The Democratic Party in Massachusetts has introduced one of the strictest gun control bills ever seen in the United States and would take away “civil liberties.”
An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws (HD 4420), often dubbed as the ‘Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act’ by gun-rights advocates, was introduced by Democrat Rep. Michael Day of Stoneham to “stem the flow of illegal firearms into the Commonwealth and increase protections from gun violence for our communities.”
“We’re not trying to go after or criminalize proper license [holders], people who can responsibly carry a firearm,” Day told Boston25 News. “This is really intending to get at those that are evading our code of laws through the advancement of technology and criminal behavior.”
The 140-page document proposes sweeping changes to the state’s gun control laws. It aims to redefine assault-style firearms, broaden the term “firearm,” and prescribe stringent storage and registration regulations for guns.
Here’s a rundown of the critical provisions of HD 4420 per Gun Owners of America (GOA).
- Redefining ‘Assault-style firearm’: The bill proposes a broader definition of ‘assault-style firearm,’ potentially banning most semi-automatic firearms for civilian use.
- Redefining ‘firearm’: The proposed definition extends to include stun guns.
- Mandatory ‘safe storage’: The bill prescribes storage procedures, mandating guns to be locked away.
- Mandatory registration: The bill necessitates the registration of all guns and their feeding devices.
- Reporting of parts modifications: Gun owners would need to report any modifications to their firearms.
- Serialization of guns and magazines: Guns and feeding devices would need to be serialized.
- Ban on under-21 ownership: The bill proposes a ban on individuals under 21 from acquiring or carrying semi-automatic rifles or shotguns.
- New requirements for retailers: The bill imposes new conditions for firearms retailers.
- Training mandates: New training requirements for gun owners are proposed.
- Additional prohibited areas: The bill introduces more areas where licensed individuals cannot carry firearms.
- And many more restrictions. Penalties and imprisonment will be imposed on those who violate on some of the new mandates or restrictions.
“If this becomes law, about 10% of the Commonwealth’s population would become criminals and enemies of the state overnight. The bill is so egregious that it is impossible to amend, so don’t try,” according to the largest gun owners’ advocacy group in Massachusetts, Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL).
“This will ring the dinner bell for violent criminals to flock to Massachusetts; because we will all be defenseless, including domestic violence victims, the elderly, people of marginalized communities, and even off-duty law enforcement. Everyone’s safety in the Commonwealth will be compromised!” the group added.
“It’s so overwhelming, no lawful citizen would be able to comply if this passes. Nobody,” said Jim Wallace, Executive Director of GOAL.
“These laws are more convoluted. They didn’t streamline the process like they said they were going to do,” he added.
The Gun Owners of America (GOA), working in collaboration with the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) in Massachusetts, are leading the charge against the bill. They have established a webpage to keep track of developments with HD 4420 and have called on their supporters to voice opposition to the legislation.