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Nuclear Unicorn

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Member since: Wed Sep 16, 2009, 07:33 PM
Number of posts: 19,428

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The loophole in the Mass. assault weapons ban

The following is a press release from the Attorney General of Massachusetts --

The loophole in the Mass. assault weapons ban


The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.


Seems overly broad and will end up including weapons well outside the scope of the law. Moreover, it was decided by the AG's office, not the legislature. As such it seems ripe for judicial challenge.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Jul 20, 2016, 02:27 PM (45 replies)

Admittedly convoluted but honestly asked question, RE: registration laws

It is established case precedent that a person intent on using a gun to commit a crime cannot be charged with failing to register their gun because doing something would violate their 5th Amendment protections against being forced to incriminate themselves (Haynes v US)

But suppose someone intended to violate no law except the law requiring registration? What could they be charged with?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Jul 4, 2016, 04:04 PM (5 replies)

I can't help but think all of the angst over the UK/EU referendum is a bit overblown

It's not like the British navy will fire on Brussels or that trade won't normalize. Frankly, I'm at a loss to understand the market and currency response. It all seems much ado about nothing.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Fri Jun 24, 2016, 10:43 AM (38 replies)

Should someone on a no fly-no buy list also be restricted from working in sensitive professions?

By sensitive, I mean a job that requires them to carry a gun or be in control of large amounts of hazardous materials or be in charge of passenger safety on planes, etc.?

I have no direct experience but it's my understanding a background check is required to obtain a hazmat endorsement for a drivers license and I can't imagine the value of forbidding someone from buying weapons if their job requires them to carry a gun.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Jun 20, 2016, 05:09 PM (8 replies)


Who's with me?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Jun 8, 2016, 12:17 PM (4 replies)

Before any trigger is ever pulled there is a series of decisions

Suicides, homicides and even so-called accidents all require a series of deliberate choices. I am increasingly of the belief that if we confront that fact we will confront the causes of the vast majority of illicit gun uses and even instances where such things occur but do not involve the use of a gun.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Jun 8, 2016, 07:11 AM (10 replies)

I think we should all support our nominee

Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:15 PM (24 replies)

Is there a hashtag #ShitMyHusbandSays ? Because there ought to be.

I'm pretty sure "duvet" is French for "we're not selling enough bedspreads."
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Jun 2, 2016, 09:45 PM (14 replies)

We need corporations. They give us jobs.

Have we gutted enough regulations? Have we shipped enough jobs off to overseas to despotic regimes to exploit the nearly enslaved locals? Are taxes carrying enough loopholes so only those who have armies of lawyers and accountants can succeed? Are enough sub-prime mortgages being aggressively sold so the properties can be swept up at fire sale prices and resold for 4 times the price? Are the insurance companies getting enough taxpayer subsidies for policies nobody can afford to use?

And let's not forget defense industries that put people to work -- or just kill off the surplus -- because the wars of choice are a-comin'!

Can you just feel the freedom and prosperity trickling down?

Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Jun 2, 2016, 11:59 AM (0 replies)

Survey: More than half of corporate CEOs prefer Clinton over Trump

Survey: More than half of corporate CEOs prefer Clinton over Trump

More than half of Fortune 500 CEOs say they would prefer Hillary Clinton to win the White House instead of Donald Trump, according to a new survey.

Fifty-eight percent of the CEOs said they would support Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, while 42 percent would support Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, according to a survey conducted last month by Fortune and released on Wednesday.

“Big company CEOs tend to lean heavily Republican," the survey said.

"But most of the 500 operate on a global scale, and many disagree with Trump’s proposals for raising trade barriers. Some also have been rattled by his stance on immigration, or by his comments showing little understanding of public finance."


No kidding.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Jun 1, 2016, 12:51 PM (17 replies)
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