A controversial gun control bill in Massachusetts is raising alarm among firearm owners, prompting a gun rights organization to issue a travel advisory and urge residents to consider relocating.
New firearm control bill is 'real bad news for Massachusetts gun owners' says gun grouphttps://t.co/Zq7a4tCOVY
— The Conservative M. D. 🗨️ (@WarriorsForAll) July 14, 2023
The bill, known as House Docket 4420, has been described by the director of political operations for the National Association for Gun Rights, Austin Hein, as a potential threat to the Second Amendment.
“If Massachusetts makes House Docket 4420 law, Massachusetts will become the most anti-gun state in the country,” Hein said in an interview with Fox News, highlighting the severity of the proposed legislation.
“This is real bad news for any gun owner that lives in Massachusetts. Basically, pack your bags and leave because it’s untenable if this thing passes,” he said further, emphasizing that the legislation “will only leave vulnerable people more vulnerable.”
The 140-page proposal, titled “An Act of Modernizing Firearm Laws,” encompasses far-reaching changes to existing gun regulations in Massachusetts. One of the most contentious provisions requires the registration of all firearms and feeding devices, effectively establishing a comprehensive database of gun owners.
Hein expressed his concerns about the bill’s requirement for firearm owners to register their weapons and magazines. He warned, “Registration leads to confiscation. If you are putting yourself on a government list of what firearms you own and how many you own, you best be sure that the government is going to be knocking on your door one day.”
He further highlighted a provision that resembles a stop-and-frisk policy, allowing law enforcement to demand to see permits without cause, which he views as another infringement on gun rights.
Additionally, the bill aims to ban individuals under the age of 21 from purchasing or carrying semi-automatic shotguns or rifles. A major concerning aspect is the prohibition of concealed carry of firearms on private property unless expressly permitted.
The bill goes further to extend its reach to various firearm-adjacent areas, proposing banning targets with human silhouettes at shooting ranges. Hein labeled this provision as “silly,” ridiculing the notion that shooting at these targets constituted violence.
“So they want to ban those and leave the human silhouette targets to law enforcement only, which I mean, take that for what you will,” he stated.
If the proposal gets passed into law, individuals under 18 will also be banned from possessing mace or pepper spray.
In another measure that has drawn criticism for potentially leaving vulnerable individuals defenseless and undermining personal safety, the bill is pushing to categorize stun guns as firearms. This means that residents of the state will not be able to defend themselves against attackers with even pepper sprays, maces or stun guns.
“So what this bill will actually do is prohibit a young high school girl from being able to defend herself with even mace,” Hein pointed out, adding, “I think the states are trying to ban stun guns because I honestly think they just want to leave you defenseless.”
If the bill becomes law, employers, school administrators, and various medical professionals would be allowed to petition a judge to suspend a firearm owner’s license if they deem the firearm owner a risk to themselves or others.
The bill has sparked a widespread outcry among gun owners, who have dubbed it “The Lawful Citizens’ Imprisonment Act” as they argue that it will only further complicate an already complicated process and leave law-abiding citizens vulnerable while doing little to nothing to address the root causes of gun violence.