MA Attorney General Says She’s Not Banning Guns, Changing Laws

10151880_1444093519182403_3600710783161733825_nMassachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy denied reports that she is “banning guns” or  overstepping her authority saying she is neither creating a new law or taking away 2nd amendment rights.

Healey appeared on 980WCAP’s morning show with Teddy Panos and Leslie Boder to talk about attending her first national convention but the talk quickly turned to guns and healey’s announcement last week that she will enforce a previous ban on “copycat assault weapons.”

“I’m going to be real clear with folks,” Healey said.

“What I did last week was, our office sent out a notice reminding people of our existing state law of our assault weapons ban, and reminding them that copycat versions of those assault weapons are also prohibited for sale under Massachusetts state law.”

“Over the years, those weapons have still been sold. We wanted to be clear with gun dealers that they need to comply with the law and that those weapons are actually not for sale in Massachusetts. This is not a ban on all semi-automatic weapons. I’m not saying that we are going to take guns away from people. In fact, people who have purchased these guns over the years in good faith, believing they were able to purchase them, can keep them and they can resell them if they wish.”

“But, on a forward going basis we want to be clear that the law in fact, prohibits the sale of these kinds of guns.”

“Why did our office do it now? We did it because, I think at this point in our country we need to take a hard look at what we need to do to reduce  gun violence and promote gun safety. There are a lot of things that we can do that we should be doing. Gun owners are a key part of this, and teaching responsible gun safety is part of this, working on mental health issues, working to keep guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous to themselves, or others, is part of this and cutting down on the illegal trafficking of guns, particularly from other states.”

“More than half of the guns that show up in Massachusetts used in crimes, comes from other states.”

“So, obviously it has not made everybody happy. But it doesn’t surprise me when you come to issues of guns and the second amendment. This is not, in my view, an infringement in any way, shape, or form an infringement of peoples second amendment rights. We are not taking guns away from people.

Healey said that the legislature makes the laws and she has in no way changed the law only reminding people that she will enforce.

“Ten thousand of these weapons were sold in Massachusetts last year alone. After Orlando, sales of these particular style weapons skyrocketed 450%, in just the week after. I realize that the majority of shootings in this country  are at the hands of handguns. But, I will say that this particular class of weapons was designed to be able to shoot as many rounds as possible, in as little time as possible, and to kill as many people as possible, in as short amount of time as possible. That was the design and the intended use by the military. It has become commercialized to the civilian public, and it’s just not the kind of weapon that was ever intended for civilian hands.”

“Has it been marketed that way? Absolutely.  Do a lot of people purchase these? Absolutely. But, we just have to get back to a place where the law is being enforced, and that’s what this effort is about here in Massachusetts.”

“When you look at Arora, San Bernardino, or Baton Rouge where officers were targeted …and Dallas . This is the type of weapon that was used. They are the weapons of choice for mass shootings. That’s what this is about. It’s about reminding people and making clear that this is a law in Massachusetts and the sale of these are banned.”

Host Teddy Panos asked the attorney General why there was so much emphasis is on this while existing gun laws with mandatory sentencing  is not being enforced. He also asked if she would support a law making it mandatory that gun charges cannot be plead down to avoid jail time.

“I will tell you, I know throughout the state there are so many prosecutions and investigations of gun trafficking, and prosecutions of individuals who have guns in their possession illegally. That’s important. That needs to continue. We need to do everything we can to crack down on illegal guns. My office is committed to that. I know DA’s, and police chiefs, and police departments are committed to that. Part of the problem is that there are so many guns coming into, and through our borders, that it’s always a struggle to keep up. But, you are absolutely right, we need to continue to focus on investigating, prosecuting, and holding accountable those who have guns illegally. But, at the same time I think it’s also worth looking at the bigger picture of what is happening here.”


“Weeks ago, I joined with other state’s Attorney’s General, asking congress to let  the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) to actually study gun violence and trauma. Why? Because CDC often studies consumer products, and comes up with ways to design better safety, and intervention, and preventive strategies. I want the same for guns, you know. I want to make sure that we are learning from experiences, and doing everything we can to reduce the gun violence; whether it’s in domestic violence situations, whether it’s in a suicide situation, whether it’s young people who have access to guns and use those as a means of sorting through their issues instead of other means. “

“This is a public health issue, and 90 Americans each day are killed by guns, and another 200 are injured. I think we need to talk about it as a public health issue. We need to respect, of course, the second amendment, and protect the rights of law abiding gun owners. That is important. But, it is not mutually exclusive of doing what we need to do to protect public safety and public health in my view.”

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to

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21 Responses to MA Attorney General Says She’s Not Banning Guns, Changing Laws

  1. stephen terounzo Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    so i guess cell phones and cars should be a health issues to then.because more people are killed by them then guns and nobody does any thing to stop those deaths.just a way for her to take are rights away.if you dont think she is you better open your eyes

  2. Christine Noyes Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Once again the Massachusetts Attorney General has it wrong! The AR platform was originally built as a sporting rifle. The AR stands for Armalite, the company that created this rifle. The military liked what they saw and adopted it, making some adjustments. You can find this information all over the internet. She hasn’t done her homework.

  3. Rick Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Really ? So let’s see the list of banned verses legal semiautomatic for the state as of today to clear up any confusion. Leaving it open-ended as you have leaves legal citizens open for charges by simply buying a ruger 10 22.
    Banning my defense weapon (AR or whatever i choose to use)by calling it an assault weapon is in fact removing my rights as I am now limited by decree not through legislation, going against how are country was founded.. This will be challenged and rightfully so.

  4. inerlogic (@inerlogic) Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 11:42 AM


    “In fact, people who have purchased these guns over the years in good faith, believing they were able to purchase them, can keep them and they can resell them if they wish.”

    “But, on a forward going basis we want to be clear that the law in fact, prohibits the sale of these kinds of guns.”

    this was a federal law for 10 years, it has been the law in MA since 1994 (under the federal ban) in TWENTY-TWO YEARS, no industry lawyer, no other Attorney General in ANY other state OR our 3 or 4, NO POLITICIAN….

    NO ONE has come to this interpretation.

    our current Attorney General is just SO intelligent that she is the ONLY ONE IN 22 YEARS to figure this out…

    screw you Healey, we will not comply.

  5. Ron Bellanti Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    I always wonder when I read these sort of statements from politicians…what is the goal? If the goal is to save lives then why not ban skateboards, swimming pools, dirt bikes, and airplanes? Surely nobody needs to ride a skateboard or jump out of an airplane right? If it is to reduce gun violence then why not arrest the people who commit the most violence per capita and then lock them up for massive periods of time? In the end the goal seems to me to be getting the guns. It is politically incorrect to go into the inner city and arrest the people with the ILLEGAL guns who actually commit violent crime. So instead they go after the law abiding hunter, collector, or small business guy with a family who gets a license and obeys the law. Why? Because liberal democrats have failed minority America. They choose to ignore the massive amount of crime being committed by young black men with illegal guns as to confront this hard cold fact would be to admit their failures.

    • Tom Reply

      July 28, 2016 at 4:14 PM


  6. Steve Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    AG said it right there, these guns are coming from out of state, mostly handguns. So what will banning these so called assault weapons really do? The FBI stated that there were zero crimes committed with these rifles since 2014. Here’s a little fun fact, if someone buys a gun and gives it to someone else, it’s called a straw purchase and is a felony offense. Oh and crossing into MA without a license is also a felony offense (unless your following FOPA laws).
    Her own statement tells us it’s criminals doing all the bad criminal activity and NOT the law abiding citizen. Even though she says we are all felons now anyways.
    Wake up Massachusetts, time to fend off the wolves at our door.

  7. Doc Farkward (@farkward_doc) Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Molon Labe

  8. Rich Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    So what she’s saying is most of the guns used in crimes are coming from other states. If that’s the case, I guess it’s a good thing that Massachusetts residents will now be out gunned. Not sure how that makes sense. Probably Trying to set herself up with a position for crooked Hillary if she gets in.

  9. Brian Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Ok….. So at which point will you, AG Maura Healey, actually find a way to keep guns away from the CRIMINALS actually committing the acts you’re referencing? You’re enforcing law abiding citizens because of what non law abiding citizens do. Do you actually think it’s rational? Do you actually think this will decrease gun violence? Do you have a predetermined disposition that criminals will turn in their guns and stop being violent? Should I be castrated because my neighbor has too many kids? Do you see what I’m saying?

    The law abiding gun owner is not the criminals. We see through this, Maura. We see your agenda. You work for us, remember that.

    • Patty Reply

      July 28, 2016 at 9:00 PM

      Since when are we guilty until proven innocent in this Country? You bought a gun, produced your FID, passed your background check and bought your AR-15 legally with MA’s blessing until Maura Healey decided she was going to enforce vague laws to meet her personal/political agenda. LOL, I noticed she had no problem collecting sales tax on the AR-15’s – that was legal … up until her party’s political agenda became, ‘bad guns, no no, bad bad bad!’.

      LOL, please don’t give her any more ideas. Reducing the population by castration will become her new agenda … and there are no Constitutional Amendments to save you on that. LOL!!

  10. Boston oki Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    I’m so glad I left Mass years ago. Damnable Communists.

  11. Speedracer Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    Completely delusional. She says most of the guns that are used to commit crime in MA come from our of state, but is banning then in our state. Plus, we have a 10 round limit on our magazines, except for if we can find a preban. How can these be used to shoot as many bullets as possible with a 10 round magazine? So clueless it makes me sick. How can anyone have voted for this idiot?

  12. Kevin Nugent Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    There wasn’t one person in mass killed by any type of rifle , and this is what she’s focused on .

  13. Brian Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    I would like to know out of the 90 American people shot everyday how many are shot by legal gun owners with legal guns and the number of the that are shot with the so called assault weapons? Anything can be used as a weapon to mass kill people like the truck that killed 100 or so before he was stopped. Will she outlaw particular vehicles because they pose a threat in the wrong hands? I own ar15 rifles and they are fun to build and shoot. She drives a particular car because it’s nice or fun to drive what’s the difference,it also can be used as a mass weapon. Your focus should be going after illegal gun owners. You will always have a couple bad eggs in the bunch,don’t punish everyone for there misuse. Thanks

  14. Dave Henry (@2ADaveH) Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    So if every AR and AK “style” rifle is an “assault weapon”, then every Muslim is a terrorist, right? Don’t blame all Muslims for one bad apple.. BUT if 1 person kills with a gun, blame ALL gun owners… makes perfect sense! Prosecute gun crimes TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW! There are plenty of laws existing. Stop giving people like Merhawi Berhe and Steven Silva wrist slaps. Want a deterrent? Stop letting them plea out of their firearms charges! Putting more laws on me to follow, does NOTHING to take illegal guns, out of criminal hands!!!

  15. Brian Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    The AG does not have her eye on the ball. Her eyes are out in left field with the aspirations of a home run out of the park and into a new game. HEROIN kills three TIMES as many people in a day as guns do… yet, she focuses her efforts on a class of firearms that arent even 1/3 the cause of all gun violence!. This is her personal agenda and a way to make her self sit sweet with what she sees as the next WH administration. She did it without her bosses approval, she did it while the cat was away, and she should be fired.

  16. Donny Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    What does the actual gun LAW say? No where do I see the actual text of the law.
    Does it use the word “copycat”?

  17. Edward Saunders Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 2:25 AM

    What part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand . Let’s go after the criminals not law abiding citizens

  18. Jim Reply

    July 29, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    So I quess mass should build a wall around itself to keep guns out and make law abiding citizens pay for it. I’m so embarrassed I voted for her After fifty years as a democrat I’m changing to independent. Oh I’m not a member of the NRA but I am joining.

    • Joe Mehler Reply

      July 29, 2016 at 9:40 AM

      As a Life Member of the NRA allow me to say, welcome aboard Jim.

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