By Bob Katzen

Another bill heard by the Judiciary Committee would ban the manufacturing in Massachusetts of assault weapons and large capacity feeding devices. The measure exempts weapons and devices made for the Massachusetts military and law enforcement, for the federal military or any foreign government approved by the United States State Department.

“When gunmen committed mass murder in Aurora, Parkland and San Bernardino, those tragedies didn’t just reflect the failings of federal and local gun laws,” said sponsor Sen. Cindy Cream (D-Newton). “They also reflected the failings of Massachusetts law—because even though the commonwealth has banned the sale of assault weapons and large-capacity feeding devices within its own borders—it allows the military-style firearms that were used in each of those shootings to be produced right here in Massachusetts. The commonwealth’s obligation to prevent gun violence does not stop at our borders. An Act to stop mass shootings aligns our laws with our values by ensuring that Massachusetts no longer exports bloodshed to other parts of the country.”

“This bill is an obvious attempt to target and demonize a specific manufacturer in the commonwealth that has been a part of the fabric of Western Massachusetts since the 1850s,” said Mike Harris, Director of Public Policy at the Gun Owners’ Action League. “The legitimacy of the so-called ‘assault weapons’ ban aside, coupled with the fact that the AR15, designed in 1956, would be considered an antique if it were a car, the mere threat of this bill and the hostility the legislature shows to businesses that it doesn’t like has already cost the commonwealth hundreds of jobs. This bill shows businesses in this state that if the Legislature doesn’t find you acceptable, they’re coming after you.”

ALLOW VEHICLE OWNER TO DESIGNATE WHO WILL INHERIT THE VEHICLE WHEN THE OWNER DIES (H 3889) – The Transportation Committee held a virtual hearing in a proposal that would allow a vehicle owner to designate, in writing on the vehicle’s certificate of title, the name of the beneficiary who will assume ownership of the car when the current owner dies.

“This [process] is currently allowed in several other states and eliminates the lengthy process of Probate Court,” said sponsor Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown). “Often, the transfer of the motor vehicle is the only reason an estate has to go before the Probate Court.”

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