Massachusetts never liked the fact that the federal “assault weapons” ban was allowed to sunset in 2004. In response, the Bay State enacted its own AWB, signed into law by then-governor Mitt Romney. In 2016, in the aftermath of the Pulse and San Bernardino shootings, then-Attorney General (now Governor) Maura Healey unilaterally declared virtually every firearm sold in the state after the federal AWB ended was considered a “copycat” weapon, thus making them (and almost all semi-automatic rifles) illegal.
The Massachusetts ban was subsequently upheld in the courts, but that was all long before Bruen came to be. Now, in a world without interest balancing, the National Association for Gun Rights has filed suit to overturn the Massachusetts law.
Here’s NAGR’s press release . . .
The National Association for Gun Rights is suing the state of Massachusetts over their 1998 “assault weapons” ban which was expanded in 2016.
The Massachusetts law which bans the sale and possession of most semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines was originally signed into law by then Republican Governor Mitt Romney.
The first hearing took place this morning at 9:00 AM. Overseeing the case is Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.
“Massachusetts has been directly violating the Second Amendment for decades,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights. “Under Bruen, there is no doubt in my mind the days of Romney’s Assault Weapons Ban are numbered. The National Association for Gun Rights will see to it that the rights of the people of Massachusetts are restored.”
“As Governor, Romney signed a gun ban so egregious that many Democrat lawmakers wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. More recently, as the junior Senator from Utah, Romney has taken part in virtually every gun control compromise since taking office in 2019,” added Brown.
The NAGR lawsuit argues the Massachusetts gun ban is in violation of the 2022 Supreme Court decision handed down in the NYSRPA V. Bruen case, which stated gun control laws must find their justification in the history, text, and tradition of the Second Amendment.
“This law bans firearms that are in common use throughout the United States, including the most popular rifle in America. Our members are chomping at the bit to snuff out semi-auto bans nationwide, and taking a hatchet to the Romney gun ban will be a tremendous feather in our cap,” concluded Brown.