With the U.S. Supreme Court looking dead set on striking down Chicago’s handgun ban, it seems like an inopportune time to cook-up meaningless firearms regs. But that’s how the pols roll down in the Bay State. After Governor Patrick threw a hissy fit, Massachusetts legislators have rescued their “Gun-A-Month” legislation from the procedural dust bin where it somehow slipped. If you believe the mass media, there isn’t a soul who opposes this restriction. Not so. MA gun owners are up in arms about the state telling them what and now when they can buy firearms. I rang up the President of the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League to see how Old Dominion deals with its Gun-A-Month law . . .
Philip Van Cleave says his brothers-in-arms should buck up and fight. “We oppose this law for liberty reasons,” Van Cleave told TTAG. “Who the hell is the government to tell us how many guns we can buy? Where will it stop? Are they going to tell us how much electricity we can use? And remember: this thing costs money. You’ve got to get the State Police involved, create new reporting systems, train people . . . it’s a big deal. And it doesn’t change a thing in terms of gun crime. Nothing.”
But even if MA gun owners lose out to the gods of political correctness, as Virginia did in 1992, Van Cleave reckons there’s some good that come from the defeat of common sense.
“First of all, the law really energized Virginia gun owners. They got pissed-off, [they] woke-up to the fact that they had to fight for their rights. It helped us change Virginia to a shall issue state.”
Which, in turn, created an explosion of concealed carry permit holders; from some 2500 in 1995, to today’s 250k-plus, and rising. And as the pro-gun position gathered strength, its proponents watered down Virginia’s gun-a-month legislation. For example, concealed carry permit holders are now exempt from the purchase restriction. As are antiques, curios and relics. And long guns. And if you trade in a gun, the new weapon doesn’t count against your “quota.”
All that said, Van Cleave still counsels immediate action. “It’s better to stop a bad law than try to modify it later. Massachusetts gun owners should mobilize now to protect their freedoms. Why wait?”