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Massachusetts AG Issues Controversial Directive to Enforce Full 'Assault Weapons' Ban

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“We put gun manufacturers and gun dealers on notice."

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy announced that she is closing “a loophole” in Massachusetts’ assault weapons ban in an op-ed for the Boston Globe Wednesday.

“We put gun manufacturers and gun dealers on notice that we’re cracking down on the sale of illegal assault weapons,” she wrote.

A ban on so-called “assault weapons” is already law in Massachusetts, but Healy argued that gun manufacturers make “small tweaks” to guns banned in the state in order to “market ‘state compliant’ copycat versions of their assault weapons” to Massachusetts consumers.

Healy wrote that her office is “sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts.”

“With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers,” Healy wrote.

“This is not a new law,” she continued. “This is not a new regulation. We’re just reminding people of what is the law and has been the law since 1998.”

Healy wrote that “most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally,” so her directive “will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday.”

Healy added that she is issuing the directive “In the face of utter inaction by Congress” and argued that “[n]ot only do we have the legal authority to do so, we have a moral obligation to do so.”

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