Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Explains Opposition To Gun-Ban Bill

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There is a push for gun control on Beacon Hill and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association is not happy about it.

The police chiefs association is urging state lawmakers to oppose the bill (HD.4607).

The measure, titled “An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws,” says, “No person may knowingly possess, own, offer for sale, sell or otherwise transfer in the commonwealth or import into the commonwealth an assault-style firearm as defined in section 121 that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.”

The proposal defines “assault-style firearm” to cover most semi-automatic weapons. Its definition of the term is five pages long, and names 141 rifles, 47 pistols, and 16 shotguns. If  enacted, the bill would allow owners of illegal guns to turn them over to state police under a “statewide firearm surrender program.”

State Representative Michael Seamus Day (D-Stoneham) filed the bill, which was previously known as HD.4420.

Supporters say the bill would ban untraceable firearms known as “ghost guns” and make Massachusetts residents safer.

But the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which represents police chiefs in all 351 cities and towns in the state and on about 100 college campuses, not only says the bill is unconstitutional, but also says the Bay State doesn’t needs stricter gun laws.

Mark Leahy, executive director of the police chiefs association and a retired Northborough police chief, on Tuesday, October 10 told the Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Judiciary that association officials “continue to have concerns over the bill’s language.”

Leahy also said:


The registration of firearms will not reduce gun violence. Limiting where lawfully licensed firearms holders may go — including your off-duty police officers and state troopers — will not reduce gun violence. Criminals will not be deterred by these measures. While there is merit to addressing ghost guns, that can be handled in a stand-alone bill.

As we previously indicated to Chairman Day, we will continue to be available for discussions over the many changes you propose to place upon us. We also hope that financial relief will accompany these new tasks.

Earlier today, our membership met. We ultimately polled our members concerning HD4607. The result was a unanimous vote to not support this bill in its current form. Again, we are always willing to work together for language that will actually reduce gun violence.


House Speaker Ron Mariano (D-Quincy) told WCVB last week that he expects this bill will pass in the House this week. As of Tuesday, October 17, the lone scheduled formal House session this week was scheduled for Wednesday, October 18.

It’s unclear when the bill may come up for a vote in the state Senate.

Day could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday.


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