BOSTON — Gun owners made it clear outside the Statehouse Saturday they're not happy about a new set of standards for gun sales announced this week by the state's attorney general.
"It's very important. My constitutional rights. I have five children. Their constitutional rights," protestor Dana MacLeod said.
Attorney General Maura Healey announced her office would crack down on sales of assault rifles that have been altered to pass state standards.
"The gun industry has openly defied our laws here in Massachusetts for nearly two decades,” Healey said Thursday. “That ends today.”
Healey sent a letter and enforcement notice to gun sellers to clarify the law and tell them to cease sales starting July 20. Despite a ban, the Attorney General's office says an estimated 10,000 copycat assault weapons were sold in Massachusetts last year alone.
"The problem with having a list is that all the gun manufacturer has to do is change the name or change the characteristics just a little bit," said State Rep. David Paul L (D-Natick).
Gun shops this week were inundated with buyers before the new guidelines went into effect. The AG's office said Saturday that, "Claims that we are changing the law and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens are inaccurate and misinformed. Our office will continue to work with the gun industry, including manufacturers and dealers, so they understand the law and comply with it."
But even some of the lawmakers who agree with the policy and support what the attorney general did aren't sure it's going to stick.
"I think eventually this is going to end up in court to be decided by a court whether or not she has the authority to take this action," said Linskey.
The AG's move has many taking a closer look at how to move forward.
"Because people feel like their rights are being taken away, they feel like they are being taken away by executive fiat as opposed to a legislative decision. That's why people are out, that's why we can't ignore it," said State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).
Protestors left signs on the fence that read "shall not be infringed" and "no reinterpretation without representation."
Cox Media Group