Massachusetts Attorney General Issues ‘Directive’ To Gun Makers, Sellers: No More ‘Assault Weapons’

Colt AR-15, now legal with a bayonet mount, flash suppressor, collapsible stock and a high capacity magazine that holds more than 30 rounds, sits on the counter of Dave's Guns September 13, 2004 in Denver, Colorado.
Thomas Cooper/Getty Images

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) is issuing a “directive” to all gun makers and sellers that “assault weapons” are not to be sold in her state.

Healey said she made the decision after “assault weapons” were recently used in high-profile attacks in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Orlando, and prior to that in Newtown, Aurora, and San Bernardino. She did not tie any of these attacks to sales in her state, but she is ending the sales nonetheless.

Writing in The Boston Globe, Healey noted that Massachusetts already has an “assault weapons” ban, but gun manufacturers and sellers have been circumventing it by making cosmetic changes to firearms, thereby rendering them “state compliant.” She accused the “gun industry” of finding a way to “exploit” Massachusetts’ law by selling AR-15s and/or AK-47s “without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example.” She described these as “small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.”

Ironically, this has been the very argument that has been used against an “assault weapons” ban from the start. The entire category of firearms labeled “assault weapons” rests not on certain mechanisms intrinsic to AR-15s or AK-47s but on cosmetic features that most anti-gun lawmakers do not even understand. Things like “flash suppressors,” flash hiders, thumb hole stocks, AR-15 fore grips, heat shields, folding stocks, telescoping stocks, etc. Healey rightly observes that none of these make the gun more or less lethal, yet these are the things Democrats seize upon to justify a ban on certain firearms.

So gun manufacturers respond to such bans by leaving off flash hiders–which simply screw onto the end of the barrel like a nut onto a bolt anyway–or they leave off certain stocks, thereby making the gun more cumbersome but not changing its operation in any way. And Healey is upset.

She says “10,000 assault weapons were sold [in Massachusetts] just last year” and she is going to put a stop to it.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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