Massachusetts Police Departments Warn of an Unconstitutional Gun Grab

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Plymouth Police Chief Dana. A. Flynn

By Jake McGuigan

Massachusetts lawmakers are so drastically overreaching with a 140-page gun control proposal that local police departments are flashing lights and blaring sirens because it is just that bad.

The Ware, Mass., Police Department posted a warning to citizens on the police department’s Facebook page that HD 4420 is just plain terrible gun control legislation.

“This Bill does not address criminals,” the post reads. “Rather it focuses on making criminals out of law-abiding citizens and further hampers police agencies from combating true crime.”

Massachusetts state Rep. Michael Day introduced what could be described as the most-sweeping gun control proposal ever introduced to a governing body in the United States. He submitted the bill after a nine-month “listening tour” across the Bay State but it is clear the only voices he was listening to were those ballyhooing gun control.

“A plethora of blatantly unconstitutional proposals litter this travesty of a Bill, too many to mention here; however, of particular egregiousness is the criminalization of carrying firearms in certain so-called ‘prohibited locations’, including businesses and private properties, EVEN WHILE HOLDING A VALID LICENSE TO CARRY,” the Ware Police Department post reads. “Not even off-duty police officers will be exempted from this appalling mandate.”

Warning Sirens

Ware police are repeating the same warnings that NSSF and Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) have been telling residents and licensed firearm retailers of the Commonwealth. This isn’t a crime control bill. This is an outright gun grab that would trample the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

“Massachusetts’ state legislature is forgetting that a revolution was born in their state when a tyrannical government attempted to confiscate firearms from its citizens in Concord and Lexington more than 200 years ago,” NSSF’s Mark Oliva told Firearms News about the bill.

Ware is a town of just over 10,000 between Worcester, home to some of Kahr Arms production, and Springfield and about 80 miles west of Boston. Springfield, of course, is home to Smith and Wesson, the firearm manufacturer. Savage Arms is headquartered nearby in Westfield, Mass., just 30 or so miles from Ware. The Ware police are seriously concerned about HD 4420, enough that they’re actively encouraging citizens to get involved.

They’re not alone. Plymouth, Mass., Chief Dana A. Flynn wrote a letter urging state lawmakers to walk away from the bill.

“This bill seems more designed to invade the privacy and vandalize and confiscate the property of law-abiding citizens than it does protecting them.”

“We believe that public input and engagement are crucial in shaping legislation that reflects the diverse perspectives and concerns of our citizens,” The Ware Police DepartmentFacebook post reads. “Therefore, we encourage you, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who have a long and storied history of throwing off the chains of our oppressors (let not this tradition die in the hands of our generation), to actively participate in the democratic process by voicing your opinions and taking appropriate actions to safeguard your rights.”

Unconstitutional Gun Grab

NSSF warned that HD 4420 isn’t the run-of-the-mill gun control bill that only seeks to limit where a firearm can be legally carried. It’s much more and much worse. HD 4420 would:

  • Authorize the state attorney general to empower state police to forcibly confiscate all post-1994 firearms.
  • Expand the definition of already banned “assault weapons” to include a single cosmetic feature that has no bearing on the function of a firearm.
  • Require all lawfully-possessed firearms to be registered with the state.
  • Require firearm owners to notify the state if a firearm is modified even if just adding optics or a sling to hunting rifle.
  • Require the serialization and registration all magazines.
  • Require notification to police if magazines are lost, stolen or destroyed.
  • Ban “downloadable gun code” from the Internet, a First Amendment violation.
  • Restrict where a concealed carry permit holder can lawfully carry a firearm, effectively nowhere.

The legislation is so poorly-drafted that hunters wouldn’t be allowed to hunt on their own property unless they post it as open to carrying firearms. As the Ware police pointed out, there’s no exception for police, meaning off-duty law enforcement wouldn’t be able to carry their firearm and respond to emergencies.

“We recognize that the right to bear arms is a fundamental aspect of our nation’s history and an essential component of personal and collective security,” Ware police wrote. “As members of the police force, we are committed to upholding the law and defending the rights of our community members.”

The police department noted that these efforts are counterproductive to community safety.

“Gun Free zones have been proven to have no effect on stopping crime, in fact they embolden criminals to seek out these areas as soft targets of opportunity, where their chances of meeting resistance will be minimal,” they wrote.

Speed Zone Ahead

Rep. Day expected his bill to sail through Massachusetts’ statehouse. Antigun Democrats have supermajorities in both chambers. That might be why Rep. Day scheduled the largest auditorium in the Capitol building for a joint hearing of both the state House of Representatives and Senate Judiciary Committees for June 29 and 30, and then for July 13 and 14. He hit a road bump though. No Judiciary Committee hearing was publicly advertised for any of those dates.

Rep. Day is keeping up the pressure to force the legislation through, even as public opposition is ramping up. Half of the House is meeting behind closed doors to discuss the bill on Monday, July 17 and the other half on Tuesday, July 18. An aide to Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano, a bill backer, said he is trying to grease the skids.

“To encourage candid discussions, we will organize the meetings by Floor Division and they will be Members only,” the aide told media.

Rep. Day and Speaker Mariano said they ultimately want the bill passed and ready for signature before the end of the month, but Rep. Day told media his rush was so intense, he needed the legislation passed “yesterday.”

The Massachusetts-based Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) said HD 4420 is a “historic attack against the entire 2A community being pushed by House Speaker Ron Mariano and Chairman Michael Day.

“There is no telling when the Speaker may try to ram this through. Although we have been told the bill will have a hearing, we have been told a lot of things, most of which have turned out to be intentionally false,” the group wrote last week. “The bill is so egregious that it is impossible to amend, so don’t try.”

GOAL is reaching out to Massachusetts gun owners. They published a lengthy video last week, explaining their opposition to the bill and the need for voters to call their elected representatives and senators in Boston. The message was clear. There is no fixing this bill and the effects would be disastrous for Constitutional rights.

NSSF is also urging Massachusetts licensed dealers and residents to speak up. Speaker Mariano is pulling lawmakers behind closed doors but not listening to voters. Speaker Mariano and Rep. Day have lost police support for their gun grab. Voters need to tell them to heed the flashing warning lights and stop this unconstitutional bill.


Jake McGuigan is the Managing Director, Government Relations – State Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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      • Exactly.

        “Not even off-duty police officers will be exempted from this appalling mandate.”

        I wonder just how likely a complaint from the Mass LE would have been if they were exempt? We hear very little from any dept/agency here in CA because the Dems have exempted them from (nearly) all of our (unconstitutionally infringing) laws.

        • Science, bruh.

          Science + feelz = super good reason for Guv to let their muscle have the gunz while we cannot.

          Just ask Newsom.

    • If they are so ‘Good’. Why haven’t they arrested these politicians for violating the Constitution. which is ultimately their job, as they have taken an Oath to Protect and defend.
      All department members, upon appointment, shall take and subscribe to the oaths or affirmations
      applicable to their positions (Pa. Const. Art. VI, § 3; 53 Pa.C.S. § 1141).
      The form of the oath shall be as follows:
      I, (individual officer’s name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will be alert and vigilant to
      enforce the criminal laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; that I will not be influenced
      in any matter on account of personal bias or prejudice; that I will support and maintain the
      Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of Pennsylvania
      not inconsistent therewith; and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and execute the
      duties of my office as a law enforcement officer according to the best of my skill, abilities, and
      judgment; so help me, God.
      If a member is opposed to taking an oath, he/she shall be permitted to substitute the word “affirm”
      for the word “swear

      • yes I know there are cops who are more loyal to their paycheck. And not loyal to the constitution and the bill of rights.

        But the ones who complain the most are also the ones, who are against private property owners using deadly force if necessary, to protect their private property.

        They just tell you “that is why you are suppose to have insurance.”

        I would be very happy without the police. When I can start killing criminals at will. No criminal, no civil penalties.

        • For the state of Pennsylvania.
          § 3. Oath of office.
          Senators, Representatives and all judicial, State and county
          officers shall, before entering on the duties of their
          respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or
          affirmation before a person authorized to administer oaths.
          “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey
          and defend the Constitution of the United States and the
          Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the
          duties of my office with fidelity.”
          The oath or affirmation shall be administered to a member of
          the Senate or to a member of the House of Representatives in the
          hall of the House to which he shall have been elected.
          Any person refusing to take the oath or affirmation shall
          forfeit his office
          Beyond that specifically the Declaration of Independence. The most Hallowed of documents that allow for the removal of any and all government entities that would delay, deny or destroy the Rights of all Free Citizens as enumerated in the Constitution of the United. States .

  1. These “lawmakers” who cannot manage to obey the law themselves need to be eliminated.

      • RE: “Massachusetts’ state legislature is forgetting that a revolution was born in their state when a tyrannical government attempted to confiscate firearms from its citizens in Concord and Lexington more than 200 years ago,” NSSF’s Mark Oliva told Firearms News about the bill.”

        The thought of History is the last thing on the minds of Gun Control History illiterate Gun Talkers whose silence allows the History of Gun Control to repeat itself…The results of their silence…Pathetic and I do mean Pathetic Gun Control History illiterate Airheads…

        • Debbie W.,

          Plenty (nearly all?) of people who support and advocate for our right to keep and bear arms are very well informed about your broken-record statement. They simply do not agree that constantly shouting “gun control is racism and genocide” is an effective strategy to secure our right. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.

          If you think it is a winning strategy, fantastic: share your reasoning with us. In the meantime STOP your caustic and nasty attacks on everyone who fail to immediately fall down at your feet and worship your every word. It is ugly, it turns people off, and it turns people away.

        • uncommon,

          Debbie One-Note can’t help herself. She only learned ONE thing in her pathetic life: “All gun control derives from racism”. As true as that MIGHT have been, once upon a time, the major impetus for “gun control” now is flat out Leftist/fascism and a desire for CONTROL. Gun-grabbers don’t want to disarm blacks; they want to disarm and control EVERYONE. Poor Debbie One-Note is mentally stuck in the antebellum and “Jim Crow” south, in her tiny little head. Apparently, there isn’t room in there to entertain two thoughts at the same time.

  2. They’re selecting the places to start the agenda based on demographics and past history! Any patriots left in the “birthplace” you better pull your heads outta your azzes!

  3. Since cops swear an oath to defend the Constitution, and the cops recognize this as unconstitutional, I don’t see what difference it makes whether it passes or not. Am I right?

    …rosy colored glasses and all.

    • They did not say they wouldn’t enforce it. We’ll see if they will refuse to enforce it when their jobs, promotions, health insurance, and pensions are on the line.

    • According to the oath of office they take. They cannot enforce laws that are inconsistent with the United states Constitution. See above post.

    • D Y,

      Exactly. The pending legislation in Massachusetts is blatantly unconstitutional and unjust. As such law enforcement in Massachusetts has an obligation to ignore it if it becomes “law”.

      And another thing, even if law enforcement in Massachusetts intends to enforce it, I have to believe that they would only enforce it on the masses. Can you picture some on-duty cop arresting an off-duty cop for carrying their concealed handgun in a no-go zone? Not in a million years.

      • Cops let each other go for DUIs all the time. No way they enforce this on each other if it becomes law. But you’re quite correct, they’ll enforce the fuck out of it on you.

        “The thin blue line” is, sadly, often one of those “big club[s] and you ain’t in it”.

        In the past few years I’ve changed my position on cops. I used to default to supporting them but looking at the evidence of wrong doing on an individual level. Most cops are alright, and presumed to be so but Philip Brailsford needed to be publicly crucified, literally.

        Now, post 2020/1 I default to not supporting them and then looking for the evidence that I should. Abusing people over the imposed covid restrictions should have resulted in immediate termination of the police officers in question, from this mortal coil.

        It’s actually so bad at this point that if I found a local cop (not a Sheriff’s Deputy) bleeding out in the parking lot of a gas station my first thought isn’t to help him. These days my first thought would be wondering if there’s a 2 for 1 sale on bottles of Fiji water inside.

  4. Simple question:

    When does an illegal and hurtful action on the part of one person beg an illegal or usually considered immoral or unkind response from the injured party?

    • 05Banana,

      I like to think about it this way:

      If a state passed a law which said law enforcement must immediately execute anyone who wears a red jacket and law enforcement communicated their intent to enforce that obscene law, would the masses be obligated to respect law enforcement?

    • 05Banana,

      While I am not advocating armed insurrection (yet), NO, I have no obligation to follow or respect a blatantly unconstitutional law, or the misguided idiots who choose to attempt to enforce it As the late, great R.A. Heinlein said, ”

      “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

      No, I am NOT automatically obligated to follow and respect every idiot law some halfwit moron thinks up and manages to shill off on his/her halfwit colleagues. Sorry, not sorry.

    • I believe the answer you’re looking for, IRL is this:

      Neca omne mittent et ii mitteritis non plus.

      Google translate will get you close enough, I’m sure.

      After which, you can menacingly yell something meant to be kinda sweet:

      Si vitam superam morti, ego investigatio tu ibi!

      • Me trying to translate Latin would be tantamount to writing microcode for the new RISC-V processors in Sanskrit…Blindfolded, standing up in a canoe while wearing roller skates!
        But I’ll try your suggestion…Thanx.
        But I really am asking for a clearly thought out answer to my question.

        • The lines say

          “Kill all they send and they will send no more”


          “If life supersedes death, I’ll look for you there”.

          The latter being something someone might say to at a funeral for a loved one, but which could also be construed as an eternal threat if said in anger.

          What I mean by that is: Go read up on the start of the Algerian War for Independence, knowing that this was really a French civil war within one of France’s largest colonies. The people rebelling all considered themselves FRENCH first and foremost.

          Their ways of dealing with hostile law enforcement were rather savage, and for a very good reason. Civil wars are the least civil of conflicts.

  5. “As the Ware police pointed out, there’s no exception for police, meaning off-duty law enforcement wouldn’t be able to carry their firearm and respond to emergencies.”

    Can’t help but wonder how strong, if any, opposition the police would have, had they been covered by an exception vs an inclusion? I do applaud them for opposing this legislation.

  6. According to this:

    Cops are all-in on UBC’s, red-flag type shit and registration schemes. The only thing they seem to dislike is an AWB. Just a demonstration of the old “if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to worry about” neo-con Fuddism.

    What these cops are really upset about is the lack of a special carve-out and all the extra work that would come with the magazine nonsense, AWB expansion and modification notifications.

  7. What’s a post-1994 firearm and why is it banned? They just like older models? The federal AWB was passed in 1994 but banning post 94 would just ban the AWB compliant guns, leaving the pre-ban guns.

    Mostly it would just limit supply and jack prices up, since you couldn’t have that Gen5 Glock and would need to find a thirty year old model. Police surplus Berettas and S&W gen3 stainless pistols would be hot sellers.

  8. BREAKING NEWS: Judge Stays Decision That Vacated ATF Frame/Receiver Rule! (For seven business days).

    • And yet, somehow, I get the feeling that a lot of people are going right along with their lives anyway and not giving this judge’s opinion a second thought…

  9. This is news in Massachusetts? Most gun etailers wont even ship a gun or ammo to that state. Get out while you can.

  10. Mass already removed any AR models from retail in 2016 I think it was. AG, now Governor wrote makes and models in the definition of “Assault Weapon.” RINO Gov at the time signed off. Bypassed the legislature. No one bitched too much. They all thought Hillary would be President IMO. NRA and GOAL lost a half-hearted suit. Didn’t take it further.

  11. Constitutional Infringements Period!
    Pummel Massachusetts with Constant Lawsuits! Recall All Politicians involved in the Totalitarian attempt to usurp our Constitutional Bill of Rights!

  12. Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

  13. § 241

    18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against Rights

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

  14. If they do like Illannoy, they’ll pass it in the dead of night when no one is able to pay attention.

  15. Gee, I did not know there are communists in the Massachusetts government…. So why are these scum elected?

  16. It is really sad to see the home of our revolution neutered. It would be really great if some of the area firearms makers spent a bit of their money on political action but I guess they’ll just rely on govt/leo money (sig, springfield) or stick their heads in the texas sand (Q) while prancing on youtube.

  17. The mere proposal of this atrocity is another example of the Leftist-S O C I A L I S T mentality of control over the people. These people are little more than control freaks.
    Remember this, registration is the first step to confiscation.

    • They don’t expect it to stop acts of violence. That’s not, and never has been, the point.

      They expect this to justify acts of violence by them against you.

      • strych9, The Left has been assaulting Conservatives in various ways ad infinitum. For them to go after Conservatives with their ANTIFA and BLM thuggish stormtroopers is a prime example. Just look what they tried to do to Rittenhouse when he acted in self defense.

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