Massachusetts AG Decides to Dictate Gun Law

By Dean Weingarten

Maura Healy AG Massachusetts
Maura Healy AG Massachusetts
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- The Attorney General of Massachusetts, Maura Healy, has decided that she can dictate law without recourse to the legislature or the courts.  She has decided to unilaterally change the definition of what is and is not an “assault weapon” in the law.

Crimes committed with all rifles are exeedingly rare in Massachusetts.  2014, is the lastest year we have records for in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. In 2014, no murders with rifles of any kind, let alone “assault weapons” were recorded in Massachusetts.

Yes, you read correctly.  Zero.  Ziltch. Nada.  If there had been a single crime committed in Massachusetts with one of the rifles that AG Healy does not like, she would have shouted it to the world.  She did not. In 2014, there were 3 murders recorded with hands and feet, and 34 recorded with cutting instruments in the State of Massachusetts.

Before the ineffective Clinton “Assault Weapon” ban expired in 2004, Massachusetts enacted a virtually duplicate law at the state level.  There is no indication that the state law was any more effective than the failed Clinton law.  The law has been in force in Massachusetts for over 30 years now.

But AG Maura Healy doesn't like the law.  She claims that it is not restrictive enough.  There have been virtually no problems with these firearms in Massachusetts, and minimal problems nationwide (there were only 248 murders committed with *all* rifles in 2014, out of 11,961 total murders.

The state that had the most murders with rifles was California, with 40 in 2014. California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, particularly restrictive of so called “assault weapons”.

Healy could lobby the legislature to amend the law.  She might succeed.  Massachusetts is notoriously irrational when it comes to weapons laws.

But she is impatient.  She is not willing to use due process. From the bostonglobe.com:

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

Her assertions are absurd. They could have been alleged anytime in the last 20 years.  They would have been thrown out of court because they do not describe what the law clearly states.  There is a reason that the silly “assault weapon” ban was sun set.  The academic research is clear.  It did nothing to measurably reduce crime, or crime with the particular rifles mentioned, in part because the numbers of those rifles used in crime were already incredibly low.  Any small, non-measurable reduction was offset by switching to other weapons that were not banned.

Healy's argument is absurd.  She states that the rifles she has an irrational distaste for have no use in civilian hands.

They are weapons used to commit mass murder. And they have no business being in civilian hands.

Then why are they in the hands of most police departments in the United States? Police *are* civilians.  They are not military.  If they need these incredibly useful and versatile self defense tools, then so do responsible and peaceful citizens.

These type of rifles are particularly well suited for use by self organized citizen militias in time of societal break down. In America, citizens self organize in times of natural disaster or “man made” emergencies.

Healy is getting her 15 minutes of fame. There will likely be little followup when a court strikes down her dictatorial decree as unlawful.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 25 thoughts on “Massachusetts AG Decides to Dictate Gun Law

    1. Skipping Dog – Police may not be exclusively civilian but not necessarily military either. Quasi seems to be the right definition.

    2. Words mean what they mean, regardless of what you might personally prefer. Civilian has long been defined as anyone not in the military or on a police force. Whether you agree with that is as irrelevant as whether or not you agree with the theory of gravity or the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    3. quasi-
      ˈkwāˌzī,ˈkwäzē/
      seemingly; apparently but not really.

      “Quasi-military” is not really military, but more like a civilian. Hence, police are more civilian like and subject to many of the same laws.

      With that said. I think it’s shameful that this happened where the birth of the American Revolution took place. The Boston Massacre was the flash point that gave birth to America. And for this tyrannical beyotch to have such disregard for the rule of law is down right shameful and maybe treasonous too.

    4. The argument frequently used to justify banning civilian ownership of AR platform rifles and “high capacity magazines” revolves around the idea that this type of rifle was specifically “designed for war,” and to “kill as many people as possible.” This is patently untrue and absurd on its face, but gets wide acceptance by the less gun-savvy public, probably because it LOOKS similar to the military M-16 rifle and M-4 carbine. In fact, the AR (which stands for “Armalite Rifle”-all the Armalite company’s rifle models were designated “AR-something”) was designed specifically for the civilian market, and especially for the varmint and general sport shooting arena. That’s why, contrary to what the civilian disarmament people say, it is most often seen in a small (.223 caliber) cartridge, which is illegal in many states for hunting deer-sized game, because it is considered too under-powered for clean kills. The gun/cartridge was designed primarily for shooting groundhogs, woodchucks, prairie dogs, and similar small varmints, or plinking at things like tin cans. At the time it was developed, the AR was a very unique and forward thinking design, so modern that it had difficulty being accepted by the “traditionalist” civilian market.

      Then the Viet Nam war came along. As usual with all our wars, the military was looking for a more modern rifle to replace the old WWII vintage M-1 and M-14 rifles, and they discovered the AR, which was by far, the most modern technology then available. It was revolutionary in its design, materials, and production techniques, and so it was eventually adopted over the dissent of many in the military who thought it too under-powered for combat use. This argument is still being made by many in the military who find that it takes multiple shots to incapacitate an enemy, unlike the .30 caliber rifles of earlier wars. The modern design and smaller cartridge were found to be inherently more accurate, easier to shoot (particularly by troops with less training and experience-well trained snipers, for example, still use .30 caliber or larger rifles), more reliable, more durable, and easier to maintain in the field. While these characteristics made the design desirable to the military, they were originally made for the civilian market, who want exactly the same traits in their sporting rifles. That’s why the AR platform is today, the most popular sporting/hunting rifle in our history.

      Now, what about the “high capacity” magazines? Just like newer cars increase horsepower and/or MPG, virtually every new design in firearms increases the capacity of the magazine, and this has been true for more than a century. That’s why the standard magazine capacity for modern handguns and rifles, both those designed for the military, and those designed for civilian use, keeps going up instead of down. Higher capacity magazines are generally more convenient, and more desirable, thus, each new modern design typically tries to incorporate as large a magazine capacity as is compatible with the rest of the gun’s design. The 20 or 30 round magazines used in the AR platform were part of the original design back in the late 1950s, when it was intended for the civilian market. They were never designed specifically for the military market, although the military found them convenient too, and kept them in their M-16 an M-4 military rifles (which also used a modified version of the AR design that allowed “selective” or full-automatic firing, which the civilian AR never has). Not only was the AR never designed “to kill as many as possible,” it is not even unusually useful for doing so. If you think about it for a moment, you will realize that a 10 round magazine can be changed in 2 seconds or less, which has no appreciable impact on how many people you can kill in a public shooting. The determining factor in how many people you can kill, is far more likely to be the shooter’s ability to acquire, and maintain, a good sight picture while shooting at multiple, often moving, targets.

      Thus, the whole ARs are “Weapons of War” or uniquely designed or suited to that purpose, is, and always has been, pure anti-gun propaganda. They are simply the most modern rifle design currently available, and that is why they are so popular with shooters.

    5. Correct Mr. Weingarten! The court(s) will have no other option but to strike down this usurpation. The Constitution, which every civil servant swears to protect and defend, clearly states in Article I, Sec 1, that: ‘All legislative powers shall be vested in congress…’ This means that an AG has no ability to make the law. Furthermore, Article VI, Clause 2 undeniably states that the U.S. Constitution is the “Supreme Law” and Marbury v. Madison dictates that ‘Any subservient law(s), or any part(s) thereof, that contradict the constitution’s guarantees, are fictions of law and null and void.’ So not even the legislature can legally enact unconstitutional laws like this.

      Furthermore, AG Healy is committing a federal felony by depriving the people of a secured right. Title 18, USC, Sec 242 clearly directs that: ‘Any person acting under the color of law (false law), statute, etc., that WILLFULLY deprives any person of a right that is secured by the U.S. Constitution is guilty of a felony and when convicted will be fined and detained for up to one year.’

      And since the Heller decision recognized the Second Amendment (2A) to be a “fundamental right” that is “secured” by the Constitution, which does not actually give us the right the keep (own) and bear (carry), but rather prohibits the government(s) from infringing on that recognized pre-existing right, AG Healy is guilty of a violation of Title 18. Furthermore, there is no provision in the text of 2A that provides/allows government(s) or bureaucracies to identify a specific sub-set of “arms” that it can prohibit or regulate. Therefore, constitutionally, ALL laws that do so are UNCONSTITUTIONAL and those that enact and enforce such regulations are in violation of Title 18.

      Now let’s start taking these willful usurpers down and throwing them in Leavenworth where they belong!

    6. @Murphy, The Mass Ag is no better than me making up law, but she is abusing her position. You know how those criminals have “flash robberies” where they coordinate by smart phone to show up at the same store, and everybody takes something because the crowd of people is so overwhelming. The people of Mass could have a flash Civil Rights party at the AG’s office and then do what ever there because the crowd is so overwhelming. If you planned it in advance and used forums to coordinate, it would not work because governments monitor the web.

    7. @thom paine not a redefinition, an outright refusal to acknowledge. WHere is her oath of office? She should be hammered for perjury, the swearing of an oath then deliberately violating it. The US Constitution clearly outlines the three distinct branches of government and the extent of each one’s authority. SHE pledged to uphold that, but is now clearly tossing it aside.
      I would love to see some serious action in the new administration going after such clowns that so blatantly violate their owths of office. Make it so they can never hold any office under the public trust again.

    8. Skipping God, the main difference between civilian (even police) and military is this: military ARE NOT free to come and go as they please, and cannot “quit”. They sign up for their term, and are as bound slaves until that term is ended. No way out.

      On the other hand, civilians can change jobs, residences, move overseas, retire or quit those jobs at will. There is nothing binding them beyond their own desire to eat and sleep out of the rain.

      Check the copyright dates of those two dictionaries, I’ll lay high stakes at very long odds they are very recent…. now, go and find some OLD dictionaries.. prior to perhaps 1950. Words have meaning… but the controlling elites are well known to change the “meanings” of words. One example is marriiage: for thousands of years, marriage has been universally understood to mean the exclusive union, for life, of one man and one woman. You know what “marriage” has been twisted to mean in the past decade or so. Modern dictionaries are often skewed or twisted to advance the agenda of certain wielders of power. Marx promoted many ways to control a people, and one of them is the careful redifnintion, within the culture, of words.

    9. Where is the ” lawful ‘ authority to issue new law , by the AG , and ignore legislator ? Looks like a BROAD mis-interpretation of alleged powers.

    10. The point here is, if our country becomes so overrun with corruption and violence, how are we suppose to counter tyranny without like weaponry? At some point, are our LE going to call on the civilians to help them out and defend the constitution? Are going the people of Massachusetts going to have to say, “Sorry but we can’t help you because the state of Massachusetts took all our Ar’s and AK’s”? These rights, to whatever guns are necessary to defend ourselves, are locked into our constitution. There is no debate. There is no compromise. Our brilliant founding fathers knew that what goes around, comes around again.
      Hopefully, gun owners in Massachusetts at some point, will vote these heretics out and can restore themselves.
      (Keep in mind, our founding fathers would have been shooting by now.)

    11. This time Healy and her dildo shot there utopia load! Enjoy it while it lasts Butch because it won’t last long! I live in Mass. and this is the last straw. This is so illegal it isn’t even funny. If I didn’t know better I would say she or he is pandering/rehearsing to be Swillarys running mate! They remind me of a couple of left over Patty Dukes!!

    12. Regarding the shooting in FL, S.W.A.T takes 3 hours before going in, the police officer who was at the scene right as it was going down doesn’t go in. So the guy has free reign to kill whomever and it is the fault of the weapon he uses? You don’t understand a thing and you don’t write law.

    13. I live in ma I’ll go north kiss my ass Healy . I’ll also buy whatever I want when I want . U gona ban ref trucks too? B.s no due process in ma. We need help from nra goal and anyone else to sue this jerk

    14. First, regarding the Oxford, we’re not British. As for Merriam-Webster, the recent, lazy, linguistic activism of academic lefties notwithstanding,…

      —————— Quote ————————-
      Civilian \Ci*vil”ian\, n. [From Civil]
      1. One skilled in the civil law.
      [1913 Webster]

      Ancient civilians and writers upon government.
      –Swift.
      [1913 Webster]

      2. A student of the civil law at a university or college.
      –R. Graves.
      [1913 Webster]

      3. One whose pursuits are those of civil life, not military
      or clerical.
      ————————- End Quote ———————–

      As for the progressive, new Merriam-Webster, there was no good reason to recently change that definition to neglect the meanings of the word roots of the word, civilian for the purpose of excluding police and firemen from being civilians and having civil rights. The incorrect definition even improperly used a negative. Try the definition of the word, military. The linguistic activists forgot to include police and firemen along with “soldiers, arms, or war.” Some linguists watched too many fictitious police shows on television and trusted their so-called journalist peers (also viewers of too much television fiction) too much. English departments that produce linguists are notorious for linguistic activism. The U.S.A. was not intended to be a socialist nation and should not adopt policies reflecting nations that have not been as free. Free our police and firemen! Let them be civilians! Respect their constitutional (civil) rights!

      Either that, or immediately put them under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ, and send them to military training. Take the final step of designating them as a military force instead of playing dramatic, childish role playing games with slippery negatives. If we’re going to make them a military force, go ahead and federalize them. We’re sure that they’ll look forward to their BMI and PT tests under military standards.

      In answer to your last reply, even the “80%” (more, really) are subject to the UCMJ rather than civil laws and freedoms. They also graduate from their basic training. As for “elitism,” combat soldiers, infantry/rifles Marines and others in real combat specialties don’t appear to be elite outside of television fiction. They certainly don’t feel elite in real training. Vanity is an issue with many people but not so much for them. They are cleansed of vanity, at least for a time, in early training. Socialist feminists (like the Clintons on political law and order issues) are among the few who refer to combat trained men as being “arrogant.”

      It’s not a matter of elitism. It’s a matter of civil rights for civilians (constitutional rights) and avoidance of the trend toward militarizing our police forces, which would lead to federalizing them and subjecting them to lives with fewer freedoms…and those BMI tests and much more. 😉

    15. 80% of military jobs are non-combat positions, and approximately 10% of all military personnel ever see combat. Those numbers held true during our recent wars in the middle east. I’m never clear on why or how this “police are civilians” thing comes up, but I can’t help but think it has something to do with some felling of elitism.

    16. Get ready folks, the Communist Democrats are taking over and they are going to dictate lo the populace when you can breathe and when you can defecate.

      We need to return to the times of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      Elect Killery and we’ll have a bunch of Communist Bitches the deal with.

    17. There are also quite a large number of police officers who’ve spent the last decade and more working with the Foreign Police Assistance programs in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, and other little hellholes around the world. Quite a large number of police officers have also served in active duty billets during our recent wars, often for years at a time. I know of at least two who were KIA.

      I understand that the military distinguishes between their own civilian police and MP’s, primarily because one group is subject to the UCMJ and the other is not. Nevertheless, the not infrequent claim that “police are civilians too” is simply incorrect. I always wonder what the motive is when someone says or writes it.

    18. I’ll clarify my previous comment and make it more specific. Civilians are subject to civil laws and enjoy the many freedoms of civil lives. Members of our military forces are bound by military laws and are subject to having little or virtually no constitutional freedom for long periods of time. Even in training, forced under military justice, the inescapable, 24/7 duties of some military personnel are brutal worlds apart from civilian environments. There are few exceptions. Some DEA and CIA agents have subjected themselves to being the paramilitary exception at times and did fit the definition during those times.

    19. I encourage you to look up the word “civilian” in either the Webster or Oxford dictionaries of the English language. You’ll find that it is defined as “a person not in the armed forces or police force” (Oxford) and ” a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force (Merriam-Webster).

      I don’t know where you came up with the story about TV writers.

    20. That’s incorrect, Skippingdog. Police departments are “quasi-military” organizations, as taught in a police academy and learned by one who did many overnight, weekend patrols alone for some 6,000-7,000 residents without backup (unpaid reserve).

      In other words, they may resemble military personnel in some superficial ways (e.g., sheriff, chief, or four-star general as indicated by self-assigned rank?), but civilian police are civilians. They’re free citizens and are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They don’t train for unrestrained combat against foreign enemies under laws of international warfare, and they won’t closely accompany soldiers on combat missions in the field against foreign enemies.

      We need civilian police. There will always be civilian police (“WROL” is Walter Mitty’s fantasy). Civilian police need much training for the complicated jobs that they really do, including social work with other civilians (sorry, can’t be avoided).

      Be glad that civilian police are not combat soldiers while in police uniforms (from one who has also trained exclusively as a combat soldier). Communities with civilian police are much safer than communities without civilian police. Avoid harboring the morbid wish of having combat soldiers doing civilian policing without civilian police training.

      By the way, television series writers started the hogwash about police not being “civilians” by calling non-police civilians in police shows decades ago. Yes…writers of fiction.

    21. FU Healy. I’ll buy what I want, when I want and bring it anywhere I choose. How about you stay out of the State due North of you?

    22. Police are not “civilians.” Police departments are paramilitary organizations with specific duties and exemptions under the law that are not available to non police individuals.

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