AG Healey’s of­fice an­nounces new fo­cus on ‘copy­cat’ as­sault weapons

Over 10,000 of the guns were sold in the state last year, ac­cord­ing to At­tor­ney Gen­eral Maura Healey.

Metro USA (Boston) - - BOSTON - CHRIS CAE­SAR @MetroBOS chris.cae­sar@metro.us

An es­ti­mated 10,000 “copy­cat” as­sault weapons were sold in Mas­sachusetts last year alone, the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

That rev­e­la­tion is prompt­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral Maura Healey to is­sue a no­tice to all gun sell­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers in the state that her of­fice will step up en­force­ment of the state’s as­sault weapons ban, in­clud­ing a crack­down on such copy­cat sales.

That state law mir­rors a fed­eral ban that ex­pired in 2004, pro­hibit­ing spe­cific name­brand weapons, as well as copies or du­pli­cates of those weapons.

Some man­u­fac­tur­ers mar­ket what are known as “state com­pli­ant” ver­sions of those same guns, with mi­nor tweaks to var­i­ous parts of the weapon, a state­ment from the of­fice said.

The state con­sid­ers a firearm a copy­cat if the gun’s in­ter­nal oper­at­ing sys­tem is es­sen­tially the same as those of a specif­i­cally-banned weapon, or if the gun has key func­tional com­po­nents that are in­ter­change­able with those of a banned weapon.

“The gun in­dus­try has openly de­fied our laws here in Mas­sachusetts for nearly two decades,” Healey said in a state­ment.

“That ends to­day. We have a moral and le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that com­bat-style weapons are off our streets and out of the hands of those who would use them to kill in­no­cent peo­ple. In­creas­ingly, these guns are the weapon of choice for mass shoot­ers, and we will do every­thing we can to pre­vent the kinds of tragedies here that have oc­curred in places like Or­lando, San Bernardino, New­town and Aurora.”

“These types of as­sault weapons have no place on our streets,” Bos­ton Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam Evans said. “We have tough gun laws in our state, and this no­tice will make them even tougher. I ap­plaud AG Healey and her ef­forts to help make our state and all our ci­ties safer.”

The guid­ance will not be en­forced against gun own­ers who bought or sold these weapons be­fore July 20.

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