When it comes to gun control in Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey is a law unto herself. Who needs a state legislature when you can impose your own laws like instituting an “assault weapons” ban and outlawing 3D-printed guns by diktat? Life’s so much easier as an elected official when you don’t have to muck around with that whole democratic process thing, amirite?
Healey is one of the 21 state attorneys general who are suing Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed in a prior restraint attempt to quash his free speech rights and prevent him from making his 3D gun files available via the Internet. The plaintiffs, Brent Carlton and Brandon Combs, wanted some information about the AG’s activities in that regard.
The plaintiffs apparently also wanted information about any efforts the AG may have made in her official capacity to interfere with the operation of codeisfreespeech.com the web site that the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Firearms Policy Foundation and Calguns set up to provide downloadable 3D gun files when a judge’s order blocked Defense Distributed from doing it themselves.
But Healey has denied the plaintiffs’ information request, ostensibly because she said it would tip her hand in her efforts to keep the scourge of 3D gun files off of the Internet. As far as Healey’s concerned, the state’s public records law simply doesn’t apply to her, not when there are more important considerations — like gun control and restricting First and Second Amendment rights — in play.
The Firearms Policy Coalition has issued this press release announcing the lawsuit . . .
BOSTON (September 19, 2018) — Two constitutional rights advocates have filed a new lawsuit against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey after she denied them access to public records about “3D printed” guns and related issues.
Plaintiffs Brent Carlton and Brandon Combs each filed two requests for public records with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. But on August 29, Lorraine A.G. Tarrow, Healey’s Assistant Attorney General & Records Access Officer, sent Carlton and Combs a letter denying all of the requests, leading to the lawsuit.
“Please be advised that the AGO is currently involved in litigation and one or more investigations concerning ‘3Dprinted guns.’ The disclosure of any records related to these ongoing matters that have been and continue to be compiled by this Office would divulge our litigation, prelitigation, and investigative strategies and reveal our sources of information such that our legal and enforcement positions would be compromised,” she wrote. “We cannot provide any more specificity about the requested records without disclosing these AGO legal and investigative strategies.”
Attorney Jeffrey Scrimo, Esq., of Lenox, Mass., filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs. Attorney General Healey’s “response and refusal to comply with the plaintiffs’ public records requests constitutes a breach of its obligations as set forth in Massachusetts General Laws,” he said in the complaint.
“Although Attorney General Healey likes to talk about the importance of the rule of law, she seems to think that the law does not apply to her office when it comes to her incessant political grand-standing, particularly regarding guns,” said Brent Carlton, the lead plaintiff and president of Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A).
Carlton is joined in the case by Brandon Combs, who also sent records requests to Attorney General Healey on behalf of himself and advocacy organizations Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, The Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.
A copy of the complaint, the requests filed by Carlton and Combs, and A.G. Healey’s letters denying the requests can be viewed or downloaded at www.firearmspolicy.org/carlton-v-healey.