Fresh lawsuit filed by gun shops over Massachusetts ‘assault weapon’ expansion
By Chris Eger
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, now facing reelection in November, has spent most of her first term in legal combat with pro-gun advocates and picked up another lawsuit this week. (Photo: Healey’s office/Twitter)
A pair of gun retailers are taking state Attorney General Maura Healey to court over her shifting interpretation of the Commonwealth’s regulations on semi-auto firearms.
Baystate Firearms, of Peabody, and Cape Gun Works, of Hyannis, filed their challenge in a Suffolk County court on Wednesday to Healey’s 2016 enforcement action. The shops argue that instead of enforcing the state’s “assault weapon” ban as written, Healey issued an “entirely new interpretation” of the law that deemed some constitutionally protected firearms once considered “Massachusetts compliant” as illegal.
Just over a year after taking office, Healey announced she was ratcheting up enforcement of the state’s assault weapon ban by targeting “copycat” guns whose actions were similar or interchangeable to AR-15s and AK-47s but otherwise met legal requirements by being sold without features such as a flash suppressor, bayonet lug or telescoping stock. She contended as many as 10,000 such rifles were sold in the Commonwealth in 2015.
The lawsuit filed this week argues that the state lawmakers who crafted the current law only allowed