Natick Democrat Sponsors Slew of Gun Control Bills

Printed from:

What’s on the agenda for the Massachusetts legislature in this cycle?

More gun control, possibly.

State Representative David Linsky (D-Natick) filed a slew of bills this month to try to restrict gun rights in the Commonwealth, drawing ire from Second Amendment advocates.

That includes House Dockets 134 to 139, a total of six proposals so far. Each would make it harder either to buy a gun or to use a gun.

They are as follows:

HD 134, An Act requiring live-fire practice for a firearms license, mandates that the curriculum at firearms safety courses include “a minimum of at least 5 hours of live discharge of firearms, rifles, and shotguns at a license gun club, including the discharge of at least 50 rounds of ammunition.”

HD 135, An Act relative to universal background checks for private gun sales, would close the background check exemption for private, unlicensed gun sales. Such sellers currently cannot sell more than four guns per year under Massachusetts law. The proposal would make it so that gun sales must include a background check at a licensed firearm dealer; it says the fee from the dealer should not exceed $25.

HD 136, An Act to require liability insurance for gun ownership, calls for the commissioner of insurance to set regulations for what the minimum liability insurance should be for gun owners in the state. It sets a penalty of “not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year in a house of correction, or both such fine and imprisonment” for those who don’t comply. The proposal includes exemptions for those who possess “a firearm, rifle, or shotgun on a temporary basis while on the premises of a licensed gun club.”

HD 137, An Act to clarify the prosecution of illegal guns, sets a penalty for dealing guns that are not on the state’s approved firearms roster. It says, “Any licensee under a license described in section one hundred and twenty-three, and any employee or agent of such a license, who sells, rents, leases, delivers or offers for sale, rent, lease transfer or delivery a firearm not listed on the approved firearm roster established pursuant to section 131 ¾ shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

HD 138, An Act to close the large capacity magazine loophole, places further restrictions on the possession of firearm magazines exceeding 10 rounds. It requires registering all of these magazines and limits the transfer of them to law enforcement, the military, or federal firearms licensees.

HD 139, An Act to prevent illegal trafficking and gun violence among youth in the Commonwealth, would require every gun sold in Massachusetts to have microstamp identifying information on all casings. Critics say this proposal amounts to a gradual handgun ban as most gun manufacturers won’t change their design for one state.

The National Rifle Association especially takes issue with HD.135 and HD.136, labeling them two of the more egregious bills in a statement last week.

Amy Hunter Wright, a spokesman for the NRA, told NewBostonPost that those two bills are examples of Linsky trying to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of the people of the Commonwealth.

“These are examples of gun control bills that will neither increase public safety nor curb violent crime but will criminalize law-abiding Massachusetts residents,” Wright said by email. “The two bills Rep. Linsky introduced would ban legal and common sales between friends and family members and financially penalize law-abiding gun owners by mandating extra insurance. The NRA will oppose the passage of these bills, along with any bills restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens in the Commonwealth.​“

Alan Gottlieb, founder and vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, also ripped Linsky’s myriad of proposals.

“David Linsky wants to turn firearm ownership into a government-regulated privilege rather than an individual constitutional right,” Gottlieb told NewBostonPost in an email message. “If all the harsh gun laws that Massachusetts already has don’t work why would anyone think his new assault on gun ownership would?”

Mark Ovila, the director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, slammed the proposals, as well. He told NewBostonPost by email:

Representative Linsky’s proposal to require training to obtain a license is another step in limiting law-abiding citizens’ execution of their fundamental rights. No other right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution requires training to obtain a license in order to exercise that right. That follows with his proposal to require law-abiding citizens who own guns to be saddled with a punitive insurance requirement. Representative Linsky would serve his constituents more honestly if he was truthful that this is nothing more than a punitive poll tax he wants to heap on the shoulders of law-abiding citizens instead of addressing the difficult work of reducing crime and locking up criminals. We know criminals won’t purchase insurance to protect themselves or potential crime victims.

Representative Linsky’s bid to expand universal background checks burdens the state’s firearm retailers with enforcing his quest to expand background checks while limiting that retailer’s ability to set competitive rates for the compensation of his or her time and service. His campaign to register all magazines through state registration demonstrates his unwillingness to learn even the most basic facts of firearms. Magazines are not serialized and there’s no way of knowing if a magazine that exceeds a 10 round capacity was purchased before or after he would see this proposal enacted. His willing ignorance to understand that microstamping isn’t feasible technology, no matter how much he wishes it to be true, demonstrates that Representative Linsky is more interested in agendas than enforceable laws. Independent studies have proven this technology of stamping identifying information on the back of a primer by a firing pin is unreliable and easily defeated with something as simple as sandpaper.

Representative Linsky could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday this week.