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Massachusetts Governor Protects Us from Guns.


So, my state’s new Governor, Maura Healey, is in her job for less than six weeks when she announces a whole raft of new regulations to “help local licensing authorities comply with all state and federal laws and regulations, strengthen the gun dealer inspection process, and prevent illegal firearm trafficking.”

I’m quoting from the press release issued on February 17, 2023 by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Municipal Police Training Committee, the Massachusetts State Police and the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.

These four state agencies will partner with (who else?) the ATF “to develop specialized training to promote strict adherence with all applicable gun laws, educate local authorities about their responsibilities under those laws and protect communities against gun violence.”

It just so happens that Massachusetts has the most comprehensive regulatory environment for controlling guns of all 50 states. it also has the most far-reaching Child Access Protection (CAP) law of all 50 states, a no-nonsense 'red flag’ (ERPO) law, and a ban on the sale and ownership of rifles which prevents dealers from selling assault rifles with designs that skirt the designs of the guns prohibited by the 1994 assault rifle ban, which in Massachusetts is still in effect.

I’m not saying there is necessarily any connection between the state’s strict gun laws and the fact that Massachusetts has the lowest gun violence rate of all 50 states. But the bottom line is that in 2020, the national gun-violence rate (homicide and suicide) was somewhere above 14 per 100,000, in Massachusetts the rate was 3.4.

This is the great threat to public health in Massachusetts that has gotten our new Governor to put together a statewide program involving a federal agency, four state agencies and now has enrolled more than 300 cops to be trained in responding to this dread disease?

And what exactly are these cops being trained to do? They are going to go out and visit the 357 “active state-licensed gun dealers” who are “operating in 162 Massachusetts cities and towns.”

No wonder gun violence is such a terrible threat to community safety in the Bay State. The state has 351 cities and towns, which means that guns are being sold to the public in almost half the places where people work and live. Wow!

My gun shop, where I stopped doing retail sales in 2016, is located in the town of Ware. There are three other gun shops located within 10 miles or so of my shop. One of the shops sells more worms than guns because the store is located near the entrance to the fishing area known as the Quabbin. Another gun shop is owned by my buddy Bope, who has an inventory of about 20 guns all nicely displayed in his garage.

The third shop has lots of guns, but this place would have closed years ago except the owner shleps his inventory to gun shows Five or six weekends every year. If he depended on in-store sales to make a buck, he’d be back selling furniture which is what he used to sell.

How many physical locations are occupied in Massachusetts by licensed dealers actually selling guns? Somewhere between 20 and 30 stores, a number derived by simply doing a search on the websites of gun companies like Smith & Wesson and Glock whose websites list every single dealer selling their guns.

If you’re a gun retailer in any state and your store doesn’t display a Glock or a Smith, you may hold a dealer’s license but you’re not in the business of selling guns.

If Governor Healey wants to do something to make life safer for the residents of her state, why doesn’t she get the Legislature to increase the state’s sales tax on gasoline? Right now, our gasoline sales tax is so low that the highways never get repaired. The Bay State’s roads are the seventh-worst of all 50 states in terms of needing to be paved, and in terms safety design, our state ranks dead last.

Last week I had to drive slightly off a road in order to avoid a truck coming too close to the center line. The road had no shoulder, I shredded a tire and between replacing the tire and the front fender, I laid out $550 bucks.

And Maura Healey thinks she’s making our state safer by training hundreds of cops to spend an hour sitting around Bope’s garage playing with his guns?


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