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NSSF Planning Legal Challenge Against Massachusetts Assault Rifle Crackdown

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FB/Practical Defense Tactics

NSSF is planning to challenge Attorney General’s actions against semi-automatic rifle sales. 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has announced they are taking legal actions in Massachusetts as a result of an attempted crackdown on the state’s semi-automatic weapons ban.

“With this ‘Enforcement Action,’ the Attorney General’s office has demonstrated how little it understands about firearms and has generated considerable uncertainty and confusion,” NSSF vice president and general counselor Lawrence Keane said in a press release.

A ban on semi-automatic rifles was actually already in place for Massachusetts. The public can’t buy household name firearms like the AR-15 in the Bay State. But there were legal loopholes that meant the public could still buy very similar rifles.

The loophole was based on small design changes by gun makers that changed the definitions of banned firearms. You can read more about the complicated legal definitions law makers and manufacturers are struggling with in Dustin Prievo’s original report of the crackdown.

When Attorney General Marua Healey announced there would be stricter enforcement of the assault weapons ban, they sent out an enforcement notice to firearms dealers that the sale of such loophole firearms would be illegal.

But the NSSF in a press release says Healey has overstepped her power in issuing the notices on short notice to firearms sellers.

“Her (Healey) actions totally disregard 18 years of Massachusetts firearm law, supported by all state regulatory agencies and understood by all concerned, in which firearms retailers have operated,” Keane said in the press release. “The Attorney General has undermined the legislative and public process by unilaterally declaring products that were legal to be illegal.”

The NSSF is also arguing the crackdown put a lot of pressure on gun sellers and citizens.

“In doing so, she has endangered the livelihoods of family-owned businesses and made potential felons out of tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens,” Keane said.

The NSSF is not discussing their legal strategy or co-plaintiffs at this time, but considering many of the NSSF’s members are firearms makers and sellers that there would be some of both involved.

A check of Attorney General Healey’s website and social media reveals no public comment as of yet on the NSSF’s pending legal action.  For now it seems the legality of semi-automatic rifles will remain in limbo for a while longer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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NSSF Planning Legal Challenge Against Massachusetts Assault Rifle Crackdown