or local gun regulation. “This creates a big opportunity,” it said, “for Americans to put pressure on their…local leaders.”’

    So government inaction is a sufficient reason to ignore the incredibly clear and foundational documents of our nation? I do not hold that view.

    ‘As Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park and candidate for Congress wrote recently, the Supreme Court’s decision encourages “other cities and villages across the nation to follow our lead and pursue assault weapons without the threat of legal action under the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.”’

    Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Governments should tread very carefully, especially as regards to the liberties of it’s people. And it still feels misleading to trumpet the supreme courts inaction as a decision. It’s been reaffirmed that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. Not a collective right to be arbitrary limited by state or local government. To pit the inaction against the very explicit decisions enshrined in the Heller case seems misguided at worst and dirty at best.

    ‘”One piece of legislation is not going to prevent every gun violence tragedy, but with courageous leadership, we can take steps to protect American lives.” I hope that the passage of the proposed amended by-law in Lexington will save Lexington lives and inspire other cities and towns within the Commonwealth to follow suit in this practical and sensible matter.’

    Hope isn’t good enough. Prohibition was also well-intended, but the long term costs are still playing out today. Concrete evidence of the futility of these laws is evident. Concrete evidence also exists to represent the benefits of privately held firearms. Why should this be put aside for the mere ‘hope’ of saving lives?

    “My proposed amendment to Chapter 97 of the Code of Lexington (Public Conduct) would in no way affect ordinary gun or hand-gun ownership in Lexington. It would, however, prohibit the possession within town limits of assault weapons – semiautomatic rifles that have the capacity to accept large capacity magazines. (The proposed article would specify in great detail exactly what kinds of weapons and magazines were covered.) The Highland Park legislation enumerates the brands outlawed. Large capacity magazines are defined as holding ten or more rounds.”

    Define ordinary. The class of weapons you list is around 60 years old and is easily the most commonly purchased firearm today. How is it not now ordinary? How is not now commonplace? The arbitrary and capricious nature of these types of bans is repugnant and gives the lie to their supposed reasonable-ness.

    “Assault weapons do not include antique weapons. Citizens of the town would still be able to bear arms, just not weapons of mass murder.”

    This is nothing more than propaganda. Any weapon can be used for mass murder. Knives have been used in mass murder. Cars have been used in mass murder. Bombs have been used in mass murder. In every case the murder is already illegal. So saying that mass murder is the reason you want this legislation strains credibility. The real reason seeming to be that you are scared of something and want to ban it. This is not a sufficient reason to propose, let alone pass, such legislation

    “It is the least we can do to try to limit harm.”

    Have you ever truly considered the harm this legislation could cause? Restricting the means of lawful defense is no small matter.

    • Very true. As for harm that the legislation can do, it is interesting that he pointed to Dodge City and Tombstone ordinances in his argument. Ever think about how many times Earp or another marshal/sheriff tried to enforce no carrying in the city limits resulted in the “offender” attempting to use his weapon in order to prevent becoming disarmed. Usually resulted in a shot cowboy or lawman.

  13. Easiest way to get this defeated?

    Insist that any bans on weapons apply to the police, both duty and personal weapons. And use all the same rationales this petty-tyrant is using. For example-

    There is no need for our police to have weapons of war.
    There is no justification for police to have more than 10 rounds.

    Force the LEOs into explaining why STANDARD capacity magazines are appropriate for self-defense, why ARs are particularly useful tools.

  14. As Mr Robert I. Rotberg is soliciting comments please feel free to contact him directly, or his Non Profit ARA PACIS INITIATIVE FOR PEACE, INC. at the below address:

    Robert I. Rotberg
    14 Barberry Road
    Lexington, MA 02421

    Additionally feel free to contact the additional members of ARA PACIS INITIATIVE FOR PEACE, INC.and let the board members know how their agent is seeking to restrict a Natural, Civil and Constitutionally protected right.

    DONALD SHRIVER
    Director
    440 Riverside Drive, #58
    New York, NY 10027

    JOSEPH MONTVILLE
    Director
    6506 Divine Street
    Mclean, VA 22101

    MARIA NICOLETTA GAIDA
    President
    Piazza Di S. Calisto 9
    Rome

    MEGAN HALLAHAN
    Clerk
    9570 Meadowgreen Circle
    Sacramento, CA 95827

    PEGGY SHRIVER
    Director
    440 Riverside Drive, #58
    New York, NY 10027

    This is not doxxing, this is public record and his home address happens to be the registered address of the non profit.

  15. I will welcome your comments, criticisms, suggestions for improvement, and so on, but, please as few NRA rants as possible.

    In other words, don’t come to this meeting unless you are on board with banning mags over 10 rounds and some cosmetic features on some rifles.

  16. On Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, implicitly suggesting that local town and city bans on large scale weaponry do not impinge on Second Amendment rights under the U. S. Constitution, and are permissible despite its ruling in Miller in 2014.

    This is patent affirmation that our nation’s federal courts are corrupt and no longer function under the rule of law. It is also patent affirmation that anarchy ensues when there is no rule of law.

    As far as I can see, the U.S. Supreme Court not only failed to uphold its own previous decisions, it also failed to uphold the United States Constitution … it’s most fundamental and important duty. And that failure to act has emboldened people to violate the rule of law and conduct themselves however they desire … facilitating anarchy. How does all that NOT add up to treason?

  17. Being that this is taking place in Lexington, MA, the cradle of the American Revolution, I’m reminded of a quote by Mather Byles (yes, a Tory) who stated, “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?” This guy might be 1/3000

  18. Piss ant small state, small minds, BIG DAMN FACIST AMBITIONS.

    Please be advised MA and all points Northeast and (D)umba_ _, we have infiltrated your state houses and governor’s office(s) and have gotten them to disarm you for any future civil war, and all it cost us was a 14.4 oz bag of plain M&Ms.

  19. More Progressive-approved discrimination of lawful gun owners.

    Will his next “request” be to keep minorities, gays, pitbulls, lowerd Civics, or anyone/anything he finds reason to discriminate against, out of Lexington?

    People like this are dangerous, they presume they are the only ones with the correct opinion, and beat down everyone that doesn’t see it their way. He should be perceived no differently than the KKK. You are entitled to your opinion; just not to force it onto the rest of us.

    • “People like this are dangerous, they presume they are the only ones with the correct opinion, and beat down everyone that doesn’t see it their way. He should be perceived no differently than the KKK. You are entitled to your opinion; just not to force it onto the rest of us.”

      All too common these days, even here on the TTAG forums. Divide and conquer…..working well.

  20. I wonder how the city of Lexington will like the Battle Road visitors boycott that will result from this. When the town is a ghost town next summer and all the shopkeepers are going broke, I wonder if they will think this guy is so smart.

    Sort of a modern day tea party.

    • Lexington residents won’t care. The town is a bedroom community 20 miles from Boston with a heavy (about 20%) Asian population, mostly employed in the tech sector. The average home sale exceeded $600,000 on just a few sales (the town is very stable), with an average listing of $1.6 million.

  21. The U.S. has a long tradition of regulating weapons at the local level – think Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Ariz., not to mention Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

    Yeah, and there’s a long tradition of infringing on all of the rights protected under the Bill of Rights at the local level because until the early 20th century, the Bill of rights was only seen as applying to the federal government. And this guy is a Rhodes scholar?

  22. That would make it a good jihadi target. They could use their fully automatic, European AK’s to hold some disarmed computer executives hostage.

  23. I don’t get it. If they want to save lives, then why don’t they just ban murder? Clearly, banning so-called “assault weapons” everywhere from France to California hasn’t worked.

    By the way, why do local police officers need “weapons of mass murder”, anyway? What do these statists have in mind?

    • So does his, apparently.

      But, like any other restriction to Statist Power, he is choosing to ignore it (or seek an exception if it comes to that).

      Pre-Emption is nice…a good starting point. But don’t hold your breath that it is the end-all and let your guard down.

      Here in NC, we have Pre-Emption also. Yet every couple of months, there’s a headline about another town or county that has either passed or is discussing some local ordinance that violates the Pre-Emption Statute.

      Control Freaks gotta control. It’s what they do. Pre-Emption takes a bit of control away from them, and that drives them nuts. It brings out their inner “But that doesn’t apply to MEEEEEE.”

  24. And people wonder why Texas has people flocking here like it’s the 2nd coming of the gold rush. Just be sure to leave your anti-gun commie crap at home…

  25. This fellow (age 80, by the way), is currently running for the office of Town Selectman and I’m sure he hopes he can ride some anti-NRA sentiment into office. Maybe he will even attract the “weeper in Chief” to campaign for him.

    It also seems that Rotberg is supporting some sort of a tax override for the town, indicating some budget problems. If the anti-gun measure passes, Lexington might regret the $ it might have to pay to fight the lawsuits from gun-owning citizens. Careful what you wish for.

  26. Somehow, the reasons for his proposals did not make it through, here. Have there been hundreds or maybe thousands of people, armed only with pistols and hunting rifles, who have been outgunned and murdered by heartless wielders of scary rifles with 11 round magazines? If not, aren’t we trying to fix a problem which does not exist? Even if hundreds are being murdered, if they are unarmed any old gun would do, scary has no advantage over warm and cuddly guns.

    • “If not, aren’t we trying to fix a problem which does not exist? “

      That’s the entire point of the exercise.

      They never propose, or even support, actual solutions to actual problems. It’s all Political Theater; nothing more. It’s showmanship, but the cost of admission for we the audience is very real.

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