The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts calls on the Baker Administration to respect civil liberties in the Commonwealth, particularly the rights enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, and to acknowledge firearms retailers and shooting ranges as essential businesses.
The Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, continues to use the COVID-19 crisis to advance an anti-2nd-Amendment agenda: After initially adopting the updated Federal guidelines on essential businesses, which includes firearm retailers and shooting ranges as essential, on March 31 the guidelines on the state website were changed to exclude these firearm businesses.
The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts asserts that civilian access to firearms, ammunition, and training is indeed essential, particularly during times of crisis, to ensure the safety of all citizens, to enable a lawful self-defense by citizens for themselves and their families, and to put food on their tables through hunting during a time of reduced access to store-bought resources. None of these activities “...undermine the safety of our police officers, first responders and domestic violence victims,” as attorney general Maura Healey has disparagingly declared. The assertion that law abiding gun buyers are a threat to their community is wholly unsubstantiated. According to the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts, licensed gun owners commit less crime than citizens who do not own guns. Naked fear mongering by government officials is not a foundation upon which just policy can be built. The Libertarian Party also sees no evidence that firearms retailers or gun ranges pose a greater threat to the goal of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 disease than other businesses, as long as proper social distancing is observed.
The right to bear arms, and the right to self-defense, as protected by the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, does not become less essential during a crisis. Just the opposite, in fact. During times of strained governmental resources, individuals must have the freedom to exercise their self-reliance and independence. Restricting citizens' access to the tools they feel are needed to protect and care for their loved ones handicaps their ability to do so. Citizens clearly think that firearms are essential during the COVID-19 crisis because, according to the FBI, 3.7 million civilian NICS gun purchase background checks were performed in March alone - the most transactions for a single month since the system began in 1998. Restricting such heightened-need purchases hurts families.
“The Democrat-dominated Massachusetts political establishment has for a long time been hostile towards the constitutional rights of lawful firearms owners in the Commonwealth.” said Don Graham, Chair of the Libertarian Party in Massachusetts. “Singling out firearms businesses that serve the law-abiding civilian firearm owners and selectively shutting them down is just another example of that bias. That it is a Republican Governor pushing an anti-2nd-amendment agenda, demonstrates that the GOP only pays lip service to our individual rights. The Libertarian Party is the only major political party to unwaveringly support the 2nd Amendment along with the whole Bill of Rights. Voters who support the 2nd amendment should remember that in November."
The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts calls on the Republican Governor of Massachusetts to disregard these knee-jerk restrictions on firearm sales and services, which are based on faulty and unsubstantiated reasoning, thereby allowing retail firearm businesses and firearm ranges to return to their standard practice of providing essential services which law-abiding citizens demand.
Further information on the positions of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts can be found at www.lpmass.org
Information on the situation for firearms owners and firearms business in Massachusetts can be found on the website of the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts: