Yes folks, it's true. Governor Deval Patrick is pushing his one-gun-a-month bill again, known as House Bill H4102, which would imprison lawfully-licensed citizens for purchasing more than one gun in a 30-day period. Proponents of the bill, who in my opinion, have the intelligence and common sense of a stump, claim that by limiting law-abiding gun owners, like myself, to buying one gun a month, it will reduce illegal gun trafficking, which of course is linked to illegal drug trafficking.
So, the Governor thinks that by limiting hunters, informal and competitive shooters, Olympic world shooting champions and myself — all law-abiding, middle class, respectable family-oriented people — to one gun a month, the gangbangers' illegal gun market in the bowels of our inner city streets is going to dry up? It's just as outrageous as saying that limiting law-abiding folks to only one prescription per month at the pharmacy will stop illegal drug trafficking or limiting knife sales to one knife a month is going to curb stabbings. Jees, it would take six months to buy a set of steak knives. And if a law-abiding gun owner sees two guns in the gun shop that he wants, say a matched pair of Colt .45s with consecutive serial numbers, or other collectibles that may have just arrived through an estate sale, why should he or she have to come back in another month or more to get them?
The Governor and his backers are trying to dupe the public into believing that there are no laws to stem the flow of illegal guns in the state, but it's simply not true. It's nothing more than smoke and mirrors in an attempt to shove more gun control down our throats while the gangbangers continue to have a field day.
Mass. laws provide up to a ten-year prison sentence for any citizen who receives a gun from anyone other than a licensed dealer and does not report it to the state within seven days. This includes guns coming from out of state. The transfer of a firearm between properly licensed state residents must be recorded through an FA-10 form which must be sent to the Criminal History Systems Board within seven days. Failure to do so can result in a 10-year prison sentence. And there is a limit of four of those private transfers per year. Transfers between individuals across state lines must be recorded through a federally licensed dealer.
Another law makes straw purchases illegal, providing for up to 10 years in prison for purchasing a gun for a prohibited person. Yet another law provides severe penalties, including life imprisonment for anyone conducting unlawful multiple transactions, in bulk or in single multiple transactions.
To obtain a license to carry firearms or a firearms identification card in order to legally purchase and possess a firearm, you must go through an extensive and expensive application process, safety course and background check. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) already mandates that if more than one handgun is being purchased from a licensed dealer within a five day period the dealer is required to submit a form to the BATFE and the state licensing agency before the close of business on the day of the second sale. This system is already in place to track any problems that might exist with multiple purchases.
So with all these laws already in place, how can any rational person with at least a shred of intelligence and common sense believe there are no tools in place dealing with illegal drug trafficking?
The Governor's bill H4102 will also eliminate private transfers between lawfully licensed state residents. No more FA-10 form. All transfers would have to go through a dealer with a fee involved. So, the Governor wants to outlaw the private sale of legal property between individuals. Another insult to the citizens of Massachusetts.
Along the same lines, sources say that the Governor just put a freeze on all regulation changes in state departments because he was embarrassed over a raw milk issue when farmers with their cows demonstrated in front of the Statehouse.
How does this further affect sportsmen? Well, the proposed change to allow break-open muzzleloaders during the muzzleloader deer season, which sportsmen have been waiting years for, had finally passed the Fish and Wildlife Board and was scheduled for a public hearing in July. It was expected to pass and the use of break-opens, such as the Thompson Encore with interchangeable barrels, would be legal. But with the freeze on any regulation changes, sportsmen have to wait to use their Encores and other quality break-opens because the Governor's ego was bruised.
Sportsmen and all gun owners are urged to contact their legislators and ask them to oppose H4102. Instead, they should be voting for the bill being proposed by the Gun Owners' Action League (GOAL), H.2259, the Civil Rights and Public Safety Solutions Bill, which clearly separates the lawful possession issues and the criminal enforcement needs. This bill provides for the punishment of criminals, but protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners. For more information, visit GOAL.org.
I just don't understand the hysteria over guns. Guns in the right hands are as American as apple pie and a rich part of American culture and history. But some people are so misguided that the hysteria has spread like wildfire where even an eight-year old can't bring a little plastic toy soldier to school.
A recent story erupted when David Morales, a second grader at the Tiogue School in Coventry, R.I. was forbidden to wear a hat he made that was intended to honor the military. Students were assigned to design a hat, and Morales' hat bore the American Flag and those little plastic soldiers we all played with when we were kids. But because the little soldiers were carrying tiny guns, the hat was forbidden.
To me, it's just nonsense by a bunch of snot-nosed sissies who probably don't know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of. And those tiny little plastic guns the teachers and superintendent are so afraid of are replicas of the very guns that keep those pasty teachers and superintendents free to spew their lily-livered anti-gun, anti-American policies without fear of being jailed.
Since the incident, Morales was awarded a medal from the R.I. National Guard for his patriotic effort. Hooray for the good guys.