Massachusetts: Federal Judge ignores virus risk by opening gun stores

California gun violence prevention bills

U.S. Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, nominated by Ronald Reagan, today issued a preliminary injunction ordering gun stores to be able to open. By doing this, he ignored the health of residents over the financial interests of gun dealers, who were supported in this suit by the NRA and other pro-gun groups.


March 31,2020

Massachusetts: For public safety, Governor closes gun stores

On March 23rd, Governor Charlie Baker issued an order closing all businesses except those designated as “Essential.” In his list of “Essential” businesses, gun stores were not included.

Then yesterday (March 31), he briefly reversed his decision based on the Trump Administration’s decision that firearm and ammunition dealers, shooting ranges and manufacturers should not be shut down as they are part of the critical infrastructure. Fortunately, later yesterday, the Governor removed firearm retailers and shooting ranges from the list of essential businesses. Gun stores and firing ranges must shut down.

According to Angus McQuilken, candidate for Congress in the Massachusetts 6th district, Maura Healey was influential in the reversal:

When Governor Baker announced revisions to the list of essential business yesterday, it included language exempting gun stores and allowing them to stay open.  Within a matter of hours, and after some intervention from Attorney General Maura Healey, that language was further revised to no longer exempt gun stores, so they are, under current rules, required to be closed through May 4th (manufacturers and distributors/wholesalers are allowed to stay open on the argument that they are suppliers for the military and for law enforcement).

The NRA’s strategy to fight this gun safety measure

The pro-gun group calling this a “craven move” and today alerted their members to: “Please call Governor Charlie Baker’s office at 617-725-4005 and request that firearm dealers are designated an essential business!”

Gun violence prevention action

Angus McQuilken recommends to:

Call Governor Baker’s office at 617-725-4005 to tell him to stick with his position and keep gun stores closed during this crisis as they are not essential, and call Attorney General Maura Healey’s office at (617) 727-2200  to commend her for taking a stand on this, and to urge her to enforce the rules by cracking down on gun stores that are not complying by staying open.

I tried calling both numbers and was unable to get through. I then emailed my thanks to Governor Baker (constituent.services@state.ma.us) and Attorney General Maura Healey (ago@state.ma.us).

Angus McQuilken candidate for Congress

Angus McQuilken is running for Congress against Seth Moulton in the 6th district. You may find no bigger advocate for gun violence prevention in Massachusetts. As co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, he fought to pass the most effective gun laws in the nation for Massachusetts. With his detailed knowledge and inspiring eloquence, he will pass meaningful and effective national gun laws. This issue is paramount in his laudable list of six priorities. Please support Angus McQuilken for Congress. You can find more information at www.angusforcongress.com.


March 13, 2020

Massachusetts: All Coalition gun safety advocacy events cancelled

I just received this update from the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence


COVID-19 Update from the Coalition

Like all of us, the Coalition is taking the concerns about COVID-19 very seriously, and we are taking all the necessary precautions to protect our Coalition community’s health and safety. Please note the following changes to our upcoming schedule of events:

March 19th Quarterly Meeting: CANCELLED

We are working on a plan to solicit input on budget priorities electronically, and we will send you that information soon. We will also schedule another time to have a Boston based Vision, Mission, and Values Focus Group.

March 19th Vision, Mission, and Values Focus Group at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley: POSTPONED

March 25th Literature Drop at the State House for the Crime Gun Data Analysis Bill: CANCELLED

April 30th Peace MVP Awards: POSTPONED

We are working on a new date for the event, which will be announced shortly.

We look forward to staying connected with all of you electronically during this time. If you have any questions about the above information, or anything else Coalition related, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached by phone (617-718-5645) or by replying to this email.

We are wishing all of you well during this challenging time.

Our best,

The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

March 4, 2020

Massachusetts: Six gun safety bills voted out of committee

The Massachusetts legislative process works very slowly compared to many other states. Last year, the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held several hearings on gun related bills. The committee finally voted on six gun violence prevention bills and two NRA bills which now move on to the House Ways and Means committee.

This is a status report of the gun related bills. To those who contacted legislators, thank you.

The bills

These bill were reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and referred to the committee on House Ways and Means:

  • S1388 and H2045 requires a detailed analysis of MA crime gun trace data to better understand the origins of crime guns. 👍 Like
  • H2092 requires all gun sales in the state go through a dealer to complete a background check. 👍 Like
  • H2096 and S1361 bans all 3D printed weapons and “ghost guns” which are undetectable by metal detectors. 👍 Like
  • H2095 closes a loophole in the large capacity magazine restriction law. Currently, guns manufactured before 1994 are not exempt from the restriction. 👍 Like
  • H2091 requires live firearms practice to obtain a firearms license. Currently, you never need to practice firing a gun to obtain a firearms license. 👍 Like
  • H2077 imposes fees and fines for using a vehicle to transport illegal firearms. 👍 Like
  • H2122 enacts preemption laws in Massachusetts. These laws prohibit a local community from enacting their own gun ordinances, such as prohibiting guns from parks or schools. 👎 Dislike
  • H2144 allows guns to be brought into Massachusetts by out-of-state residents if the guns are locked in a container. This would worsen the gun flow from New Hampshire and Maine. Illegal gun dealers could more easily transport guns into Massachusetts to sell on the street. 👎 Dislike

These bills did not receive a favorable vote by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security:

  • H2093 and S1360 would require gun owners to possess liability insurance. 👍 Like
  • H2097 would stop the bulk purchase of guns by limiting purchases to 15 guns a year. Also included in the bill are gun theft reporting requirements, receipt of gifts registration requirements, and the microstamping of guns and ammunition for traceability reasons. 👍 Like
  • H2046 would increase the penalty for the reckless firing of a gun in a public place. 👍 Like
  • House Bill 2005 would establish a program requiring health professionals to ask if guns are in the home. If they are, counsel them with a few words on firearm safety. 👍 Like

Action

The priority bill for Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is S1388/H2045. It requires research into the causes of gun violence providing justification for other gun safety measures in Massachusetts. Two lobbying efforts have been scheduled:

  • Crime Gun Data Bill Literature Drop
    Wednesday, March 25th at 10-11:30am
    Massachusetts State House, Grand Staircase

Join us wearing your Coalition t-shirt where we will send volunteers to visit every legislator in the State House with written information about this bill.  You DO NOT need to be an expert on the bill and we can send you with a partner. This is an easy way to make a huge difference in the fight to #EndGunViolence. Need a t-shirt? We will provide you with one. We will also be holding future literature drops.

  • Crime Gun Data Bill Lobby Day
    Tuesday, June 2nd at 10am
    Massachusetts State House, Room 428

Gather with supporters to learn from community leaders and law makers why this bill is so important in the work to #EndGunViolence. Then talk to your own legislators about why you want them to support this bill! Never lobbied before? We will train you.


February 3, 2020

Massachusetts: Committees soon to decide on gun bills

This Wednesday, February 5, is the last day that joint committees can act on bills. The Joint Committee on Public Safety and the Joint Committee on Public Health are considering both gun safety and pro-gun legislation.

The NRA asked their members to click on links that will send a message to all the committee members. Please take a few minutes to make three calls. This is the most effective moment to call and it only took me five minutes. Several important gun violence prevention bills are before the committees such as Universal Background Checks and funding for studying the sources of gun violence. Two NRA bills should be opposed.

The NRA Bills

  • House Bill 2122 would enact preemption laws in Massachusetts. These laws prohibit a local community from enacting their own gun ordinances, such as prohibiting guns from parks or schools. 👎
  • House Bill 2144 would allow guns to be brought into Massachusetts by out-of-state residents if the guns are locked in a container. This would worsen the gun flow from New Hampshire and Maine. Illegal gun dealers could more easily transport guns into Massachusetts to sell on the street. 👎

Action

Please call the committee phone numbers listed below. Ask the committees to support all gun violence prevention bills before them and to oppose HB 2122 and HB 2144.

Joint Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security
Senate: (617) 722-1485 [I called and they were happy to hear from me.]
House: (617) 722-2230 [I left my message on an answering machine.]

Joint Committee on Public Health
(617) 722-1532 [I left my message on an answering machine.

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