Court Rules NSSF’s Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban Suit Can Go Forward

Regulatory over-reach, thy name is Massachusetts. You may remember that back in 2016 Bay State Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally extended the state’s ban on “assault weapon” sales with a stroke of her pen.

She accomplished this high-handed feat of autocracy by redefining the legal definition of what qualifies as an assault rifle, a move aimed at prohibiting long guns that had been designed around the definition contained in the legislation passed in the state’s assault weapons ban almost 20 years ago.

As she said at the time:

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

Healey’s diktat provoked a lawsuit filed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and four Bay State gun retailers on the basis that regulation by fiat deprives the plaintiffs of their due process rights. Last week, a Massachusetts judge denied Healey’s motion to quash the suit. Here’s the NSSF’s press release:

NEWTOWN, Conn. – A U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts judge has denied state Attorney General Maura Healey’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by four federally-licensed Massachusetts firearms retailers and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, challenging the overreaching “Enforcement Notice” issued by her office in 2016 that deprived the retailers of their due process protections. The suit, which seeks declaratory relief and a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement, can now move forward.

The retailers, all NSSF members, are Pullman Arms Inc. of Worcester, Guns and Gear, LLC of Agawam, Paper City Firearms of Holyoke, and Grrr Gear of Orange.

“Attorney General Healy overstepped her authority when she issued the ‘enforcement notice’ banning certain firearms that have been lawfully sold in the state since at least 1998. Firearms retailers in Massachusetts were left to determine the meaning or scope of the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Because criminal penalties can result due to Attorney General Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Representing NSSF and the retailers are the Boston-based law firm of Kenney and Sams, P.C. and Michael Sullivan of the Ashcroft Law Firm, who is a former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former acting director, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Read the Memorandum and Order.

 

comments

  1. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Godspeed

  2. avatar Rabbi says:

    AWESOME One more step in the right direction!

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Rabbi……Seems like I saw a movie where Mel Gibson kept saying, ” Everything is illegal in Massachusetts “.

      1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        My dad keeps using that line…Along with “I don’t care…They can criminalize a 73 year old senior citizen….” But everything else is a “grey area.”

      2. avatar Setnakhte says:

        He’s not wrong, and not just about 2A. “Banned in Boston” was a thing once, the way “Banned in Beijing” is today.

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    Court’s still a problem. Sure took a while.

    It shouldn’t have taken more than a PFFFFtttt.

  4. avatar Mort says:

    She is a FASCIST. And that is all I have to say about that.

    1. avatar DDay says:

      she is as bad as they get. She’s right there with kamela harris, cuomo, bloomberg. She’s absolutely a fascist. She tries to attack gun owners every way she can. She uses her office and that budget to make owning guns an incredible hassle.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Her action against manufacturers that sought records of out of state sales under some “consumer protection” statute was unbelievably invasive. She is inventing every way she can to completely ban ARs in the United States.

        1. avatar DDay says:

          In MA there are “consumer protection” laws for firearms the AG enforces. All guns need to be submitted for testing, etc. have certain trigger pull lbs, etc. and a black sig is a “different” gun than the same exact model in two tone or another color. Because MA isn’t a huge state like CA, most gun manufacturers who submit them will only submit certain ones because the cost of the additional testing for all the variations of those models isn’t worth the expense based the the sales they’ll make. Some manufacturers like colt, springfield, glock, etc. won’t sell in mass because the AG purposely sets up so many “consumer protections” it’s not worth the hassle to sell in MA

          The worst pol’s in MA are the AG’s. It started with scott harshbarger (a real POS anti gun moron), then went to Reilly, then coakley and now healey. They are all very anti gun and purposely go after gun dealers, gun owners, etc.

      2. avatar Mark says:

        My communist AG Bog Ferguson no doubt would have a hard on for her (but he happens to have a vagina). She is everything he is striving to be and more. Let’s hope this cunt loses. BTW, why isn’t Smith and Wesson joining the law suit against her?

        1. avatar Red Sox says:

          If Bog Ferguson has a vagina then that’s right up her “alley”, she is married to an female appellate court judge.

  5. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Ideally politicians who do such things could be soundly punished, fined, jailed, made an example other would-be dictators. Most likely if we win, it is “well, I guess you can order those guns again.” The people of the gun always seem to have everything to lose, but the enemies of freedom have no reason not to try anything and everything, what risk, threat, or liability do they incur? They can always beat their chest and proclaim they were a martyr but they don’t really lose, they are just delayed.

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Basic politician playbook: “Don’t like the game, change the rules.”

      Goes well with “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

  6. avatar Vince says:

    Citizenship and treason should also come into question with these pos politicians and their tyranny bullshit.. That unamerican traitorous carpetbagger would have swung from the gallows over 100 years ago… The dead had it right.. Treason has no fucking place in america.. Its alarming when dead patriots are still smarter and more american than living liberal scumbag lawless politicians

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Clearly you have no clue what “treason” actually means.Assuming you are arguing that she is violating civil rights, such violations are not “treason.” Google it. Or Bing it, or whatever.

      1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

        Pretty sure that instilling a fascist, anti-American form of governance is tantamount to treason. You don’t have to be a foreign power to be the enemy.

      2. avatar Joe R. says:

        “Treason” is disloyalty to one’s country. She had that covered being a f’ing POS communist evil MFn (D). The rest of her sh_t could be consisdered lesser included offenses

  7. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

    Strike down the whole law or you’re just fighting for a slightly less fascist unconstitutional law.

  8. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    She should be personally liable to repay all the lost profits from all the gun shops that lost money due to her autocratic behavior.

  9. avatar barnbwt says:

    The courts just want another chance to flout Heller.

  10. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    P.S, “Welcome to the People’s Republic of Massachusetts! Where according to most of the MA Politburos DNC, RINO Globalists, and MA law enforcement community…There is NO 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHT IN MASSACHUSETTS! Only a barely tolerated privilege….*(Re: MA residents still await 2nd amendment —-and other civil rights….To be restored to it’s residents. )*

  11. avatar Dishonest Abe says:

    The cradle of tyranny.

  12. avatar Lava Shark says:

    It figures. Massachusetts went from the hotbed of the revolution to the home of “shelter in place”. From being the first to stand up to British Empire to hiding in your basement from two punks with a pistol and a handful of pipe bombs.

  13. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I know Oregon is bad, but compared to Mass.? This is heaven!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Give it time, Thomas…

  14. avatar Red Forman says:

    Tar and feathers.

  15. avatar Dave says:

    So if not having a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock does nothing to decrease the lethalness, having them shouldn’t increase them at all, right? It’s almost like you don’t have a fucking clue about guns & ban things just to ban them…

  16. avatar KTR says:

    I seem to recall that there was a bit of a skirmish in Massachusetts some time back. A couple little towns called Lexington and Concord. Happened around April 19th. Some guys in red coats were trying to steal guns and powder from the citizens there.

    They got their butts handed to them.

    That was in 1775.

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    Unfortunately even a win on this case won’t really do anything. It’s not a challenge to the ban based on the 2nd Amendment, it’s a challenge based on procedure and vague nature of enforcement.

    If they win the state could just pass a law tomorrow based on the ones in CA and NY.

  18. avatar Frank says:

    This is good news, but in reality, what will happen to Maura Healey? Nothing. At. All.

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