NEWTOWN, Conn. — Four federally-licensed Massachusetts firearms retailers and the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today filed action in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to challenge on Constitutional grounds the “Enforcement Notice” issued by state Attorney General Maura Healey. The lawsuit states that her office overstepped its legal authority and deprived the retailers of their due process protections guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The action seeks declaratory relief and a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement.
The retailers are Pullman Arms Inc. of Worcester; Guns and Gear, LLC of Agawam; Paper City Firearms of Holyoke; and Grrr Gear of Orange.
“Attorney General Maura Healey’s actions were unconstitutional. Firearms retailers in Massachusetts cannot determine the meaning or scope of the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Because criminal penalties can result due to Attorney General Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
“In addition, if the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice is understood as applying to all semi-automatic firearms, it violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to keep and bear arms because it bans the manufacture, sale and possession of a broad range of firearms in common use by the citizens of Massachusetts,” Keane said. “Unfortunately, Attorney General Healy’s unconstitutional action has left us no other option than to seek relief from the courts.”
Representing NSSF and the retailers are the Boston-based law firm of Kenney and Sams, P.C., and Michael Sullivan of the Ashcroft Law Firm, who is a former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former Acting Director, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Read the Civil Action filed.