Massachusetts House Democrats overwhelmingly passed a restrictive gun control bill, but while reporting the action and preceding debate, many media outlets do not appear to have given any attention at all to the unanimous opposition by the state’s top cops.
The Boston Herald reported the unanimous opposition to H 4135 by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Associastion, which represents 351 cities and towns, along with “more than 100 hospital police departments.” It came in the first paragraph of the newspaper’s story. As reported by the Herald, MCPA Executive Director Mark Leahy testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that his members unanimously opposed the bill. The vote, he said, was “unprecedented.” He reminded lawmakers that criminals “have no regard for gun laws, whether old or new.”
However, an Associated Press report did not include a reference to MCPA opposition. Coverage of the vote by WBUR does not appear to have included a word about law enforcement opposition. Neither did WCVB, although all news outlets did report opposition by the Gun Owners Action League.
It’s not the first time the media downplayed law enforcement opposition to a gun control measure. Back in 2018, in Washington State, the media all-but ignored law enforcement’s rejection of gun control Initiative 1639, a fact which did not escape the attention of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. At the time, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb observed, “Washington State’s establishment media has steadfastly ignored the growing law enforcement opposition to I-1639. That opposition doesn’t fit with the media’s anti-gun agenda. The media doesn’t want voters to know where the men and women of law enforcement stand because it would doom this extreme measure. I-1639 is bad public policy that substitutes empty promises for real solutions to violent crime.”
I-1639 passed, thanks to a multi-million-dollar campaign bankrolled by a handful of wealthy elitists.
Back in Boston, H 4135 passed by an overwhelming 120-38 vote. The AP report noted the 125-page bill is “in part a response” to last year’s Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Democrats in state legislatures have responded to the ruling, which affirmed the right to carry outside the home is protected by the Second Amendment, by passing laws even more extreme than the law that was struck down. Those laws have already resulted in new legal challenges.
According to Jim Wallace, GOAL executive director, the bill just adopted “simply cannot be fixed.” He called the measure a “tantrum” by lawmakers. Wallace spent the past several weeks energizing Bay State gun owners to oppose the legislation, but it was a foregone conclusion the increasingly anti-gun-rights Democrat caucus, with a few exceptions, was keen to push through a restrictive gun control package.
“All of it goes against us, the lawful people. There’s nothing in there that goes after the criminals,” Wallace told reporters.
As noted by the Boston Herald, the legislation went through a couple of revisions before emerging in its present form, with a new number.