Attorney General unwilling to interpret her own regulations.
NATICK, MA –-(Ammoland.com)- On Wednesday June 11th 2014, Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A), The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), six consumer plaintiffs and two commercial plaintiffs filed suit in federal district court against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley seeking a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the Attorney Generals ‘safe‘ handgun regulations.
At issue is a requirement that handguns sold by Massachusetts dealers have a ‘load indicator‘. According to the AG’s Regulations: “‘Load indicator’ shall mean a device which plainly indicates that a cartridge is in the firing chamber within the handgun.”
The lawsuit asserts that the regulation is “unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous” because it does not define what this device is, or what it is intended to do.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include individuals who wish to purchase Glock pistols and retail dealers who want to sell the firearms. However, enforcement of the regulation is arbitrary because there are no specifics about the device required by the regulation. Each of the plaintiffs has sought guidance from the Attorney General who refuses to interpret her own regulation other than to declare that a Glock handguns lack an “effective” load indicator.
“It’s clear that the arbitrary enforcement of the regulation is aimed squarely at Glock handguns which the Attorney General has likened to so-called ‘Saturday night specials‘”, said Comm2A President Brent Carlton. “How can a dealer determine what is and is not an “effective” load indicator when the regulation fails to specify how the device is supposed to function and the Attorney General refuses interpret her own regulation.”
Adding to the dilemma, according to the lawsuit, is the fact that the 3rd and 4th generation Glock pistols at the center of the dispute have an extractor-based load indicator that reveals at a glance whether there is a cartridge in the chamber. This is virtually identical to extractor-based load indicators on competing pistols from other manufacturers, all of which are legal in Massachusetts.
The Attorney General should be willing and able to provide guidance to law abiding citizens and business owners in the Commonwealth who are seeking information just to stay within the scope of the law. It is clearly unfair to place the burden on the people to test what “effective” means through being prosecuted by the Attorney General. It is unfortunate that the Plaintiffs are not able to get information except through a lawsuit.
Read the Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
Commonwealth Second Amendment (www.comm2a.org) is a Massachusetts based 051(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to preserving and expanding the rights of gun owners in the northeast. Comm2A is dedicated to promoting a better understanding of rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. In addition to legal action projects the organization’s activities include educational programs designed to promote a better understanding of Massachusetts and Federal firearms laws and rights as well as programs to defend and protect the civil rights of Massachusetts gun owners.
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.