This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 9, 2016:
Back in July Massachusetts’ anti-gun Attorney General Maura Healey unilaterally rewrote the law on what constitutes an “assault” weapon and then banned them under her new definition.
At the same time, she issued imperious demands from Remington and Glock to provide her office with all manner of private company information relating to the “safety” of the companies’ ammunition and firearms.
Her anti-gun ideology was clear when she banned the newly defined assault weapons, saying, “They are weapons used to commit mass murder. And they have no business being in civilian hands.” Left out of her imperious diktat was any mention that law-abiding citizens owning them had no intention whatsoever of using them in such a manner — that they purchased them either for sporting purposes or for self-defense. She also failed to mention that, according to information from the FBI, there were no murders committed using an “assault” rifle, or rifle of any sort in her state in 2014, the last year for which data is available.
Those facts notwithstanding, Healey went on to claim that “states have a duty to enact and enforce laws that protect people from gun violence” and that, in the absence of such laws emanating from the Massachusetts legislature or the Congress, she would write and enforce them herself.
And so when she issued her edicts for company information concerning what she called “safety issues” from Remington and Glock, the two companies sued to prevent her from obtaining it. Glock, in its lawsuit, said Healey is trying “to harass an industry that the attorney general finds distasteful and to make political headlines by pursuing members of the firearm industry.” Glock added that it doesn’t sell its firearms to civilians due to the state’s already onerous and restrictive laws, but they do sell to law-enforcement officers. By demanding such private information from a private company under such pretenses, Glock claims Healey wants the details “for the ulterior purpose of harassing an out-of-state company that does not engage in in-state consumer sales.”
Remington called Healey’s demands “unreasonable and excessively burdensome,” especially since less than one percent of the company’s sales of ammunition relate to customers in Massachusetts.
Last week Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger declared that Healey has “good and sufficient grounds” to make her demands of the companies “based on safety and other concerns about Glock pistols owned throughout the commonwealth.”
Healey’s demands include, but are not limited to, any information the companies have regarding gun or ammunition recalls, safety features, marketing materials, a list of all firearms and ammunition currently being produced and sold anywhere in the country, any and all customer complaints “relating to the safety of firearms and ammunition and to accidental discharges, and for information on how the companies responded to those complaints.”
In other words, Healey wants it all so that her office can then determine if either company can be held liable for “things like product defects, misleading marketing and failure to honor warranties.”
The judge’s ruling naturally delighted Healey, who stated that her office is now free to “go forward with our inquiry into safety concerns about firearms manufactured by Glock…. Our office is seeking information that will allow us to determine if these guns are safe and we will evaluate them on the same standard that we would apply to other manufacturers under state law.”
The next step, according to the judge, is for all combatants to “negotiate” just exactly what information Healey wants in order to continue her so-called investigation and for the parties to report back to him about the success of those enforced negotiations on a regular basis.
It’s clear where Healey is headed with her “investigation.” Last May she attended a White House conference on “gun violence,” where she attacked the federal law protecting gun makers from frivolous lawsuits, stating, “[A gun] is the only product of its kind for which Congress has given the industry extensive freedom from liability.”
Without that protection gun and ammunition manufacturers would likely be sued into oblivion: the real goal of anti-gunners such as Healey. And in point of fact, attorneys general do not sue most companies, such as auto companies, when customers kill or maim others through unlawful use of the products — such as driving on sidewalks — so gun companies need protection from lawsuits that are strictly vindictive.