When it comes to firearms laws, the Bay State is bonkers. An otherwise law-abiding gun owner faces 10 years in jail for the simple possession of a post-’94 magazine capable of holding even one bullet more than ten rounds of ammunition. That’s courtesy of the Massachusetts legislature. And now lawmakers in Lowell, Massachusetts (a.k.a. Spindle City) want to pass a law that would require homeowners owning ten or more firearms to store all the weapons in a locked safe. That’s alarmed. Connected directly to the police. Those who don’t follow the storage procedures would face their own lock-up, for five years. According to lowellsun.com, it all started when . . .
. . . thieves broke into a home in the Acre neighborhood on a weekend in early January and stole about 40 guns from a homemade vault, police were not notified until the homeowner returned to his property early the next week.
Since then, two men have been indicted for their alleged roles in the crime, but just a handful of the guns stolen from 9 Dublin St. have been recovered.
“Those weapons are out on the street and in the hands of criminals,” said Lowell Police Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee.
In order to prevent similar incidents in Lowell and the movement of guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens to lawbreakers, Lavallee, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone and Rep. Kevin Murphy helped city officials craft a home-rule petition seeking the power to require owners of 10 or more firearms to notify police of the weapons’ location within 24 hours of possessing them.
The proposed law would also require owners of more than 10 firearms to secure them in a locked safe or vault and install an alarm system with central monitoring that would notify police when the alarm is activated.
As they might say in Lowell, no friggin’ way. As they say in California, yes way.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to send the home-rule petition to the state Legislature. If the proposal receives state approval, Lowell would be the only community in the state requiring residents who possess large numbers of firearms to tell the city of their location and install an alarm system, Lavallee and gun-owner advocates said.
Gun owner advocates? An expensive system that tells the cops when and how often you open your gun safe? A law that what, allows the cops to come in and count the number of guns in your possession? How do I put this delicately . . . are you shitting me?
James Machado, executive director of the Massachusetts Police Association, praised Lowell’s proposal for its potential public-safety benefits, but said law-enforcement officials must make sure there are strong protections in place so that criminals are unable to access any gun database the city would create.
“The police will have to be careful how they alert each other,” Machado said. “It is not something you want to talk about over the air.”
Machado also cautioned that the law will only be effective if it calls for gun owners to place their weapons in safes and vaults that are extremely difficult to penetrate. A lock box where people typically place their insurance papers should not qualify, he said.
C’mon. Get out a here.
Murphy, a Lowell Democrat whose district includes Dublin Street, said the city was wise to take the home-rule route because it would be much more difficult to pass statewide legislation with similar provisions. If the petition makes it through the legislative process and proves successful in stemming gun violence in Lowell, it could become a statewide model, he said.
“I hope the argument that we are only talking about the city of Lowell, which is an urban center with gun-violence issues, will help its chances,” Murphy said.