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View Full Version : Mass. Gov. at it again


vantec08
06-22-2010, 4:26 PM
http://www.telegram.com/article/20100622/NEWS/6220390/1020


Thanks to a bit of last-minute legislative maneuvering, Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s gun legislation, H.4102, is making its way back to the Judiciary Committee for a second vote — in spite of losing on a 4-4 vote the first time around. A majority of House members appear to have agreed to give the measure new life out of a sense of collegiality and fairness, but it should be made clear to all that this bill should be quickly shot down if it reaches the House floor.

The governor’s bill purports to be about public safety and cracking down on gun trafficking. In fact, it contains numerous provisions that violate both the letter and spirit of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and would do little or nothing to curb criminal activity.

The legislation would limit gun owners to the purchase of one gun per month, and unlike the handful of other states with a one-gun-per-month provision, contains no exemptions for hunters. The legislation would ban private firearms sales between legally licensed individuals, requiring all such transactions to be conducted at a gun shop with a fee paid and information transmitted to the government. And law-abiding citizens could find themselves subject to fines of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to two-and-one-half years simply for the act of purchasing two or more guns in any 30-day period.

If such provisions do not constitute “infringement” of the rights of law-abiding Americans, the Second Amendment — along with a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings — have no meaning. Taken together, such an approach constitutes an assault on the constitutional rights of Massachusetts residents.

Fortunately, the Massachusetts House has a much more thoughtful, detailed and reasoned proposal on the table — H.2259. That legislation, sponsored by state Rep. George N. Peterson Jr. and others, is grounded in an understanding of firearms, and the vital need to protect the legal rights of all citizens while focusing law enforcement efforts on combating illegal gun activity and punishing criminals who use guns in committing crimes.

We urge members of the Judiciary Committee, the Legislature as a whole, and Gov. Patrick to drop consideration of H.4102, and press ahead with H.2259, which strikes the proper balance between protecting the civil rights of law-abiding gun owners, while outlining common-sense public safety solutions.