MA H.4102 Defeated and Why We Don't Boast in MA

Hello everyone.

I’d just like to post a follow-up to my previous entry on Massachusetts (actually Deval Patrick’s) one-gun-a-month legislation with emanating penumbras, H.4102, and how it turned out – for this legislative session, at least.

Here in the Commonwealth we’ve become sadly accustomed — and we even expect it of each other at times — not to boast when we manage to prevent a violation of our rights and a further increase in anti-gun incrementalism which ultimately aims to make the 2nd Amendment not worth the paper it is printed on, at least as far as Massachusetts is concerned. Prior to the cases before the Supreme Court this year, the Patrick Administration submitted H.4102 as a kind of prophylactic against those cases. He crafted the bill back in June (or perhaps even earlier) of 2009, so that it would arrive in advance of any SC decisions. It took a long time to wend its way through the Legislature here, but it almost made it to the floor, at the end of the session this year, when controversial bills of this kind are commonly pushed out.

If it had passed the Legislature it would have meant a one-gun-per-month restriction on firearms purchases here in MA and it *also* would have created an entirely new class of crime, punishable by a 10 year prison sentence, based on a misdemeanor. And that’s just part of it. You can read the text at GOAL.

I am happy to report that H.4102 never made it out of the MA House Ways and Means Committee and died in committee before it could reach the State House floor, thanks to the efforts of GOAL MA and many others. I’m also unhappy to report it, in a way, because I shouldn’t have to report it. It was a terrible law, and the fact that it made it all the way to the Ways and Means Committee is actually pretty shameful. Legislation of this kind should never have been proposed or considered seriously, but it was, and we here in MA did successfully stop it from becoming law, at least in this session of the MA legislature.

Please take a few moments to read about the bill at GOAL MA, and while you’re there, have a good careful look at the results of the anti-gun legislation in this state since 1998.

I want to remind everyone here at Redstate that your 2nd Amendment rights have not been settled by the decisions in Heller and McDonald. In many ways, those decisions have just created a series of new paths for legislation, and I can tell you as a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that those avenues are constantly being explored. They will be driven down if it is politically expedient, and not just here in MA. The most important thing, rather than ballyhooing this victory from one end of the world to the other, is to help make sure that people realize that those two Supreme Court decisions do not represent an end state – they are, in fact, a beginning for anti-gun, anti-2nd Amendment groups across this country. I also want to emphasize how well-prepared the gun grabbers are to conduct these kinds of legislative campaigns – Patrick started working on that bill well over a year ago, and I can tell you that as surely as the sun rises in the East, if there had been even a ghost of a wisp of a chance it could be passed this year, it would have been. Heads up.

I know that here in MA we have a lot of very good and wise people who were persuaded that Patrick’s law was wrongheaded, but it might not always be so. Next year there will be more laws proposed, that’s a given. In the meantime, I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who responded to my call here and did so responsibly. Where I live, the most important things that we have in terms of preserving our rights are evidence and dialogue, not blustery, in-your-face tactics.

GOAL MA is a model organization for other states in the Northeast where there are similar concerns. I really hope more people in the surrounding states (particularly Maryland, but also New York) will consult with them, because they’re professional, thoughtful, situationally aware, and very well-prepared. This most recent result is a testament to that.