Massachusetts Gun Shops permitted to open

Following two hearings, (this day and on May 4, 2020)
regarding the plaintiffs’ request for interlocutory injunctive
relief and after consideration of the parties’ evidentiary and
other submissions to date, for the reasons stated during and
reflected in the stenographer’s record of the proceedings,
it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. Firearms dealers licensed pursuant to Mass. Gen. L. ch. 140, § 122 shall be permitted to conduct sales of firearms and other goods, and may sell ammunition if licensed pursuant to Mass. Gen. L. ch. 140, § 122B, by appointment only, with not more than four appointments per hour. Such firearms dealers are limited to operating only during the period 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. daily, subject to any further land use limitations imposed by the local government in the jurisdiction where the premises are located as are currently in force.
2. Firearms dealers subject to this Order shall ensure that the following proper social distancing and public health and safety measures are observed in the conduct of their business under this Order:
(a) Ensuring that all employees and customers cover their noses and mouths with a mask or cloth face covering;
(b) Allowing access to hand-washing facilities for customers and employees and allowing employees sufficient break time to wash hands between appointments;
(c) Providing alcohol-based wipes to customers and employees, if available;
(d) Establishing procedures to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart from each other at all times, both inside and outside the business premises;
(e) Providing full or partial glass or plastic barriers, if feasible between employee areas behind counters or areas open to customers;
(f) Establishing procedures to sanitize frequent touchpoints throughout the day, including point of sale terminals and registers;
(g) Establishing procedures to sanitize any merchandise that is handled by customers, but is not purchased and taken away by the customer;
(h) Establishing procedures under which employees and other personnel who are sick shall not return to work without compliance with medically prescribed quarantine procedures; and to the extent they have symptoms of COVID-19 while at work are sent home immediately;
(i) Posting signs at all entrance points:
1. informing customers that the business is operating on an appointment only basis with instructions for making appointments; and
2. requesting customers who have symptoms of COVID-19 not enter the premises;
(j) Establishing such other procedures that the business deems necessary to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
3. The terms of this Order will take effect at 12:00 p.m., Saturday May 9, 2020 in order to allow for notice by Commonwealth public safety officials to licensees, licensing authorities, state and local law enforcement officials, and members of the public.

_____Douglas P. Woodlock_____


Shooting Clubs Needlessly Closing

It has come to my attention that many shooting ranges in Massachusetts have been closed in response to Governor Baker’s recent order. It is my legal opinion that the order does not apply to outdoor ranges.

I believe a large part of the confusion was the inclusion, almost immediately followed by the exclusion, of retail gun stores and gun ranges among the list of locations not ordered to shut down. The precise language of that part of the order excluded workers supporting those businesses. At 1:35pm, on March 31, Governor Baker published a list of exemptions to the closure order. That list included “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges”. About three hours later, that list was amended to include only “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, importers, and distributors.” removing retailers and gun ranges.

To my knowledge, there are no workers supporting private gun ranges in Massachusetts.
I understand some have planned projects that are in the works, and those projects may eventually involve workers. However there are generally no workers involved in the day to day use of the ranges. If there are workers, they should immediately cease work, as ordered by the Governor. This includes and member volunteers or “work parties”.

Furthermore, the order, as published, instructs businesses and organizations to close “brick-and-mortar premises”. The intent of this order is to discourage or eliminate gatherings of people in enclosed places. The outdoor ranges are not brick-and-mortar premises. Indoor ranges and club houses could be considered such structures.

More importantly, the order specifically states:

This Order does not prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people in an unenclosed, outdoor space such as a park, athletic field, or parking lot.

Athletic and recreational activities that bring participants into close, physical contact are prohibited even when involving 10 or fewer people and regardless of where conducted.

Outdoor ranges certainly fit into this category.

I recommend, in an abundance of caution, that indoor ranges, outdoor shooting enclosures, and clubhouses be closed. I do not suggest this is necessary to comply with the specifics of the order, as the order only refers to “workers, customer, and the public”, and does not specify members, however I feel this would be more in the spirit of cooperation with the intent of the order.

If these clubs choose to reopen, I would suggest asking the membership to take home their trash (and brass), as there should be no workers, volunteers, or work parties to clean up the range.

Update on Initiative Petition

There was an initiative petition filed that would have created a Massachusetts law requiring all gun owners to keep their guns locked up in a certified safe at all times.

The petitioners failed to gather the required 80,000 signatures, so the petition is, for all intents and purposes, dead.

Initiative Petition to put all gun owners in jail


A group out of West Roxbury has petitioned for a new law that will put all gun owners in jail. The new law states:

Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority:
That within Masachusetts, all gun owners, both residents and visitors, will be held equally responsible for any and all actions and crimes committed by any person(s) using unsecured weapons obtained from any residence, business or vehicle regardless of owner consent or nonconsent.

So let’s say someone steals an unsecured gun and murders someone with it. Under the proposed law, “all gun owners, both residents and visitors, will be held equally responsible for ” this murder.

I wonder where they will hold the 350,000 legal gun owners while they await trial for murder.

A problem in search of a solution

Representative David Linsky, a self proclaimed opponent of the United States Constitution, has grabbed the limelight with his proposal to close the non-existent gun show loophole in Massachusetts.

It is clear that he either does not understand the current laws in the Commonwealth, or is intentionally misleading the public in an act of grandstanding.

Linsky proposes that all gun sales take place at a Federally Licensed gun dealer who can perform a “Universal” background check.

What he doesn’t seem to understand is that, in order to legally sell a gun in Massachusetts, both the seller and buyer must have a valid License to Carry firearms, and the seller is required to verify that the buyer’s license is valid. The holder of a license to carry firearms has already gone through a background check. Furthermore, if a license holder is arrested or charged with a crime in Massachusetts, the department that arrests the defendant WILL notify the licensing authority who issued the license.

So what problem is Linsky trying to solve? Have there been ANY cases where someone sold a gun to a criminal who somehow managed to pass a background check and get a license to carry?

So what “problem” is Linsky trying to solve? The answer is obvious. He wants to take away our ability to defend ourselves. A review of all of his proposed legislation over the years will prove that.

From the mailbag – Licensing Delays

I received the following email today (identifying information removed):

To Whom it May Concern:

I am a money contributor to Comm2A and have been for years. I live in [Massachusetts town name removed]. I applied for my LTC renewal [in] November 2018 at the [Massachusetts town name removed] Police Station. Have heard nothing since.

My father-in-law lives in [different Massachusetts town name removed]. He applied for his LTC renewal [in] November 2018 and has heard nothing since.

Is it time to bring a Federal Court action against the Commonwealth [derogatory term removed]?

Unfortunately, the courts have so far refused to recognize the right to an LTC in Massachusetts. The most recent decision on point is Gould v. Morgan, Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit 2018 . In that case, the court explained that the “core” of the Second Amendment only protects a person’s ability to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense, and the right to “carry” is not protected by the “core”. In Morin v. Leahy, 862 F. 3d 123 – Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit 2017 the court held that one may possess a handgun in the home with only an FID card.

So the current situation is that there is no constitutional protection for a License to Carry. With these decisions dictating the current state of the Second Amendment in Massachusetts, there is little chance of succeeding in a lawsuit claiming that the police dragging their feet to renew a LTC is a Civil Rights violation.

Also, assuming you applied before your previous LTC expired, the PD should have given you a receipt, which extends the validity of your LTC until the renewal is issued or denied.

As of this writing, Gould v Morgan is expected to be appealed. There is also a case that the Supreme Court had announced they will hear that does include expanding the “core” outside the home.

So for the time being, the Second Amendment, as applied in Massachusetts, could be rewritten as “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of squeaky-clean , mentally healthy US Citizens and Green Card Holders to keep a handgun in the home for self defense might not be infringed”

Extreme Risk Protection Orders – coming on August 16

On July 3, 2018, Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 123 of the Acts of 2018 – commonly known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders. This law adds Section 131R to Chapter 140, allowing a family or household member to petition the court to strip you of your Second Amendment Rights.if they write that you ” pose a risk of causing bodily injury to self or others “. The law, as signed, takes effect 45 days from the date of signing, on August 16, 2018.

If you are served with a notice of hearing for an Extreme Risk Protection Order, you should IMMEDIATELY contact an attorney.

FLRB not recognized by ATF

Under Massachusetts law, someone convicted of certain crimes that disqualifies him or her from obtaining a License to Carry Firearms (LTC) or Firearms Identification Card (FID) may apply to the Firearms License Review Board (FLRB) to waive his or her disqualification.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) recently informed Massachusetts that they do not recognize the restoration of rights granted by the FLRB, and that those people who were granted relief are prohibited by Federal Law from possession firearms.

The Attorney General of Massachusetts did not go to court to oppose this edict, but chose to do nothing about the disregard of Massachusetts law.

There are approximately 250 people in the Commonwealth who have recently learned, or are about to learn, that their LTC or FID will be revoked, or will not be renewed.

These people should contact an attorney to learn what can be done to preserve their Second Amendment Rights.

Dealing with old convictions

A client came to me because he could not renew the Firearms Identification Card (FID) that he has had for over 30 years.

In his youth, he had broken a window. He was charged with Breaking and Entering to commit a larceny. When he went to court, they told him that if he pleaded guilty that he would only have to pay for the window, and nothing else would happen. What they didn’t tell him was that he was pleading guilty to a felony. After five years went by, he was able to get an FID and go hunting. He was an avid hunter for over 30 years.

When Massachusetts changed the gun laws in 2015, they did away with the five year rights restoration for many convictions. Because of this change, my client was unable to renew his FID, and all of his hunting rifles were confiscated by the police.

We brought the case forward and explained to the judge that he had inadequate legal representation when he was arraigned, and that if he had adequate representation, he would not have pleaded guilty to a felony at his first court appearance. The judge agreed and vacated the conviction.

He applied for, and recently received, a License to Carry (LTC)

RE: Denial of Your Firearms Identification Card Application

Many Massachusetts residents have been receiving these letters due to old court cases that were not considered disqualifying crimes before 2015. Since the passage of “An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence.” in August of 2014, these convictions now prevent people from renewing FID cards that some have had for decades.

If you have been denied the renewal of your FID card, contact Attorney Foley and set up a 30 minute consultation to discuss your options. If you can, please being your iCori report, as well as docket sheets from the courts where your conviction occurred.


Dear Massachusetts Firearms License Applicant:

As required by Massachusetts law, you are hereby notified that your application for a firearms identification card has been denied in accordance with the provisions in M.G.L. c. 140, § 129B.

The reason(s) for this action is/are as follows:

_ you have, in a court of the Commonwealth, been convicted as an adult of adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child, both as defined in M.G.L. c. 119, § 52, for the commission of (check all that apply):

_ a felony;

In accordance with M.G.L. c. 140, § 129D, you are required to turn in to the police department in the city/town in which you reside, without delay, your forearms license(s) and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, large capacity feeding devices, and ammunition which you have in your possession or which are owned by you. Failure to do so in a criminal offense.

You may transfer any of your firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, large capacity feeding devices, and ammunition to another person who can lawfully take possession of these items, but only after you surrender them to the police department.

Finally, you have the right to appeal this denial within 90 days to the District Court with appropriate jurisdiction.

Please contact us at any time if you have any questions concerning this matter.