Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, is no longer playing around when it comes to the sale of “assault weapons” in her state.
Assault rifle. The term originally coined by Adolf Hitler in the early 1940’s describing the Sturmgewehr StG 44. Since then, the idea of any weapon that looks or functions in it’s similarities, has carried over the “assault weapons” propaganda. Today the term is so common that many believe the AR in “AR-15” stands for “Assault Rifle” when many know it stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950’s.
Assault rifles and gun control are amongst the most common of topics discussed within politics and journalism today. Many are looking to put blame on the guns and demand something be done to control the outbreaks of recent terrorist attacks and mass shootings.
No matter what side of the argument you are on, Massachusetts’ residents are in for immediate reform that will affect many who had hopes to one day purchase or own one of these “assault rifles.” Maura Healey, the Massachusetts Attorney General, has recently announced her move towards stricter enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban. Healey spoke in a press conference as The Boston Globe summarized her message:
“The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.
That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.
The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.”
Massachusetts is one of seven states that has their own assault weapons ban law. The loophole in the ban however, has allowed for the sale of at least 10,000 of these weapons within the last year. The gun industries have been changing small designs of the weapons in order to make sales. Healey stated in her press conference with a clear message to gun owners, gun dealers and the gun industry that in Massachusetts, these guns are still illegal and she will no longer allow the sale of them to continue.
Healey also stated that her office will not be going after anyone who had previously purchased these weapons believing they were legal.