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Hundreds Rally on Beacon Hill for Gun Rights

Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts says Speaker DeLeo’s gun control bill won’t prevent gun crimes.

Gun ownership rights activists rally at the Statehouse on June 18, 2014. Courtesy
Gun ownership rights activists rally at the Statehouse on June 18, 2014. Courtesy

The state’s largest gun rights organization held at rally on Beacon Hill earlier today speaking out against a new gun control bill that it says will not deter gun crimes in the state, which currently has some of the toughest laws in the country.

The rally on June 18, billed as a “pro-2nd Amendment rally and lobby day,” featured gun owners and a number of lawmakers speaking out against a new bill sponsored by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, that proposes to change the way firearms identification cards are issued as well as other initiatives like expanded sentencing requirements and a focus on mental health and substance abuse issues. 

The bill, H. 4121, is in the House Ways and Means Committee. It was reported out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security by a 7-6-3 vote last week, according to activists.

Jim Wallace, the executive director of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, said supporters of gun rights were at the Statehouse to oppose the bill.

“We are here today to demonstrate that lawful gun owners are angry about legislation that would only seek to further persecute them,” he said. “We are disappointed that this legislation is proposing nothing that would stop criminals from perpetrating gun crime. We’re here to tell the Legislature to put a face on the opposition to the bill.”

Statehouse park rangers estimated the crowd to be between 300 and 400 people.

According to a statement by GOAL, Republican House members, including Rep. Matt Beaton, R-Shrewsbury, Rep. George Peterson, R-Grafton, and Rep. Leah Cole, R-Peabody, as well as state Sen. Michael Moore, a Democrat from Millbury, who represents the Second Worcester District, all participated in the rally. 

Andrew Denaro June 19, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Apologies for the brevity of this as I don't have time to re-write the full but it appears my last comment with statistics was deleted by a mod who didn't want it to appear. Let's try this again here's the highlights. In 1998 Massachusetts lawmakers passed what they said was one of the toughest gun control laws in the country. Yet, in the decade since the laws were passed, firearm-related crime has increased dramatically. Gun-related deaths alone have increased by 68%, and gun-related assault injuries have increased by 72%. Emergency room visits due to gun-related assaults have increased by a whopping 222%. (support stats: http://massgunlawreform.com/facts.html#Massachusetts_Reports_and_Data_on_the_Failure_of_Gun_Control_) Since these laws were enacted in 1998, gun ownership in the State of Massachusetts has dropped from 1.5 Million to 230,000. Essentially, despite all these new laws, gun crime has dramatically INCREASED. All this feel good legislation has done is create over 1,250,000 more defenseless victims in the state of Massachusetts. So now you have created emboldened criminals who will happily take these new odds that they won't meet any resistance.
dontlinkmyposts June 19, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Has anyone else read the darn bill? What does it contains that that you think will help reduce violence? Please cite specific provisions in the bill. Making law abiding gun owners in one of the toughest gun control states in the nation follow more meaningless laws does nothing to prevent violence. This is one big PR job by DeLeo
Joe Piantedosi June 19, 2014 at 05:46 PM
This proposed bill has some serious problems with it. First of all shame on DeLeo for the process that was used. Deleo should have appointed a member of Gun Owners Action League (who represents the 200,000 + lawful gun owners in Mass) to serve on this committee. The state has done it for all of the other controversial bills such as the Construction Reform Act which included strong representation from the construction unions, architects and municipalities. The absence of that representation resulted in a poorer understanding of the problems with the existing law that could have been addressed and a clearer understanding of the impact some of these sections have on lawful gun owners. One of the many major problem areas in the proposed bill will allow police chiefs the right to arbitrarily deny permits to anyone without any probable cause or justification. There is already abuses in this area in some communities where police chiefs are denying lawful citizens for no lawful reason. Imagine the outrage if a similar condition was applied for your drivers license. This bill needs to be defeated in its present form.
Tyler Jozefowicz June 24, 2014 at 09:47 PM
dont link my posts: i read it and like it. Elements of the bill: 1) Requiring background checks for all gun purchases at every point of sale. 2) Bringing Massachusetts into compliance with the National Instant Check System (NICS) regarding mental health records. 3) Expanding police discretion to include suitability on issuance of firearms identification cards, so the known nut jobs aren’t packing. 4) Requiring law enforcement to collect data on guns. 5)Prevent so-called straw purchases and gun trafficking. The added requirements for reporting of stolen or missing guns and fines for failure to do so, as well as requiring a list of guns for license renewal.You can keep your gun but we’re watching you. Needs to be added by amendment- limits on the number of handguns any person can purchase in a month’s time- terrorists and gang bangers. As far as heller goes for the constitutional scholars out there, the right to bear arms according to Scalia extends only to carrying in a home , no where else. Scalia might be dumb, but he's not stupid. The stupidity come in when commentors here lie by saying that the court ruled there is freedom to own guns. Not so, but the lies continue , for without the lies the tent collapses.

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