Massachusetts Attorney General Campbell Files Brief In Support of Common Sense Gun Laws

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In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office submitted to SOURCE media. (istock photo)

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BOSTON – In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell this week filed briefs in two ongoing legal cases to defend and uphold common sense Massachusetts laws and regulations intended to protect Massachusetts residents from gun violence.

“Under my leadership, Massachusetts will continue to lead when it comes to preventing gun violence and that means defending our common sense gun laws that keep families safe,” said AG Campbell. “Today, we are calling on the Courts to uphold laws that protect all of us, especially our children, from the deadly use of combat-style assault weapons, weapons with large-capacity magazines and weapons that do not meet minimum safety requirements.”

On Monday, AG Campbell filed a brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter of Granata v. Campbell. The brief argues that Massachusetts handgun safety regulations, as established through regulations issued by the Attorney General and by state statute, do not violate the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. These regulations prohibit the commercial sale of handgun models that do not meet minimum safety requirements to protect against accidents like explosion or unintended discharge. The AG contends in the brief that the regulations protect Massachusetts consumers, gun owners and children against firearms accidents.

On Tuesday, AG Campbell filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in National Association for Gun Rights v. Campbell, opposing the plaintiffs’ motion to temporarily block the Massachusetts ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. The AG asserts in the filing that combat-style assault rifles and large-capacity magazines—the weapons and accessories of choice in America’s deadliest mass shootings—pose an inordinate risk to the safety of the public and law enforcement officers, with no meaningful utility for individual self-defense.

By filing these briefs, AG Campbell is following through on the commitment she made in her inaugural address to defend Massachusetts’ common sense gun laws in order to prioritize the safety of the public and create safer, healthier communities across the Commonwealth.

Last month, AG Campbell announced her support for legislation filed in the Massachusetts Senate by Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) to strengthen current state law prohibiting the purchase, possession and use of silencers by amending the definition of “silencer” to mirror the definition in federal law. At a time when law enforcement officials are seeing an increase in the purchase and possession of illegal firearms, including ghost guns, and firearm accessories, this bill will strengthen enforcement capabilities and protect public safety by helping to keep these devices out of the hands of dangerous individuals. 

Following the United States Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Attorney General’s Office and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security issued a joint advisory to provide guidance to licensing authorities and law enforcement officials on how the Court’s decision affects Massachusetts’s firearm licensing laws. The advisory confirmed that it remains unlawful to carry a firearm in Massachusetts without a license and details the strong license-to-carry eligibility requirements that remain in place.

These matters were handled by Division Chief Timothy Casey, Assistant Attorneys General Julie Green, Grace Gohlke and Phoebe Fischer-Groban, and Senior Paralegal Julie Collins, all of the AG’s Constitutional and Administrative Law Division. Substantial assistance was provided by Managing Administrative Assistant Sherrie Costa of the AG’s Government Bureau, Law Librarian Kevin Coakley-Welch and Law Library Student Co-op Emma Williamson.

editor

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