The NRA Is Suing Maura Healey and Charlie Baker
Attorney General Maura Healey’s decision to close a loophole regarding the sale of assault weapons has produced some consequences. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Rifle Association is suing her and Governor Charlie Baker over the state’s assault weapons ban.
As reported by the Boston Globe, the suit contends that the state’s definition of assault weapons is a “non-technical, entirely fabricated, and political term of uncertain definition and scope.” The assault weapons ban has been in place since 1998, but Healey acted in July to shut down sales of weapons that have had minor modifications made to them to exempt them from the rule. She’s facing a separate lawsuit over that modification from gun rights activists.
The current suit names Baker, the state’s public safety secretary, and the State Police as defendants in addition to Healey. Jay Porter, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the Globe, “The level of hostility to the gun-owning public in the state of Massachusetts has grown to be intolerable.” Healey’s office, via spokeswoman Jillian Fennimore, argued that “the assault weapons ban keeps dangerous, military-style weapons off our streets” and said that since her action in July, sales of illegal assault weapons had ceased.
Baker’s office, characteristically, seemed to be trying to find some middle ground, with a spokeswoman saying he “supports the Second Amendment to our Constitution and Massachusetts’ gun laws, including the ban on assault weapons, and the administration generally does not comment on pending lawsuits.” So if you like gun rights, Baker supports you, and if you like that Massachusetts has an assault weapons ban on the books, Baker also supports you.
As of 2015, Massachusetts had the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country.