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MA may now ban all semi-auto rifles and shotguns

Store managers show a customer ammo at the Get Loaded gun store on June 30, 2016, in Grand Terrace, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
January 16, 2023

Virtually all semi-automatic firearms would be banned under a proposed Massachusetts law expanding the reach of its existing “assault weapons” ban.

Starting this year, Democrats control the state’s legislature as well as the governor’s office, fueling the party’s hopes for a new package of gun control laws, as reported by the Boston Globe.

A slew of new bills have already been introduced by Democratic State Rep. David Linsky, including one that would expand its definition of banned “assault weapons” to include virtually all semi-automatic firearms.

“Assault weapons,” as defined by various features and specific models, have been banned in the state since 1994. 

The bill replaces the state’s lengthy definition of “assault weapon” with the phrase “any rifle or shotgun containing a semiautomatic mechanism.” Handguns are not mentioned in the bill.

READ MORE: 14 IL sheriffs won’t enforce new ‘assault weapons’ ban

The bill was one of 10 gun control measures that Linsky recently introduced, according to a press release. Other bills included measures to restrict 3D-printed guns and “ghost guns,” require live fire practice for gun ownership, create a public health institute to study gun violence, and more.

The press release said the bill would introduce a gun buy-back program, and said Massachusetts could “drastically reduce” the amount of semi-automatic weapons in circulation “by enforcing a penalty of 18 months in prison and a fine of $5,000 for each weapon.” 

However, neither of these measures are included in the bill’s text

Violation of the current assault weapon ban calls for a sentence of at least one year and/or a fine of at least $1,000, according to the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman.

“While the Massachusetts Legislature has been a national leader in passing effective legislation that addresses gun violence prevention, there are more measures that can be taken,” Linsky said. “I am proud to file bills that would make important and crucial steps in reducing gun violence and preventing further tragedies from occurring.”