The Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) based in Northborough, Massachusetts, recently uncovered a letter set to be sent from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to all Massachusetts License To Carry (LTC) permit holders. The letter explains that “Retention of a prohibited item [bump stock or trigger crank] beyond the 90 day grace period will expose the owner to criminal prosecution”. The letter also states that possession is illegal even a private home. Essentially, residents are being forced to surrender bump stocks without exception.
The new state law, set to take effect on 2/1/2018, bans “bump stocks” and “trigger crank” devices in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Although the letter has yet to be sent, it appears to indicate that property once legally owned prior to the passage of the new law, would become contraband and would need to be surrendered and destroyed without compensation.
GOAL is weighing options regarding the next course of action and adds “If you have questions about this letter, please contact the MA Executive Office of Public Safety & Security at (617) 727-7775.”
Dear Sir or Madam:
You are receiving this notice because Section 52 of Chapter 110 of the Acts of 2017 (enacted November 3, 2017) directs the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to notify individuals holding various firearms licenses and firearms identification cards of certain changes in the laws regulating firearms. Specifically, sections 18 to 21 of Chapter 110 make it illegal, as of February 1, 2018, to possess so-called “bump stocks” and “trigger cranks” in Massachusetts.
The law defines a “bump stock” as follows:
“any device for a weapon that increases the rate of fire achievable with such weapon by using energy from the recoil of such weapon to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger.”
The law defines “trigger crank” as follows:
“any device to be attached to a weapon that repeatedly activates the trigger of the weapon through the use of a lever or other part that is turned in a circular motion; provided, however, that “trigger crank” shall not include any weapon initially designed or manufactured to fire through the use of a crank or lever.”
Section 53 of Chapter 110 provides that changes to the firearms laws will take effect in two stages:
• Effective immediately upon its signing, the new law prohibited the purchase, sale, or offering for sale of a trigger crank or bump stock.
• Effective 90 days from the enactment of the bill—February 1, 2018—the new law will also prohibit possession of bump stocks or trigger cranks, including possession in a private home. There are no exceptions to this prohibition for licensed firearm owners: an FID card, a License to Carry, or even a license to possess a machine gun will not authorize possession of a bump stock or a trigger crank.
Because the law does not allow for transfer or sale of these prohibited items, if you currently possess a bump stock or trigger crank within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you should contact your local police department or the Massachusetts State Police to get details about how to transfer custody of the prohibited item to the police for destruction. Retention of such a prohibited item beyond the 90 day grace period will expose the owner to criminal prosecution.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Daniel Bennett, Secretary Executive Office of Public Safety and Security