- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG’s Office Wins Federal Case Defending Assault Weapons Ban, Judge Rejects Challenge by Gun Lobby
Boston — Following the order of U.S. District Court Judge William Young rejecting the gun lobby’s challenge to the assault weapons ban in Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey issued the following statement:
“Today’s decision upholding the Assault Weapons Ban vindicates the right of the people of Massachusetts to protect themselves from these weapons of war and my office’s efforts to enforce the law. Strong gun laws save lives, and we will not be intimidated by the gun lobby in our efforts to end the sale of assault weapons and protect our communities and schools. Families across the country should take heart in this victory.”
After the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, AG Healey reviewed the state’s assault weapons ban – established by the Legislature in 1998 – and gun sales in Massachusetts. The AG’s Office determined that gun manufacturers had been ignoring the “copies or duplicates” language in the statute and marketing what they described as “Massachusetts compliant” copycat versions of the traditional AR-15 and AK-47 style weapons. There were more than 10,000 of these weapons sold in Massachusetts in 2015 alone.
In July 2016, AG Healey issued a notice to gun manufacturers and licensed dealers in Massachusetts, warning that her office would step up enforcement of the state ban, to stop the sale of copycat assault weapons. Since then, illegal sales of assault weapons have effectively ended in the state.