NEWTOWN, Conn – Two Massachusetts firearms retailers, Baystate Firearms and Training, LLC of Peabody and Downrange, Inc., which does business as Cape Gun Works of Hyannis, have petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County to invalidate State Attorney General Maura Healey’s 2016 “enforcement action” for violating the procedures required for issuing regulations under state law and radically re-defining what constitutes “assault weapons” contrary to the intention of the Massachusetts Legislature.
Because the Attorney General’s office plans to enforce the regulation either civilly or criminally, the two federally licensed firearms retailers are asking the court for declaratory judgment. The petition acknowledges that any decision is likely to be appealed to the state Supreme Judicial Court. The National Shooting Sports Foundation supports the two Massachusetts-based firearms retailers in this petition.
“With the 2016 ‘Enforcement Action,’ the Attorney General’s office demonstrated how little it understands about firearms,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Attorney General Healy and her staff clearly overreached their statutory authority and decided to legislate from that office without the benefit of any public process and in total disregard of 18 years of Massachusetts firearm law, under which firearm retailers operated. The Attorney General undermined the state legislature by unilaterally declaring firearms that were legal to be illegal.”
Keane continued, “With this petition, these two retailers are stepping up to challenge bold overreach by an elected official that has not only compromised their livelihoods without any true enhancement of public safety, the press conferences and media interviews notwithstanding, but they are also speaking up for tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who, overnight in 2016, found that their legally-purchased firearms had been redefined as “assault weapons” while additional untold numbers of citizens were arbitrarily denied access to many models of semiautomatic rifles from that day on.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org/.