FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2016
Contact: Dave Beeching, Campaign Manager
Humason Bill Attempts to Exempt the Entire Gun Industry from Consumer Protection Oversight
SOUTHAMPTON, MA, July 27 – As a candidate for the State Senate and as a citizen of the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, it is imperative for me to attempt to clarify the controversy that has arisen over Attorney General Healy’s decision to outlaw so called “copycat” assault weapons. While the guns banned under the new interpretation may have been exploiting a loophole and therefore should likely be prohibited from sale in the Commonwealth, it concerns me that this shift was made with neither public comment nor legislative input. Attorney General Healey may have properly exercised her power under the statute, but this change was a surprise to firearm dealers and law-abiding gun owners who had been operating under a consistent interpretation of the assault weapon ban since its passage.
However, my opponent Mr. Humason’s response to the actions of the Attorney General has been to file a bill to protect gun manufacturers and to prohibit the attorney general from in any way enforcing the present assault weapon ban. In fact, his bill, which was actually a petition presented to him by a special interest group, goes much further than simply attempting to limit the authority of the Attorney General; it also proposes that we exempt the entire gun industry from the Massachusetts Consumer Protection statute (General Laws Chapter 93A) His well-publicized bill does not attempt to protect the general public in any way and if passed would set a dangerous precedent by limiting the Attorney General’s ability to protect the citizens of Massachusetts. He is attempting with this bill to limit the authority of the Attorney General to enforce a statute with which he disagrees. As a member of the legislative branch, Mr. Humason could propose changing the specific law he disagrees with, in this case the assault weapon ban, but instead is attempting to limit the Attorney General’s power to implement rules consistent with current statutes.
Mr. Humason would prevent the Attorney General’s office from promulgating rules against the entire firearm industry as related to consumer protection, as his proposed bill seeks to modify Chapter 93A, the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute, by exempting the entire gun manufacturing industry from the rules governing unfair and deceptive trade practices.
It is clear that while I disagree with the process involved in Attorney General Healey’s recently announced interpretation of the assault weapon ban, Mr. Humason’s proposed bill would adversely impact consumers to the benefit of gun manufacturers by limiting the ability to enforce current statutes.
Mr. Humason’s bill is not about the safety of police officers or the general public, it is not about protecting the 2nd amendment, it is not about protecting gun owners: the bill is about taking the unprecedented step of exempting an entire industry from consumer protection rules. It is quite simply a bill to protect gun manufacturers disguised with a 2nd amendment label. It should be soundly rejected by the Legislature.