National Shooting Sports Foundation Challenges AG Healey’s “Assault Weapon” Ban

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (courtesy

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

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.

Gun Watch


  1. avatar Mk10108 says:

    The restraint people enduring another round of infringement is remarkable considering systematic effort democrats need to remove people’s second amendment.

  2. avatar Mak says:

    It is imperative that this tyrant be stopped.

    1. avatar Tommygun says:

      This is the reason our Founders wanted a strong national government. Under the Articles of Confederation, states went in all different directions and created a legal nightmare. States should NEVER have the right to usurp federal law by making their own, no matter how great it seems to fit their needs.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Some people need attention.
    She has no clue what she is doing.
    Over zealous.
    Not saying, but no wedding ring ?
    Wonder why.
    Just sayin.

    1. avatar Kruella says:

      I know more than a couple of people who are married who do not wear rings. Why don’t you just say what’s on your mind Ralph.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I’m a different Ralph. Healey is openly gay and lives with her “partner,” Gabrielle Wolohojian, who is a judge on the State appellate court.

        Considering that same sex marriage has been legal in MA since 2004, the other Ralph’s question is valid.

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      Apparently you haven’t been paying attention.

      1. avatar jjimmyjonga says:

        Slap shot, Blazing Saddles and Animal House prove you dont need monster budgets to make classic comedy that stand the test of time. good post…

        1. avatar John Archibald says:

          Indeed….But let’s not forget the Blues Brothers movie.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    I was very concerned that Massachusetts’ Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) would take the primary position in opposition. GOAL is comprised of great people who try very hard but usually fail.

    The NSSF is a much more powerful organization, well-funded and fighting for an industry that is dependent on ARs for a living. Yeah, even Ruger and S&W. They have a lot to lose and strong financial backing.

    I expect that GOAL will jump into a secondary role, and the SAF and the NRA will also intervene.

    1. avatar Jimmy says:

      GOAL is much more effective at working with the legislature, they were able to turn the post Newtown state level push for new gun control into a compromise that actually restored some rights without any serious losses. NSSF is much more qualified to work on a lawsuit.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Agreed. GOAL is not an effective pressure group nor does it have a strong record in litigated matters.

        I do think that some GOAL lobbying successes could be directly attributed to behind the scenes work by Smith & Wesson, which for years has been the sole bright spot in Springfield, MA and thus has some statewide clout.

        1. avatar Red Sox says:

          Ralph You got that so right about S & W’s impact on Springfield, there are so many dependent on it’s existence and if for some reason they were to relocate then the only industry in Springfield will be drugs, gangs and tumbleweed and this statist Healey will not be impacted or held accountable.

        2. avatar MyPrettyAr15 says:

          I have already witnessed one tragedy out of the whole AG decision. My next door neighbor worked for S&W and just lost his job about a week ago. Sadly, his live-in girlfriend and co-owner of the home has been battling a protracted cancer battle and they were dependent on his health care from his job. I fear that they are going to lose the house now. Then again I’m sure that the AG would probably just think to herself ‘suck it up buttercup’ if she knew about my neighbor because one thing liberals hate to do is to care about other peoples lives.

        3. avatar Keith G. Langer says:

          GOAL does not do litigation. Period.

          It does training and lobbying. Period.

          Expecting it to bring a lawsuit in this matter is, quite simply, unrealistic. SAF or Comm2A would be the likely entities, had the NSSF not already weighed in. I would expect those two groups to work with NSSF on any litigation.

  5. avatar Rad Man says:

    Maura doesn’t get what the rest of us learned in Social Studies in seventh grade. Namely, legislators represent the will of the people. Sometimes that will is that the legislature do nothing. To wit, sometimes nothing is something and precisely what the people want. Maura wants to be governor and to be elected in our blue commonwealth, her handlers likely recommended she take this course of action. Now she’ll theoretically be seen as “doing something” to combat gun violence – what little, if any there is here.

    If you’ll recall, gubernatorial candidate Warren Tolman sunk his campaign by running on a platform of outlawing semiautos. This move could bite Maura in the ass, at least I hope it does. DW is correct in that legislators don’t like the office of the Attorney General, which is supposed to be a law enforcement position, creating law out of thin air and in doing so usurping the authority of the legislative body and the will of the people.

    1. avatar pieslapper says:

      Sadly they don’t teach things like that in 7th grade anymore, and barely touch on it in high school, lest we realize we could actually throw the bums out.

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      Unfortunately I foresee the Dem legislators making “no semi-autos allowed” the actual law and not just an “interpretation.”

  6. avatar gs650g says:

    She has nothing to fear from the SCOTUS and even less from a Hillary administration.

  7. avatar Mikele says:

    This has to be overturned! It’s a anti-gun trial run for ALL states!

  8. avatar I1ULUZ says:

    She is adding this to her resume, if Hilterary is elected I am sure she would be more than happy to take over as her AG and then try to figure out a way to spread this to the remaining free states. She didn’t just wake up one morning and think HEY I can……. It was planned out and timed.

  9. avatar Red in CO says:

    So, with the stoke of a pen, a woman in government ILLEGALLY passed legislation. Legislation that will result in at least a few prosecutions (I’m sure Massachusetts is chock full of prosecutors who DESPISE the RKBA). But, to overturn that (illegal) legislation, the people of MA have to not only wait for the next legislative session to begin, but to also follow this illegal law (or risk prison time) in the meantime. And if it does end up being overturned, the AG will face ZERO repercussions. Yep, that’s pretty messed up. Given the blatant disparity between the unwashed masses and our representatives (in the sense of actions actually having consequences), I’d say we’re quickly approaching the time to line them up against a wall….

  10. avatar tfunk says:

    Did they not challenge the ban when it was originally passed?

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      If they did, I’m sure it was the “old” definition that was challenged, not this “new” one.

      It would be some fine irony, if any language in the response to the challenge of the original ruling was used to overcome any later changes, such as this one.

  11. avatar Rabbi says:

    This issue of AG overreact has national implications on every law. She must be stopped

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      It has been shown historically that when Liberals cannot get what they want through legislation they will resort to the Judicial. Activist lawyers, AGs and judges will do everything in their power to find loopholes (real ones), parse terminology, harass individuals with legal actions, and in the end find plausibility in judicial rulings that subvert the intent of legislation in order to achieve their political goals.

      This is not a new phenomenon.

  12. avatar bruce Steger says:

    So, when will 12 gauge pump shotguns be banned because Roosevelt’s Rough Riders took San Juan Hill in Cuba with Winchester Pump shotguns????

  13. avatar Jim Bullock says:


    This is exactly the kind of shenanigans the Feds have been expanding during the current administration. In addition to conveniently reinterpreting legislation to rewrite “regulations”, they’ve been bypassing the regulation processes, including notice periods, review, and convoluted arguments that a regulation isn’t actually a regulation. Like when it’s an advisory letter about what an enforcement agency thinks is important, and might do if you do *this* vs. *that.* But, it’s not a regulation. (The title IX letter, anybody?)

    Also, Anna-Nicole married for love.

  14. avatar Kyle (in Upstate New York) says:

    What in the living hell makes them think that any court will stop this ban? Aside from that one court with the Maryland ban, the courts have repeatedly shown that they will uphold assault weapons bans no matter how good the arguments by the gun rights side. As they see it, unless the law completely takes away a person’s ability to acquire a firearm, it is within the scope of Heller. All they are going to do is create yet further case law that assault weapons bans are Constitutional.

  15. avatar Libertarian says:

    Sent she to prision whiteout parole before 2999 !!

  16. avatar Dennis says:

    So glad I moved out of MA in 2014…

  17. avatar robert cosenza says:

    to ag heeley.evidently your not familiar with the dick act of 1902.the dick act of 1902-gun control forbidden.the dick act of 1902-can,t be repealed gun control forbidden-its protection against a tyrannical government.the dick act of 1902 also known as the efficiency of militia bill h.r. 11654 of june 28,1902 it invalidates all so-called gun-control laws.and your suppose to be an ag.remember you work for we the people,not we the people, for you.we our constitituional correct,not politically inept.the right of the people,to keep and bear arms,SHALL NOT BE healey can you understand that.we only abide by the constitituion/bill of rights/2nd amendment.everyone we know will do everything in our power,to legal get you removed form office.goggle hillary clintons scandals/and bill clintons criminal/mena connection. god bless all legal american veterans/citizens go trump everyone we know,and we mean everyone we know is voting for you trump. semper fi

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