A U.S. District Court judge in Massachusetts has denied a request from anti-gun state Attorney General Maura Healey to delay a lawsuit challenging her efforts to stop sales of so-called “copycat assault weapons” in what amounts to a victory for the four firearms retailers involved in the lawsuit, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
According to the Worcester Telegram, U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman’s eight-page ruling rejected Healey’s contention that the Worcester lawsuit should be delayed until a similar lawsuit in Suffolk County wraps up. But Judge Hillman stated that if this trial were to be delayed, “it might only further delay litigation that has already lasted almost two and a half years.”
In 2016, according to the newspaper and the NSSF, Healey began a “crackdown” on so-called “copycat” semi-autos. In the process, she allegedly re-defined “assault weapons” and overstepped her legal authority.
“The actions of Attorney General Healy in 2016 were unconstitutional, leaving firearms retailers in Massachusetts unable to determine the meaning or scope of the Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence Keane asserted in a prepared statement. “Because criminal penalties can result due to her unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
The ruling comes at a time when there appears to be a Second Amendment insurrection in the works in at least 100 counties in a handful of states have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Three thousand miles from Massachusetts, more than half the county sheriffs in Washington state have declared they will not enforce provisions of a gun control initiative passed in November, calling it unconstitutional and unenforceable.
Washington’s Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee took time from his presidential campaign to join state Attorney General Bob Ferguson in an open letter to more than 200 retailers around the state to encourage them to fulfill provisions of the initiative.
By no small irony, Inslee has declared Washington a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants, and Ferguson has sued the Trump administration over its immigration policy.
The case against Healey asserts that her “crackdown” is “unconstitutionally vague” and violated the due process rights of the retailers, the Telegram report said.