Mass. Residents Protesting Healey's Weapons Ban | NECN
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Mass. Residents Protesting Healey's Weapons Ban

The Attorney General says she has no intent to prosecute anyone who currently owns the weapons in question

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    Thousands gathered in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday protesting Attorney General Maura Healey's surprise extension of the state's assault weapons ban. (Published Saturday, July 23, 2016)

    Thousands gathered in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday protesting Attorney General Maura Healey's surprise extension of the state's assault weapons ban.

    People rallied in front of the Massachusetts State House while the legislature was in session.

    "Everyone out there needs to know this is dangerous," said gun owner, Jim Wallace.

    Healey says she's closing a loophole in the current law saying gun manufacturers have been producing weapons that are only slightly different from banned weapons, but have the same operating system.

    But, the demonstrators say the Healey is overstepping her authority and setting a dangerous precedent.

    "Healey is overstepping and putting herself in things she shouldn't be," said Justin May.

    Healey says she's closing a loophole in the state's assault weapon ban allowing gun manufacturers to produce weapons that are only slightly different from banned weapons — but have the same operating system. She says it's about saving lives.

    The Attorney General says she has no intent to prosecute anyone who currently owns the weapons in question. However, there are likely to be several legal challenges to her interpretation of the ban.

    Protesters said their demonstration was about rights and due process.

    "This is our second amendment right,” said Doug Ferreira. “It's something that our founding fathers put in the constitution to protect us from days like this."

    Many gun rights advocates say this is likely the beginning of a long legal battle.

    "As of Wednesday, this was no longer about guns, this was about civil rights and this is about one government official abusing her power to turn hundreds of thousands of people into felons in waiting," said Jim Wall of the Gun Owners Action League.


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