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A CALL TO ACTION
Gun rights are under attack more than any other time in history. Government, media and the educational system villainize gun owners to a degree never equaled in the past. Anti-gun groups and politicians endlessly promote new firearm and licensing restrictions. Many Americans have been brainwashed to believe there's a gun problem in this country. The truth is there's a crime problem. Crackdowns on the criminal population are not allowed due to political correctness. The proposed solutions to gun crime always focus on making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get them. With police restricted from taking necessary steps to control crime, law-abiding citizens need guns more than ever. You were far less likely to be a victim of violent crime in Chicago when it was a colonial settlement. There were no gun laws then, guns are not the problem, criminals are the problem. There was a lot less crime when law-abiding citizens were allowed to defend themselves.
In states with minimal gun regulation, most are unaware of just how bad things are in other parts of the country. One good example is my home state of Massachusetts where rights have been whittled away to an alarming degree. It's not difficult to get a gun license but it can be expensive and generally takes a few months. The bigger issue is extensive restrictions on guns and accessories. The vast list of prohibitions includes silencers, flash suppressors, foregrips, folding or telescopic stocks, threaded barrels, numerous mechanical features and ridiculous capacity limits. The most recent and disturbing development happened on July 20, 2016. It became illegal to buy or sell any firearm that is, or mechanically resembles an AR15 or AK47. The AR15 is the most popular rifle in this country, if they can ban that they can ban anything. This happened with no warning or public knowledge. Dealers were notified just hours before the ban took effect. This was an arbitrary action taken by Democrat Maura T. Healey, the state Attorney General. Charlie Baker, our corrupt RINO governor, has done absolutely nothing to correct this injustice. The attorney general claims these guns were illegal under an existing ban in place since 1998. She claims it was illegal for dealers to sell versions built to comply with state regulations. This is completely untrue, the state has approved rosters of all the guns you can legally buy. Only models on those lists can be purchased and only if they comply with additional regulations. The AR15 and AK47 were on the approved roster for high-capacity weapons and were being sold in compliant versions. Nothing in the 1998 ban prohibited the basic design or actions of these guns. That was the understanding of state officials, law enforcement and dealers for 18 years. There is a legal battle in progress but the courts in this state are heavily weighted against gun rights and generally rule that way. Crime in this state has increased to epidemic levels over the past few decades, stricter gun laws and liberal crime policies have been a complete disaster. Criminals in this state are treated as victims of their social status and those who defend themselves are prosecuted instead.
A quick look at the approved gun rosters gives the impression there's a huge variety of guns legal to buy. Most of the guns on these lists are either not produced in compliant versions or are only legal if owned before various bans and restrictions were enacted. The variety of guns actually available in this state is extremely limited. Dozens of prominent manufacturers and hundreds of popular models are illegal. All of this insanity is the result of liberal politicians pushing for so-called common-sense gun laws. Their true intent is to make all guns as expensive and difficult to get as possible.
Massachusetts has minimal airgun regulations and they're very reasonable. That said, it's far from being an airgun-friendly state. In 2016, Democrats here tried to push through a legal requirement for airguns to have special markings. This included a bright orange muzzle and other highly visible indicators. Though it failed to be implemented, it's still in the works. This is in spite of the fact that it's in violation of the federal law posted on the HOME page. Under federal law airgun and ammo retailers can't be held liable for accidents and crimes involving their products. This doesn't stop MA from having a law on the books that does exactly that. Though completely unenforceable, this along with other idiotic liberal antics caused many to stop shipping here. The most recent was in December 2015 when Amazon stopped shipping all Amazon-fulfilled pellet guns and accessories. In other states the problem is much worse. New Jersey and Rhode Island consider airguns to be firearms, regulate them as such and require a firearms license to own one. Illinois considers any over .18 caliber and 700 FPS to be firearms. In all five boroughs of New York City sale of airguns is illegal. They can be owned if purchased outside the city, a $10 annual license from the city police is required before buying one. Connecticut and Delaware classify airguns as dangerous weapons. In those states there are heavy restrictions on their use and carrying is prohibited. Michigan recently relaxed it's airgun restrictions a little but some are still regulated as firearms.
There have been some legal victories for gun rights in recent years. It's only due to the hard work of gun rights organizations and massive support from members that we've made some progress. There's still a long way to go, the fight to restore and protect our rights needs to be intensified. There are no airgun rights organizations. Gun rights groups defend the hobby indirectly. The NRA has an extensive variety of competitive airgun shooting programs and is the most involved.
I call on my fellow arms owners, business people and organizations to join and promote the gun rights groups
on this website. Use their links, resources and notices to take action. It's simple, quick, inexpensive and you don't have to own a firearm to join. They aren't always in agreement on certain issues but they are the most effective and widely respected gun rights groups.
Thank you for your time,
Bill Baldyga, Owner & Manager, NRA - Life Member, Second Amendment Foundation - Life Member, Gun Owners of America member