LAST WEEK, Attorney General Maura Healey issued an Enforcement Notice to provide certainty to Massachusetts gun dealers, gun manufacturers, and residents on how her office will enforce our state’s 18-year-old assault weapons ban and, specifically, to clarify which assault weapons are prohibited as “copies or duplicates” under the law.

Since then, certain people have claimed that the Attorney General, in taking this action, exceeded the authority of her office. We write, as the previous five attorneys general of Massachusetts, to express our full confidence in Attorney General Healey’s actions as constitutional, lawful, and consistent with the duties and responsibilities of her office.

As chief law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth, the attorney general both sets legal policy for the state and enforces our state laws to ensure public safety and wellbeing. In carrying out that significant responsibility, we each were called upon to exercise our judgment and respond with the tools at our disposal to address the challenges of our time.

In the 18 years since the passage of the Massachusetts ban, gun manufacturers have sold tens of thousands of “copycat” assault weapons nearly indistinguishable from the originals.  Meanwhile, military-style assault rifles have become the weapon of choice in mass shootings from Newtown and San Bernardino to Aurora and Dallas. Although Massachusetts is fortunate to have some of the strongest gun laws in the country, and lawmakers deeply committed to their improvement, the scale of this crisis demands bold action by law enforcement to keep our residents safe.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting that left 49 people dead and a country in mourning, the attorney general has acted within her authority to stop the sale of illegal assault weapons in Massachusetts and give our residents the full protection of our laws. She is not exceeding her authority — she is exercising it. And she has our thanks.

Francis Bellotti, James Shannon, Scott Harshbarger, Tom Reilly, and Martha Coakley are the five previous attorneys general of Massachusetts.

8 replies on “5 AGs back Healey on gun directive”

  1. What total and complete bullshit. They should be ashamed of themselves to lie and deceive like that.

  2. No other AG’s prior to Healey had any problems with the Mass. Gun Laws as written until she came along? How queer, and questionable. Not even the Law makers even ‘Weapons’ up for debate in either floors of the House or Senate(?) But, she had an issue and an agenda! An agenda that’s going to cost to cost the TAX-PAYER, and no one is factoring this in. Does the People of Mass. want her Office to spend possibly Millions of dollars of Court costs on Her agenda, and will these past AG’s kick in with money, to help her with a sinking ship she created? Healey, is rubbing shoulders with her DNC friends in PA. and not really keeping up with what’s going on except by phone. Apparently, the Gov. is out of touch, and can’t make up his mind which side of the issue he’s on. The citizens that own these weapons, according to her edict, are they now ‘criminals’, as her Law is written, as she is still working on it? She has made herself a DICTATOR!! If she wanted to write laws she should’ve ran for the House or Senate!! I feel for you in the State of Mass.

  3. If the original AWB and every state’s mirror version of it intended it to be the way Maura Healey now determines, it would have always been this way, and the state would not have approved a single sale of these so-called “copycat” firearms. The former AGs applaud it “because gunz,” but they cannot admit lawmaking is not within the scope of the Attorney General, only law enforcement. The law used to be easy to understand. Now it’s so unclear that FFLs are afraid to sell a lot of things, and her office is not responding to any questions.

    “Scale of this crisis?” No, the media has an obsession with death. If we’re buying AR-15 sporting rifles by the thousands per year here in MA, and these are “strictly weapons of war”, then my house should effectively make swiss cheese jealous at this point. Yet, I look outside my window and kids are playing basketball. Some battlefield this is. How come rifle murders in MA average one per year and not a single “assault weapon” has been present at a murder scene here since 2000? If that’s the standard for a crisis of violence, we also need to be more proactive on regulating baseball bats: this recreational equipment is partial to far more fatalities in MA than all rifles combined. This had nothing to do with public safety, and everything to do with harassing gun owners.

  4. The only logical conclusion, if Healey is correct in her interpretation, is that the previous AGs were wrong in theres and therefore incompetent. They failed in their duty to “protect” the consumer.

  5. In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting that left 49 people dead …. blah, blah, blah !!! It does not matter how many people were shot dead by bad people, that’s no reason to take away the guns from good people. It’s obvious that the politicians (including these attorney generals) are not concerned with upholding the law but rather all there efforts are expended on the ‘control’ of the people…especially good people…if they put as much effort into controlling bad people they might have reason to brag about it on their résumé. Healey and her ilk are dividing the state (and the country) into larger and larger separations and at some point the bubble will burst and when the good guys rebel in unison if I were her I’d hightail it out of town…as for me, I’m not in favor of the death penalty but I would enthusiastically chip in to buy the rope for the public hanging…and yeah, if you’re reading this Healey, you just blow it off as hot air, but keep pushing the good people and just see how far you get before you cause an outright revolution…I’m from out of state but if the good folks from Massachusetts revolt, I’ll be the first to join in their cause.

  6. The Five Fools of Massachusetts. Hey Fools – if the guns are illegal now, and the law hasn’t changed why didn’t you clowns stop the sales when you were in office?


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