Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that the state will no longer tolerate the sale of semi-automatic “assault weapons,” citing a law passed in 1998, which made such guns illegal.
In most cases, gun manufacturers are able to create “state compliant” versions of firearms, which would otherwise be banned in those states. This is achieved by tweaking certain elements of the firearm, such as removing flash suppressors or telescoping stocks that individual states outlaw. Now, even these measures will no longer be permitted.
“Gun manufacturers have manufactured these weapons as legal versions of prohibited guns,” Healey said. “These weapons are illegal. They are copies or duplicates of banned weapons, and they cannot be bought or sold in Massachusetts.”
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During her press conference, Healey claimed more than 300 letters went out to gun dealers in the state, informing them all firearms deemed “assault weapons” could no longer be sold and must be transferred out of state. People who already own these sort of weapons will be allowed to keep them, however.
“We put gun manufacturers and gun dealers on notice that we’re cracking down on the sale of illegal assault weapons,” said Healey. “This is not a new law, this is not a new regulation. We’re just reminding people of what is the law and has been the law since 1998.”
Healey went on to say that “assault weapons” — specifically the AR-15 — are the weapons of choice for mass shooters, citing recent shootings in Orlando, Baton Rogue, Dallas, Sandy Hook, and San Bernardino.
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Furthermore, Healey claims the sale of such firearms went up 450 percent in Massachusetts following the Orlando shooting back in June, which seems to be a cause for concern.
Healey took shots at the federal government as well, citing what she believes is a failure to restrict access to deadly firearms. According to Healey, state governments are “undercut by the lax regulations across so much of the country.”
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