Quick update on Speaker DeLeo's Gun Bill

A lot has happened with Speaker DeLeo's gun bill since the last update. We've all been very busy following the bill though it's many changes and trying to understand what impact, if any, those changes would have on the legislation and, assuming it passes, gun owners. This is probably a good time to pause, summarize, and provide a few recommendations on next steps.

The original bill, H.4121, is dead. The House Committee on Ways and Means basically scrapped it and started over. The good news is that they removed most (but not all) of the egregious proposals that were in the original version. We all applaud GOAL and the concerned citizens in MA who inundated the House with calls, letters, and emails voicing their strong opinions on the bill. Without GOAL leading the charge and the swift and tireless action of MA gun owners, we would certainly be in a much worse position with this bill.

Lesson learned: Action works. Though we as gun owners are a small minority in MA, we are a vocal one. We proved that calling, writing, emailing, and showing up in your representative's office is not a waste of time. Keep this in mind as we move forward.

On July 9th, Ways and Means presented the full House with H.4278. (You can read it here.) The House then proposed and voted on a number of amendments and, after a very long day of voting and debates, voted to pass the bill and send it along to the Senate. The worst part of the resulting House bill was a section that would extend "suitability" to applicants for FID cards, but other than that the bill was surprisingly benign considering the circumstances. (Keep in mind that just a few weeks ago they were talking about "a one gun a month" law, banning all private sales, extending the AG's "consumer protection" powers, etc. None of that stuff made it into the House bill because gun owners got active. We made our voices heard.)

Once the Senate got the bill, they got busy proposing their own amendments. Yesterday (7/17,) all of those amendments (something like 63 of them) were debated on the Senate floor, where they were either adopted, rejected, or withdrawn. At the end of the day, the worst part of the House bill (FID suitability) was removed but some anti-gun owner stuff was added. (For example punishing gun owners who are victims of theft.) The result was certainly not a perfect bill but it was a lot better than anyone expected, except, perhaps for the anti-gun organizations who are reportedly very upset.

This brings us up to date with where we are today. At this point the Senate bill will head back to the House for a concurrence vote. Basically this means that the House needs to vote to accept the amendments that the Senate made to the bill or not. If the House votes to concur the bill goes to the Governor for a signature. If they vote not to concur a new joint committee comprised of members of both the House and Senate will form to hash out a version that they can both agree on. The concurrence vote will likely happen today (7/18.)

What to do next:

  1. At this point it would be a good idea to call, write, email, etc your reps and senators who voted for the good amendments and against the bad ones and thank them for listening to reason. Unfortunately most of the amendments were not passed with a roll call vote so there is no record of who voted which way, but some amendments did have a roll call vote. For example, the roll call on the Senate amendment that deleted the FID suitability requirement is available here.
  2. Keep a close eye on GOAL's page where they are posting updates on this process, or if you haven't already, subscribe to GOAL email list so that you get the updates directly in your email. (You can also follow GOAL on Twitter or Facebook if that's more your style.)

Once again, thanks are due to GOAL for their strong leadership and to all Massachusetts gun owners for their tireless devotion and action throughout this process. This bill would have been MUCH worse if we had sat back and done nothing.

Sad News

Jennifer Hogan, wife of long time MVCG member Mark Hogan and niece of MVGC VP John Barry passed away yesterday. On behalf of the leadership of the club and all our members we extend our condolences and prayers to the Hogan family.


Jennifer A. Hogan 

July 10, 2014

Jennifer A. Hogan, 40 of Medford, died Thursday July 10, after a long illness in the Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers. 

Born in Malden, she was a lifelong resident of Medford. Jennifer was employed by Berkshire Mortgage in Needham as a Closer for several years. 

Beloved wife of Mark D. Hogan. Devoted mother of Kayla Davis, Emily and Lyndsey Hogan all of Medford and the late Robert Hogan. Cherished daughter of Linda J. (Barry) Davis of Medford and the late Jack K. Davis Jr. Loving granddaughter of Maria (Schenna) Barry of Medford and the late James R. Barry. Sister of Dawn Viliott of Reading. 

Funeral from the Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main St., MEDFORD Tuesday at 9 AM followed by a funeral mass celebrated in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 441 Fellsway West, Medford, at 10 AM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours Monday 4-8. Services will conclude with burial at Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford. 

In lieu of flowers memorial may be sent in Jennifer’s name to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923 or a Charity of One's Choice.

House Vote on H.4121 is Imminent!

A certain gun control group in MA is reporting that the House will vote on the revised bill (which has still not been released to the public) TOMORROW at 12:30pm. Obviously they're getting some inside information that isn't being shared with the general public, but assuming it's true it's time to pull out all the stops and heat up those phone lines.

If the information is correct (and we assume it is,) the vote will be held in the House chamber on the 3rd floor at 12:30pm. If you can take a long lunch break from work and show up to counter the gun control advocates that will surely be bussed in from all states that would be great. This is likely to be our last chance to speak out on H.4121 before the House votes on it. Show up and make your representatives look you in the eye as they cast a vote that further curtails your natural rights. Don't go down without a fight. Please make your voice heard in person, or if that's not possible, by phone.

Look up your elected representatives here: https://malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator

ALERT - Update on H.4121

We are getting word that a revised version of Speaker DeLeo's gun control bill H.4121 will be released from the House Committee on Ways and Means either today or tomorrow and could go to a vote on the House floor as early as tomorrow. The revised version of the bill has not been publicly released at this time so we don't know what's in it, but word is that the banning of all face to face sales and "suitability" for FID cards are both still in the bill. Also the addition of the Attorney General's regulations to the existing EOPPS list is apparently still in there. These measures are punitive to law-abiding gun owners are serve no legitimate purpose other than to harass and discourage LEGAL gun owners.

It's CRITICAL that everyone who cares about their right to keep and bear arms in Massachusetts picks up the phone and calls their reps now. Tell them that a bill that punishes law-abiding gun owners for following the law while ignoring the criminal element is a non-starter, and additionally that pushing a revised version of the bill to a House vote before anyone has even had a chance to read the revisions is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Please refresh GOAL's H.4121 page often for updates: http://www.goal.org/alert-defeat-chapter-180-part2.html

Look up your elected representatives here: https://malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator

John Migliero

It is with extreme sadness that we inform the membership of the passing of long-time member John Migliero. John was an avid shooter and a member of Mystic Valley's GBPL team for many years. He was the brother-in-law of former MVGC Executive Officer Dave Watson and a friend to many of our members. He will be missed by all.

john-migliero-obituary.jpg

Services

Visiting Hours:

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home 128 Revere Street in Revere

Funeral:

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home 128 Revere Street in Revere

Funeral Mass:

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony's Church, 250 Revere Street in Revere

Please click here for more information from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons~Bruno Funeral Home

 

Update on H.4121

We're sorry to share a bit of a disappointing update on H.4121. The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security voted to release the bill with a "favorable" rating by the slimmest of margins, literally ONE vote.

Even more disappointing is that Senator Richard J. Ross of Wrentham decided to abstain rather than display the courage to vote against the bill as we were counting on him to. We will all be sure to remember Senator Ross come election time.

All is not lost however! The bill has now been referred to the Joint Committee on Rules where it will be voted on again. It's now time to start calling, writing, and emailing the members of the rules committee to let them know that you are against this bill as written.

URGENT - Update on H.4121 from Gun Owner's Action League

Our friends at GOAL just sent us the following urgent alert:

**URGENT ALERT** We have just received word that the Joint Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security will be voting on H.4121 AS CURRENTLY WRITTEN before 12:00 PM tomorrow. Please call EVERY member of the Joint Committee immediately and urge them to vote "ought not to pass".

Contact info: http://goal.org/Documents/Joint%20Committee%20on%20Public%20Safety%20and%20Homeland%20Security.pdf

Important Update on H.4121

Word on Beacon Hill is that Speaker DeLeo is pushing hard to get a vote on H.4121 pushed through as quickly as possible, but he's encountering significant resistance from committee members as well as reps on both sides of the isle who have serious concerns about the quality of this legislation. Our voices are being heard and we are making a difference, but it's time to redouble our efforts to make sure that everyone in the State House knows that this is a bad bill that will only make gun crime worse in the long run.

PLEASE call, write, and email your legislators as well as the members of the committee. Let them know that you are against the bill as written and can not support legislation that punishes legitimate, law-abiding gun owners instead of the criminal element who cause the real problems! Also politely but firmly demand additional public hearings so that the voices of the 300,000+ legal gun owners in the Commonwealth can be heard.

Read more about the bill here

Find your legislators here

Also be sure to contact the members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security here.

We need everyone to call, write, and email. Together we can make a difference!