When/how did it happen - History of Massachusetts 2A Infringement

76Too

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I'm not trying to get all philosophical on you guys or bring up bad juju...nor am I asking for multiple posts with '7.20.16' in the body and nothing else of merit.

I'm wondering if there's room for a thread here to sort of 'catalog' from your memories when additional laws were passed to infringe upon the 2nd Amendment Right of Massachusetts residents? Small or large...firearm/platform specific or general laws that effected everyone...hunting restrictions too.

As some of you know, I recently moved to Indiana (not rubbing it in, I promise). I can't quite put my finger on it, but it feels a LOT like Massachusetts did when I was growing up in the 1980's. Of course I was too young to fully grasp the 'gun culture' back then, but I have memories of my dad and his buddy's shooting cans at the old sand pits in S. Spencer and my grampas gun rack in his basement TV room.

I can't help but think that there must have been some transition, but how did we get what we have today out of what we had back then? How did the literal birthplace of the American Revolution and the most free society in the history of the civilization of the world become a hot-bed for the infringement of a right that is essential for the preservation of itself?

I guess this is mostly a question for the old-timers here, but if there's anyone with knowledge of any history on the subject, please chime in.

My reason for asking is due to a recent legislation introduced in the State of Indiana, Senate Bill 203. As you could imagine, it's not gaining a LOT of traction here yet (and a lot of scoffing and 'it could never happen here' on INGO [Indiana's NES]), but it's concerning because I THINK this is the start of inevitable future infringements. All the state has to do is keep this on the agenda until the next big public outcry from the 'mass shooting of the day' demands action, and then we have new legislation in an otherwise relatively 2A friendly state. I don't even think they have any pro 2A lobby organizations here like GOAL or Comm2A because there's simply been no need up to this point. That, along with the 'bluing' of Indianapolis, and the scapegoat 'cries from the north' of Lori Lightfoot blaming Chicago's gun violence on the 'lax' laws of Indiana causing floods of illegal weapons to her shit hole city, makes this place ripe for infringement at some point (i think?).

I feel like if we can understand how it happened in MA and other places, maybe we can recognize the signs early enough to help stop it elsewhere? I was so proud watching videos from the VA rally and all the peaceful patriots that came out of the woodwork to support the cause...but it really brings up the question is anywhere really safe?
 

C. Stockwell

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Mass's gun laws go back to 1906. A certain Attorney J. Steven Foley's website has the story:

HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS FIREARMS STATUTES | Law Office of J. Steven Foley

The idea of "stopping the rot" in other states based on Mass history isn't possible with gun laws. Gun laws are a small part of a larger cultural and economic battle between rural, suburban, and urban politics. While to us, gun laws might seem like the be-all, end-all, in political reality, gun laws are part of a progressive package of legislation that progressives, regardless of party, have been pushing since the 1900s (decade). Gun laws are one part of a larger kulturkampf. Mass's gun laws are a reflection of Mass's economics, demographics, and culture.
 

bigben111435

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Gun control started the first time a gun came out of a Smith's shop.
But in MA the framework we are used to all started...
1998
Scott Harshbarger
Chapter 180 gun laws were put into place
This is where registration and no go gun lists started in Mass.
 

C. Stockwell

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Welllll...

@C. Stockwell posted a doc up above that dates MA's first de facto LTC back to 1906. The Republicans were firmly in charge of state government then. The place was very WASPy at that time.
I'm pretty sure what @one-eyed Jack is referring to is the 1968 to present changes to Mass gun laws. I don't think he's "cognizant of Mass politics in 1906" levels of old [laugh]

Now, neither am I, but yes, back then, both parties had right and left wings and the Republicans were the progressives. Good example: Robert La Follette. La Follette was a Republican until the 1924 presidential election, when he split with the GOP to form an actual Progressive Party. Or, the split between TR and Taft is another example. Bringing it back to Mass, Calvin Coolidge was a Northampton progressive Republican back then and he won his first election to the Mass House in the 1906 election. Coolidge did not identify with the right wing of the state Republican Party and mentioned this in his autobiography.

What I suspect happened back in the days of yore was a combination of the Republican left, the urban Democrats, and the nativist Republicans wanting to keep guns out of the hands of "undesirable" foreigners and recent immigrants. Each side would have its own spin: the left and Dems would be able to claim fighting urban crime and the right would appease anti-foreigner (and black, but black migration to Mass didn't really kick off until WW1) sentiments.

Remember, one of the ancillary charges in the Sacco and Vanzetti trial was carrying without a license. The trial was pretty much a done deal with the court trying to just smear the two defendants because they were Italian anarchist draft dodgers. Not just the prosecutors, but the court itself.

This is why I mentioned earlier that Mass gun laws are a product of Mass's demographic and economic development. That's why Mass isn't a good case study. When you compare white flight out of Boston versus the development of Phoenix, for example, (a pretty big city, bigger than Boston), the two political scenes are vastly different overall and especially with gun laws.
 

drgrant

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Gun control started the first time a gun came out of a Smith's shop.
But in MA the framework we are used to all started...
1998
Scott Harshbarger
Chapter 180 gun laws were put into place
This is where registration and no go gun lists started in Mass.
Iirc blue cards existed long before 98.....
 
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Against all Odds
by Dave Kopel

America's 1st Freedom. Jan. 25, 2012

In the 2012 election, the Supreme Court and, therefore, the Second Amendment, hang in the balance. Victory, and the survival of Second Amendment rights, is possible only if gun owners work together to defend their rights.

That's the Spirit of 1776, and it's the lesson of 1976. The year of our national bicentennial was the year of the most important Second Amendment election in 200 years of American independence. The story of that election provides guidance for today--and highlights the dangers that lie ahead.

Enactment of a handgun ban by the District of Columbia City Council in 1975 was intended to start a national trend. So in 1976, a handgun confiscation initiative appeared on the statewide ballot in Massachusetts.

It was proposed that authorities confiscate all handguns in the state, including BB guns. Gun owners would have six months to surrender their firearms, after which they would face a mandatory year in prison for owning a handgun.
 

djbradles

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Mass's gun laws go back to 1906. A certain Attorney J. Steven Foley's website has the story:

HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS FIREARMS STATUTES | Law Office of J. Steven Foley

The idea of "stopping the rot" in other states based on Mass history isn't possible with gun laws. Gun laws are a small part of a larger cultural and economic battle between rural, suburban, and urban politics. While to us, gun laws might seem like the be-all, end-all, in political reality, gun laws are part of a progressive package of legislation that progressives, regardless of party, have been pushing since the 1900s (decade). Gun laws are one part of a larger kulturkampf. Mass's gun laws are a reflection of Mass's economics, demographics, and culture.
Wow. That was enlightening regarding the restrictions going back so far.
 

Fritz the Cat

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I've been here (MA) since '73 residing solely in the Berkshires. There is a mentality of "why does someone need that?" It applies to houses "who needs a house that big?" Cars "who needs a car that fast?" Guns "who needs 100 round magazines?"
This area is full of FUDDs and busy bodies who love to pass judgment. And we have our fair share of people who live off the government teat. "why does Jeff Bezos have so much money? It ain't fair!"
If I'm not mistaken, close to half of Americans receive some form of government assistance. Not counting the people who receive a W2 from the government.
So if the choice is give up your guns or give up your SNAP, sadly, too many people want free food.
 
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C. Stockwell

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I've been here (MA) since '73 residing solely in the Berkshires. There is a mentality of "why does someone need that?" It applies to houses "who needs a house that big?" Cars "who needs a car that fast?" Guns "who needs 100 round magazines?"
This area is full of FUDDs and busy bodies who love to pass judgment. And we have our fair share of people who live off the government teat. "why does Jeff Bezos have so much money? It ain't fair!"
If I'm not mistaken, close to half of Americans receive some form of government assistance. Not counting the people who receive a W2 from the government.
So if the chose is give up your guns or give up your SNAP, sadly, too many people want free food.
There's various reasons for the culture "who needs such a X Y?", but it goes back to New England Calvinism and social policing. Americans don't expect or want social policing like you'd experience in older northern European cultures like the Dutch, Germans, English, Swedes, Finns, etc.

Putting your feet up on a MBTA train will be considered mildly rude. Putting your feet up on a Dutch train will get you called out by elderly Nederlanders and thrown off the train.

No. 65: Social Policing - Stuff Dutch People Like

Back when Mass was homogeneously Calvinist, like pre-Civil War, Calvinist societal values like modesty, restraint, and piety were preferred over, say, rolling coal and middle fingers. The Calvinist straight-laced-ness has went away but a semblance of the social policing remains.

That and New Englanders skew more cynical than optimistic.
 

Len-2A Training

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I recall reading something that Atty Karen MacNutt wrote years ago wrt the total history of Mass gun control. I think it was part of an Amicus brief on a Comm2A case. I know that the citation is here on NES somewhere but I don't know where you can find it.
 

swatgig

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Mass's gun laws go back to 1906. A certain Attorney J. Steven Foley's website has the story:

HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS FIREARMS STATUTES | Law Office of J. Steven Foley

The idea of "stopping the rot" in other states based on Mass history isn't possible with gun laws. Gun laws are a small part of a larger cultural and economic battle between rural, suburban, and urban politics. While to us, gun laws might seem like the be-all, end-all, in political reality, gun laws are part of a progressive package of legislation that progressives, regardless of party, have been pushing since the 1900s (decade). Gun laws are one part of a larger kulturkampf. Mass's gun laws are a reflection of Mass's economics, demographics, and culture.

I recall reading something that Atty Karen MacNutt wrote years ago wrt the total history of Mass gun control. I think it was part of an Amicus brief on a Comm2A case. I know that the citation is here on NES somewhere but I don't know where you can find it.
@C. Stockwell linked to Karen's history
 

one-eyed Jack

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Don't pick on One eyed Jack. He was only a baby in 1906
Thanks a lot. (LOL). I just provided "insurance" for myself by buying every license I needed to be able to have and make anything I want as far as firearms are concerned. I won't admit to stocking up and hiding guns that can't be traced to me. That would not be right. Right? Jack.
 
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