Massachusetts gun control concealed carry
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The town of Sudbury, Massachusetts recently held a vote concerning zoning laws and the firearm industry. It has become a semi-common practice in Massachusetts, among other jurisdictions, to try and zone out the Second Amendment. This trend, as well as the fingerprints left behind by proponents of the regulation change, shows the systemic issues we have with blind ignorance and hatred towards anything firearm related.

Through a citizen petition in Sudbury, a warrant was raised that was voted on at the annual town meeting, May 1-2, 2023. The warrant required a two thirds vote of the citizens present to pass. While the warrant did not get close to the threshold of passage by the citizens, with nearly two thirds in opposition of the regulation change, the story is far from over. 

The warrant, TM-2023 – Article 55 Control of Firearms Zoning, would have outlawed nearly all firearm related commerce from being able to occur within the town.

This amendment would make the Sales, Assembly, and/or Manufacturing of Firearms and/or Components thereof, Ammunition, and Explosives a prohibited use in all zoning district in the Town of Sudbury.

The warrant was raised by a citizen petition, however the individual that raised the petition sat on the Zoning Board of Appeals at the time of the meeting. Frank Riepe delivered an impassioned – albeit misleading and incorrect – presentation on why the warrant he brought via petition should be enacted by the citizens of Sudbury.

Riepe made many claims about the Second Amendment during his presentation, and like all those in favor of zoning out the Second Amendment through the process, stated over and over again that “it does not impinge on anyone’s rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution.” Riepe further added to that though, “However, individuals should not be tempted by ready access to firearms, to spontaneously commit violence against themselves, classmates or family members. The darkest impulses of the human soul should not be exploited for profit.”

Fellow Zoning Board of Appeals member and Chair, John Riordan, delivered remarks on behalf of the Zoning Board.

Mr. Riepe, who is also a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, brought this idea, this bylaw proposal to the Zoning Board of Appeals in August of 2022. And we had hearings in August and in September. So the only reason that we’re here today on a citizens petition is because the Planning Board and the Select Board decided not to act before the today when the Select Board met at 6:30 tonight on this question. The Zoning Board of Appeal, acting under its authority under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 40 A Section Five, voted unanimously to support this zoning amendment. It made a referral to the planning board with the strongest possible language recommending this proposal.

Why would the Select Board not move on the proposed bylaw change? The three to two vote against making the measure part of the town’s laws is actually disconcerting. The board, after being given guidance by their own attorney, surprisingly did not vote unanimously against the measure.

Charlie Russo on behalf of the Select Board did relay their position on why the majority voted the way they did.

In the opinion received [by] town council states uncertainty about whether or not the proposed bylaw as written would be approved by the Attorney General. Additionally, the opinion states that it is quote, “highly likely that the Zoning Bylaw would be subject to a constitutional challenge.” This means that Sudbury could face an expensive and a high profile lawsuit.

That advice was reiterated by their legal council who issued a six page letter to the Select Board, noting that the measure would leave the town vulnerable to lawsuits. Lee Smith from KP Law, who was present the evening of the meeting stated “there’s a strong likelihood that it will be challenged in court. If civil rights violations are alleged and proven, the town may be liable for attorney’s fees for the other side.”

The troubling fact remains there were still two Select Board members who were willing to leave the town vulnerable to tort if the bylaw was passed. This vein of anti-Second Amendment sentiment runs so deep in society that members of local town boards are willing to possibly surrender millions of dollars due to legal fees, just to make a point.

Chronicling the progress of this measure and the forty minutes dedicated to discourse on the subject turned into a microcosm of the current debate on firearms in the U.S.

Most ideological archetypes were embodied in one way or another during the debate to outlaw the Second Amendment in a little Massachusetts town. There were the irrational, and full of fear hoplophobic persons represented. The gun owners that just want to be left alone and feel like they’re always the enemy were present. The pragmatic anti-gunner that knows the battle will cost too much, with it not being worth it. 

The formerly mentioned chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, John Riordan, also made comments as a citizen. In his own speech he tried to gaslight the public by using his “experience” as an attorney to bring his words to validity. Mr. Riordan opened:

There’s a lot of really erroneous and false information being bandied about in the hall this evening. This amendment to our zoning bylaw absolutely does not take away anyone’s right to keep in bear arms.

Riordan was correct in pointing out the erroneous and false information, however a good deal of it was delivered by himself, Frank Riepe, and other proponents of the measure. Some of the most flawed comments made by Riordan pertained to what he said were statement of facts on limitations to the Second Amendment, “under the McDonald versus City of Chicago case, and also the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs Bruen, here are some examples of what would be permissible:”

…background checks, requiring background checks for all firearm purchases, waiting periods requiring a waiting period before a firearm can be purchased, age limits, setting an age limit for firearm purchases such as 21 years old, registration requiring firearm firearms to be registered with state and local government can be a permissible limitation, requiring that licensing and training which could include insurance requirements with respect to the purchasing of a firearm can be a permissible limitation. Limits on high capacity magazines. Banning high capacity magazines can be a permissible limitation, bans on assault weapons, banning assault weapons can be in certain types of firearms can be a permissible limitation…

Everything that Riordan mentioned is currently being challenged, has been already deemed unconstitutional, has had cases from the Supreme Court granted, vacated, and remanded, and are all ripe for challenge – because such limitations are unconstitutional. Riordan’s commentary had to be cut off because the attorney of 47 years, who had experience “as a legislative attorney for the US Congress,” went over his allotted time during his ramblings.

Hank Sorett, speaking on behalf of himself as a citizen, voiced strong opposition to the measure. Sorett, self-described as an attorney and legal scholar for 50 years, said that he’d be delighted “if we can melt down all the guns on the planet.” Through his testimony, he pointed out a reality that many anti-gun zealots cannot come to terms with easily.

The Supreme Court has spoken twice in the last dozen years on the issue of gun control. The first case was Heller versus District of Columbia, in which the court ruled that there is an individual right to bear arms, not limited to militia. The next case, which was two years ago was New York rifle and pistol vs. Bruin, in which the Court held that the licensing standards the licensing process, or conditioning licenses of the permit was unconstitutional. Under the current composition of the Supreme Court, and the current formulation of the Second Amendment, there’s a high probability that this law that this ordinance, if adopted would be attacked legally, and a high probability that it would be found unconstitutional.

There’s a simple answer to the question, “would outlawing the sale and manufacture of firearms in any given town be unconstitutional?” That’s a yes.

Outside of the main petitioner, Frank Riepe, there were only two others who spoke in favor of the measure as citizens, and they also hold roles within the town: Zoning Board of Appeals member and Chair, John Riordan, and Janie Dretler, a Select Board member.

Speaking against the measure as Second Amendment supporters, or those smart enough to realize a lawsuit would ruin the town, were four citizens. Of the four citizens who were against the measure, two mentioned they were members of Gun Owners’ Action League, the Massachusetts state NRA organization.

The zoning bylaw was voted down by the citizens present, with 64% against it. Of the 166 voters, 59 were in favor and 107 against. The vote indicates either a strong support of the Second Amendment, and or having sensibilities enough to respect the law of the land. From a town in Massachusetts, this is unprecedented.

The matter of zoning out the Second Amendment is not over in Sudbury. The Select Board indicated a willingness to work on a bylaw amendment that they and their legal council would think to be constitutional. Given there were still two board members who supported the measure, as well as the full Zoning Board of Appeals, we’re not necessarily dealing with a set of pro-Second Amendment leaders.

Citizen commenter Hank Sorett pragmatically outlined the path forward for those that want to banish firearms from society. While he was against the measure for financial reasons, the attorney stated:

The only meaningful way to change the gun culture in the United States is to change the Second Amendment. That is the process that emanates from the Congress. And so if you want to fight against gun violence, urge our members of Congress to seek to amend the Second Amendment.

This small annual town meeting in Massachusetts points at some of the issues across America on guns. Actually, those in opposition of civil liberties, in all but one case, handled themselves professionally and without allowing extreme irrational emotion to get involved. There were plenty of adults in the room to say “I’m all set,” knowing that trying to zone out the firearm related industry in the town would cost them a small fortune, even if they philosophically disagree with civil liberties. Rather than go off half-cocked, the mature proponents said “let’s get back to the drawing board.”

This was a victory for gun owners in Sudbury Massachusetts and the Bay State at large. The townsfolk cannot rest on the laurels of this win for long though. The citizens that care for fundamental rights in the town of Sudbury need to re-assemble, and start pushing opposition to any measure like this now, by getting and staying involved. Politics are local, and even in the fascist state of Massachusetts, proponents of liberty can win if they’re energized.

“We March every year to Lexington and Concord to commemorate the fact that people in this town had guns to protect us and our way of life as we founded the country. I will tell you that there will be a lawsuit for this…” Jeff Phillips, Citizen Commenter

A transcript of the discussions can be read HERE or below.

To watch the May 2, 2023 meeting containing the discussions on Article 55, click HERE or check it out in the embed below.


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  1. Why buy a gun then, if you have to register it with the government? May as well stamp a sign that says “come and take it when you want to”.

    • You can bet your sweet ass we will be suing to eliminate all gun registration “risky schemes” (an old Leftist political ad from the late 1980s)…

    • Yep. Like the Japanese-Americans found out regarding their persons when US Census data was used to hunt them down, registration is for confiscation.

  2. Registering a gun seems like a violation of privacy at least. Any official that endorses or votes for an unconstitutional law or ordinance should be removed from office and be subject to civil rights prosecution. Maybe the state name should be changed to Marxistchusetts.

    • “violation of privacy“

      You may have missed reading justice Alito’s decision, but he found that there was no right to privacy in the United States Constitution.

      • Your side proved there was no right to privacy with the nfa, background checks and 4473’s. You established no right to privacy, Which allowed Roe v. Wade to be overturned. And by supporting trannies in women’s sports you guys are dealing women another setback.

        Are you still claiming you’re the side that supports women?

      • I just got moderated. So. In keeping with my policy I will not comment anymore today on ttag. Have a nice day.

      • Alito was incorrect. The 4th Amendment guarantees privacy, as proven by the laws on intellectual property. If you think that is not true, ask any home-based inventor, author or artist to record the process of creating intellectual property.

      • No, you lying sack of shit, he did no such thing.

        If you were even CAPABLE of reading the decision (which you aren’t), no such language appears anywhere in the decision.

        We may posit an unenumerated “right of privacy”, and I am a fan of Randy Barnett’s “presumption of liberty”, tell me exactly, the EXACT LANGUAGE in the Constitution that authorizes one human being to kill another.

        I dare you, you lying dog turd.

      • MINOR Miner49er, This time, probably a first; you are right. There is no “right to privacy” in the Constitution. However, there is that 2nd Amendment. Much to your chagrin, I am sure.

        • Walter,

          Let’s get straight over what the Constitution does, and does not, do. The Constitution GRANTS exactly zero rights. None. The Founders were crystal clear that ALL rights enjoyed by humans are inherent. All the Constitution does is tell them government which rights it MUST keep its damn hands off of. The history of the debates around the Constitution, the BoR, etc. makes it clear that the main opposition to the BoR was exactly your argument – that listing SOME inherent rights as unassailable by the government, implies that others weren’t, and that was never their intention.

          The prevailing consideration was that SOME inherent rights were so fundamental that they needed to be specially called out. The existence of the 4th Amendment, the 5th Amendment, and the 10th make it pretty clear that the Founders believed there was a basic ‘right to privacy’. Absolutely NOTHING in the Constitution, or the BoR, equates “right of privacy” with “right to kill another human because he/she is inconvenient to you”, so Blackmun’s absurdly written and “reasoned” piece of crap he wrote in Roe v. Wade, finding an alleged “Constitutional right” in the “emanations from the penumbra” was just a feeble effort to spin horses*** into gold, and should have been rejected as an offense against logic and reason.

          Don’t know about you, Chief, but I “derive” exactly zero of my rights from the Constitution; they are mine, inherently, and the 10th Amendment should make that clear to even a halfwit like MajorLiar. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that, just because it isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, the right doesn’t exist.

  3. “This amendment to our zoning bylaw absolutely does not take away anyone’s right to keep in bear arms.” This is equivalent to banning all writing, publishing and distributing of any books in the town, but not in any way infringing on the right to free speech…

    • This amendment would make the Sales, Assembly, and/or Manufacturing of Firearms and/or Components thereof, Ammunition, and Explosives a prohibited use in all zoning district in the Town of Sudbury.

      This “amendment” is so badly worded removing a bolt to clean a gun and then reinstall is now an illegal act of “Assembly”. Reloading is illicit “Manufacture” of ammunition.

      Of course the law makers will say this in not their intention as it is to be applied to commercial scale but in reality it will be selectively enforced on certain groups.

  4. When certain pathetic Gun Owning azzhats bark at Defining Gun Control by its History Confirmed Roots in Racism and Genocide the clear, obvious result is an ignorant public that caters to Gun Control.

    Gun Control zealots have never and will never speak about the History of Gun Control. They know it would be the death nail for an agenda that promises security and always winds up being hell on earth for defenseless citizens.That said, one can bet the farm Gun Control zealots monitor firearm forums and find pleasure seeing the History of their beloved Gun Control remains mute.

    Well worth sharing…

    • The reason Nazis were able to disarm the German population (The same in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, etc.) was because there was no belief in the God given right to self protection or a Constitution that guaranteed people the RTKABA. Not a right given by the government, but a human right not recognized outside the United States.

      Chip Roy mentions slavery and how gun laws discriminated against blacks.
      And yet at no time does he say Americans have gun rights because of genocide in other countries, or the past history of slavery in the U.S. He says Americans have gun rights because they are endowed by God and enumerated in the Constitution. He rightly points out the danger of infringing on 2A rights.

      Courts will judge future attempts at gun control based on the Constitution, not what Hitler, Mao, or Stalin did decades ago.

      ** I posted this yesterday on another story Deb also linked to this video. So far no response. Pretty gutless.

    • Has Chip Roy sponsored any gun-rights legislation during this session of the House?

      He talks the talk — does he walk the walk?

      • But but but dont you know the definition of gun control??!!?? Cuz thats real important in Debbie’s world. If you cant define gun control by its history of slavery and genocide you’re just a big nothing burger that wont be able to make it past square one

  5. I am leaving for Boston in the morning. My daughter is graduating from the Berklee School of Music. While I am happy for her, I hate the thought of spending a few days in a place where I cannot bring a firearm. With luck, this will be the last time I have to go there.

    My house sitter will keep things safe and orderly at home.

    • Confratulations to your daughter, and to you for raising her.

      You’re Shipping Up To Boston 😉

      Had a patient, now a friend, in Harrisburg who went to school Berklee back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Bass player. He says it’s a great school for music

      • In the 80s and 90s, maybe.

        Now polluted with Marxist bullshit?

        It’s *everywhere*, including the hardest of the hard sciences, like medicine and the astrophysics department at Carl Sagan’s Cornell :

        “Down a Black Hole – Even the hard sciences are no longer immune to the ongoing racial hysteria.”

        ““Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos” asks the question, “Is there a connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness?” Anyone familiar with academia’s racial monomania knows the answer: of course there is! Though “conventional wisdom,” according to the catalog description of “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos,” holds that the “‘black’ in black holes has nothing to do with race,” astronomy professor Nicholas Battaglia and comparative literature professor Parisa Vaziri know better.”

        • Geoff,

          My daughter tells me the leftist propaganda is definitely there but it does not intrude too much into the classroom; she is able to ignore it and focus on the music. Her grades are stellar, so she is not being penalized for not going woke. Still, she is uncomfortable sometimes.

        • Well done, young lady. May you be a shining beacon of light to the lost in the art world.

      • Crimson,

        Thanks for both the congrats and for that video! Been a while since seeing that.

    • Wow, Life — Berklee! When I was a young musician, I dreamed of going there.
      That’s quite an accomplishment. Congrats to her, and to you for supporting her.

  6. “However, individuals should not be tempted by ready access to firearms, to spontaneously commit violence against themselves, classmates or family members. The darkest impulses of the human soul should not be exploited for profit.”

    With that in mind, we have this *Breaking News* to cheer you up :

    “Progressive Staffer Carrying Gun Illegally Shot And Killed By Fellow Campaigner In Philadelphia”

    “In a case of what can only be described as sad irony, an argument between two progressive Philadelphia political canvassers early this week led to one shooting the other, and one campaigner tragically dying.

    Though Philadelphia stations like NBC didn’t go into detail about who the assailant and victim were campaigning for, it was speculated early in the week by Fox 29’s Steve Keeley that one or both parties involved may have been involved in supporting Democratic mayoral front runner Helen Gym’s campaign.”

    I have a better idea : If you vote Democrat, no gun for you… 🙂

  7. SOmeone shouild sit that Hank Sorret and ‘splain a few things to him.
    First there are about 420 million firearms in private hands in this nation that are known. Of those, maybe fifty a day are used criminally. That is a vanishingly small percentage. Of those, as well, seeral hundred are used each day to PREVENT criminal activity, most times never being discharged in so doing.
    What MUST happen is for those fifty or so who use them each day for evil be charged, convicted sentenced. Leave the other 424,999,950 alone.
    Secid could the towj pass an ordinance prihibiting anyone within city limits openly spek his opinin on any matter, including thise who would donexactly as HE did, standing up and speaking in public. No yard sighs, no door hangers, no petitions curculated, no letters to the town paper no bilboards.
    Could the town pass an ordinance prohibiting everyone in the town from attending any chruch or similar huse of gathering, or mandating all attend one selected establishment of worship/prayer/mediationwhatever? Could the twon pass a law forbidding anyone charged with any crime from geing represented bylegal counsel? Now about authorising the local cops to wander into any residence in the town at will, wander about pking in closetsm drawers, desks, demanding dsafes be opened, to they can look at, inspect, seize anything they pleased? Continue on down the list of the first ten articles of ammendment considering what deinals, restrictions, prohibitions, mandates, regarding each one the town could enact.
    He fails to comprehend that that pesky Secind Article GIVES no one anything. It merely NAMES the right to arms, declares it is a natural right that cannot be taken away or limited in any way, and that it is OURS just as much as is our right to breathe.

    This guy is the kind if communist/marxist that would have us all under constant surveillance and total subjugation.
    He has the wring target in his sights.As explained above, he needs to deal with those who MISUSE firearms criminally. Leave the other 99.999975 percent alone.

  8. Here’s a reoccurring and always ignored idea. The firearms industry forms a powerful trade union that includes all, or as many as they can get, FFL holders, as well as all, or as many as they can get, Manufacturers. This must include the big guys (sig, glock, ruger, s&w, etc).

    Then they announce no more sales to Law enformcent or any government agency that blocks the 2nd amendment or using tactics like his this on its citizens.

    When the elite’s body guards can’t get access to the firearms they feel they need to protect themselves, they’ll change their tune.

    Right now, what few companies do something like this, usually only block sales to states where they feel the state is the problem. Well, that doesn’t hurt the elite. They get workarounds through government backdoor access. It only hurts the very same victims of the very same state governments. The citizens buying firearms and firearms related materials are NOT the people voting for the morons that cause all the damage. They’re the victims of it.

    • That’s an interesting take. I wonder what the sales numbers are comparing retail to LE and Gummint. Would the manufacturers risk pissing off one or the other? Would retail buyers go along with a boycott? All that and more next week! Same Gat time, same Gat channel!

    • “Then they announce no more sales to Law enformcent or any government agency that blocks the 2nd amendment or using tactics like his this on its citizens.”

      Don’t be afraid to keep thinking outside the box Kyle, but this will never happen. Too much profit at stake, so Keane and the NSSF would never stand for it. All those new guns and millions of rounds of ammo the feds are buying up come from these guys, and they’re not gonna give up that market. One of the few industries that can survive a tyrannical environment is the gun industry. Grub first, then ethics.

      • hawkeye,

        Agreed, but, while I have my own wishes about the firearms industry’s response to place like this, it . . . isn’t their job. I may think they are acting against their own long-term interests (and I do), but I don’t own the company. The people who do have the right to back whatever policy they like.

        If we don’t have the gumption to stand up for our OWN rights, who are we to blame some company for not doing it for us?

  9. CounSEL not counCIL warned of likely legal challenges. A counsel is an attorney; counsel is a shortened form of counselor. A council is a legislative or adjudicative body or board like a Council of Elders. Does anyone edit anything anymore? Yes, this will pass spell check, but still…

    • “Does anyone edit anything anymore?”.

      You just did, ‘nazi’… 🙂

    • Alas, copy-editing, and even proofreading, are lost arts.

      As a lad and young adult, I read every NRA magazine I could get my hands on, from cover to cover, and I could go years without finding a single language error. Not even the fabled Gray Lady could compete. This was prior to the LaPierre regime, and sadly is no longer the case–another black mark on the long list of things wrong with the current NRA.

      • TBF, Nero — as a former copyeditor myself, I can speak to the commonplace grammatical, syntax and spelling errors in nearly every printed material that I read these days. And the Internet? Fugghedaboudit!

  10. “Sorett, self-described as an attorney and legal scholar for 50 years, said that he’d be delighted “if we can melt down all the guns on the planet.””

    How can anyone w/ an education be so utterly narrow-minded and dense as to think the world would be a better place without Col. Colt’s Equalizer?

    Have they no knowledge of the incomprehensibly horrific conditions under which humans lived prior to the invention of guns?

    How can they not understand that individual rights and the rule of law, rather than men, were not even dreamed of?

  11. The Right to Have An Alphabet Shall Not Be Infringed.
    Except for the letters A I E O U

  12. Never listen to a pol when they tell you”The darkest impulses of the human soul should not be exploited for profit.” They may be experts in the matter but that doesn’t make them truthful on their motivations!

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