Attorney General Maura Healey Talks Assault Weapons Ban

August 16, 2016

It's either another case of over-reaching government, or just plain common sense, depending on which end of the barrel you're on. Last month Attorney General Maura Healey (@maura_healey) jumped into those choppy waters when she cracked down on so-called replica assault weapons, by clarifying that they are banned under existing law in Massachusetts. She says gun manufacturers are making inconsequential design modification to skirt the current definition of outlawed weapons.

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the statehouse insisting that Healey had overstepped her authority, and were infringing upon their constitutional rights. Healey has faced a barrage of blistering criticism from around the country, some of it personal and ugly. One national gun owners group is threatening to file suit against her. Here in Massachusetts the entire congressional delegation, as well as a number of mayors, have backed her action.
Healey joined Jim on Tuesday night to discuss.

Healey said that it is her responsibility to enforce the law. After the Orlando shooting, she asked, is that kind of weapon available in Massachusetts. She learned that it is banned from sale under state law, however, it is marketed and sold in Massachusetts. The sales of the gun went up 450% after the mass shooting.

As of now, Healey said, the sales of the weapon have virtually stopped. She said she is very pleased with how it has gone. Healey said that we are not talking about hand guns or antique guns, but assault rifles that are designed to kill a lot of people at once. "We're just making clear to the public that we're going to enforce the [1998] law." 

They also discussed body cameras for the Boston Police Department. Healey said that she has supported departments who wanted to try the technology. However, she stated that body cameras are not the entire solution for what needs to happen. There's a lot to think through and work through, she said. 


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