I’ve received hundreds of emails like the following from folks — mostly from outside the district that I represent, from all over the state and outside the state.
As a law-abiding Second Amendment supporter in Massachusetts, I urge you to please support both Senate Bill 1316 and Senate Bill 1326.
Both S.1316 and S.1326 seek to challenge the gun ban set forth last summer by Attorney General Healey’s “enforcement notice,” which greatly expands the Commonwealth’s definition of “assault weapon.” AG Healey alleges that the ban’s definition of “copy” or “duplicate” “assault weapons” has been misinterpreted for the last 18 years and she is simply the first law enforcement official to discover this incorrect interpretation. It’s time to stand up to her unilateral decision which bans many of the most popular semi-automatic rifles lawfully sold and possessed.
Once again, I urge you to please support S.1316 and S.1326, and oppose new gun control legislation which discriminates against lawful gun owners and places further burdens on law-abiding citizens. Thank you.
Here is how I have been answering these emails
I’m a huge fan of Maura Healey — she is a great person and a great Attorney General. And I’m a strong supporter of gun control.
I do feel, based on my own initial review of the issue, that, in this case, she may well have extended the law beyond its intended use. That is an issue that is best resolved in the courts — they are the proper arbiters of disputes about interpretation of a statute. Depending on how this gets resolved by the courts, there may be a need for legislation.
We can’t do anything meaningful without an authoritative court interpretation of the statute. I think we have to let the litigation resolve before we take any action.
The litigation in federal court has reached the summary judgment stage — briefs have been filed on cross-motions for summary judgment. Here are some of the documents submitted by the parties:
It is worth observing that Washington counsel has appeared in the case and that the gun owner’s case asserts that the limitation on assault rifles is unconstitutional. This is a much broader issue than whether Attorney General Healey overextended that limitation to other AR-15s. It appears there is a good chance that this case will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, however the federal district court rules.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly for assistance!