Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey recently “clarified” the Bay State’s “assault weapons” ban, making sales of virtually all AR-15-style rifles illegal with the stroke of her pen. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — the gun industry trade association — has declared that it will file a lawsuit against the AG because if the measure. From bostonherald.com:
The firearm industry group, based in Newtown, Conn., said it retained former U.S. attorney Michael Sullivan for the lawsuit, which will attack Healey’s interpretation of the statute that could be used to ban the sale of all semiautomatic guns.
Keane declined to detail the plans for the lawsuit and to name other parties joining the industry group’s legal fight, but he expects others to file lawsuits as well.
“For 20 years the requirements of the act were well understood by industry and consumers exercising their Second Amendment rights in the state of Massachusetts,” Keane said. “This attorney general, for purely political reason to advance her career, has chosen to trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
The Massachusetts legislature has 200 legislators. Fifty-eight of them sent a letter to Healey complaining about the new diktat. One of those, Representative Geoff Diehl (R) says that half of state legislators have lined up to repeal Healey’s action with legislation:
“It’s going to take a lawsuit to put a stay on it, and it will take a change in legislation that we can get done next session,” Diehl said. He said about 100 state lawmakers from both parties have lined up against Healey’s crackdown.
The Massachusetts legislature is heavily Democrat; the party occupies 126 out of 160 seats in the House, and 34 out of 40 in the Senate. Bills have to move through the Democrat leadership; it’s unlikely such a bill would be able to gain sufficient traction. Then again, legislators don’t like to have their authority and power undercut by an Attorney General acting unilaterally.
The 2016 Massachusetts legislative session ended on July 31; we’ll have to wait until next year to see if any legislation materializes. Meanwhile, the NSSF has sought judicial relief for Massachusetts’ beleaguered gun owners. That effort also faces a lengthy delay and an uncertain future — to say the least.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.