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Letter: Plymouth Police Chief says Massachusetts gun bill will turn law-abiding residents into criminals overnight



“As I enter my third year as your police chief, responsible for overseeing the 123 sworn men and women who serve the more than 60,000 of you day in and day out, my duty compels me to speak up.

“I have read the relevant portions of H.D. 4420, a bill proposing a substantial rewrite of Massachusetts’ existing gun laws. Despite claims this bill attempts to stem the flow of illegal firearms into the state while increasing protection from gun violence, I see no language that would lead one to believe this rationale to be true. Instead, it appears the only thing this bill will accomplish is turning thousands of our law-abiding residents into criminals overnight.

“This bill seems more designed to invade the privacy and vandalize and confiscate the property of law-abiding citizens than it does protecting them.

“As we saw all too clearly this week in the State Forest, our issue is with criminals who have guns NOW, not those we stand to make into criminals LATER. Instead of punishing criminals or those prohibited from possessing firearms, this bill targets lawful gun owners who are some of the most well vetted in both the Commonwealth and the entire nation. There is nothing in this bill that mandates the judicial system enforce the laws currently in full force and effect.

“When was the last time anyone served time under Bartley-Fox? For instance, we now know attempting to shoot and murder seven people, including five police officers, will result in just five to seven years in prison.

“We recently had an incident in our community where a lawfully licensed firearm holder stopped the attempted kidnapping, and potentially worse, of a woman in a domestic violence incident. This gentleman was a contractor working at a residence across the street. Under this bill, if this Samaritan did not have expressed written consent of the victim/homeowner to have his firearm on her premises, he would be subject to a criminal charge. The same goes for an off-duty Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputy who saved countless lives a few years back when he ended a stabbing rampage in a Taunton restaurant.

“Instead of being recognized as the heroes they are, they would be charged with a crime, and recognized at their arraignment.
In nothing else, this bill will make both enforcement and compliance with our laws even more complicated and confusing. As anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of trying to navigate our already-strict gun laws knows, it’s already confusing enough. The firearms law guide used by our officers already clocks in at well over 400 pages. This bill will jostle definitions and provisions all around the books with various changes, placing our laws into an even greater state of misunderstanding and chaos.

“As a licensing authority which consistently ranks within the top ten municipalities in the entire Commonwealth for the number of firearms licenses, this is of grave concern to me.

“As a law enforcement officer first and foremost, I take the duty of protecting persons from any type of violence as my ultimate mission. However, this bill targets the wrong individuals and needs to be reconsidered.

“In closing, I urge our State House delegation to withhold their support from this bill as written.”

Chief Dana. A. Flynn



  1. Wake up people

    July 15, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you Chief. I appreciate your integrity.

  2. Fed Up

    July 15, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Thus man gets it. Kudos to you Chief Flynn. You’re a man of honesty and integrity unlike the bills sponsor Representative Day who should be removed from office for violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He knows this will not withstand Constitutional scrutiny and will be shot down by SCOUTS especially in light of Bruen and Heller but him and the rest of his Democratic politicians in this state will have no problem wasting millions of taxpayers dollars defending this abomination of a bill.

    Thank you again Chief Dana. A. Flynn for your service and integrity.

  3. Anonymous

    July 15, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    Typical fearmongering by a far right cop. Shame on the Fall River reporter for publishing such a cynically misinformed opinion. Please reach out to experts, not the police, as they have proven unable to keep their communities safe through incidents such as Uvalde.

    • Ken Paiva

      July 15, 2023 at 7:42 pm

      Agree or disagree, at least he had the guts to put his name on it..”anonymous”

      • Don

        July 15, 2023 at 8:18 pm

        Typical fearmongering? Interesting. The Chief sounds very logical. What is the nature of the “cynically misinformed opinion”? Experts? Who would they be? You? Read some history and get a good perspective on human nature and character. Your “experts” would have prevented Uvalde, or any other shooting? Get a a grip. Don

        • Ken Paiva

          July 15, 2023 at 8:31 pm

          I think you replied to the wrong person.

      • 🤦‍♀️

        July 15, 2023 at 10:41 pm

        Lol! Right?!

    • Fed Up

      July 15, 2023 at 8:17 pm

      Stupid take. And the ” experts ” you mean people who know these laws are blatantly unconstitutional but will pass them anyway knowing they will eventually ruled as such wasting millions of Massachusetts taxpayer dollars in the process. The same ” experts ” who think laws punishing law abiding citizens will some how curb so called ” gun violence ” by criminals? The same ” experts ” who keep releasing violent criminals again and again to reoffend while leaving law abiding citizens the natural right to self defense. Keep your experts. I hope they pass this because the writing is on the wall for ALL of the anti Second Amendment politicians in this state as well as other Democratic states.

    • I Hate Stupid Democrats

      July 15, 2023 at 8:27 pm

      Have you even read the bill? Obvious not, Because if you had, You’d know this bill is blatantly unconstitutional and so vague and convoluted that it literally makes tens-of-thousands of Massachusetts lawful citizens overnight felons. It’s a disaster of epic proportions.

    • Joseph Girard

      July 19, 2023 at 12:11 am

      Anonymous huh? Shocking

  4. Angelina Maffeo

    July 16, 2023 at 8:03 am

    Not living in MA, but have in the past, I try to keep up with the revolving door of gun laws in states where I have family. I hear and empathize with the Chief. From the outside it seems the goal of the laws is to make it so complex law-abiding people will just give up trying to own a gun. It’s amazing how they never tackle the actual problem of illegal guns. NONE of these laws will take guns away from criminals. This law does nothing to prevent crimes where a gun is used. This law is about power through politics. It’s so they can stand up and say I got guns off the street, which is a lie, vote for me. Drug dealers, gangs, thieves and crazy people will not turn in their guns and the law makers know this. They have made so many laws to prevent the bad guys from feeling abused and that their civil rights are being compromised, there is no way to disarm them now. This is simply a political stunt. I will not be shocked if their next law takes guns away from the cops… after all, cops with guns makes bad guys afraid.

  5. William Reader

    July 16, 2023 at 8:04 am

    This bill does the following

    Redefines “Assault-style firearm” and “firearm” to be more extensive and bans most semi-automatic firearms.
    Mandates safe storage procedures.
    Mandates registration of all guns and serialization of feeding devices.
    Mandates reporting an list of parts when modifying or building a gun.
    Mandates that privately made guns need to be registered within 7 days.
    Bans anyone under 21 from acquiring or carrying semi-automatic rifles or shotguns.

    If you have a problem with any of this, chances are you probably should not be owning guns in the first place. Do not be a danger to yourself and others. Perform safe practices. Lock your guns and ammo in separate containers, and for love of God keeps the guns out of the hands of kids.

    • Vin

      July 18, 2023 at 9:35 am

      Bans most semi-auto firearms. No.. bans ALL semi-auto.. even the ones not defined as AW.
      Safe storage is already a law in MA
      Registration of feeding devices? what a waste of time. Mags are not serialized by the mfg.
      Register parts when modifying? again. .most parts aren’t serialized.
      Privately made guns are already required to be registered.

      you have no clue how this law affects us.

    • Maxwell

      July 18, 2023 at 11:19 pm

      It redefines “assault weapon” to include just about every gun on the market (including common handguns) with no grandfathering provision. Gun owners are made into criminals.

      The safe storage change is deliberately impossible to comply with. Gun owners are made into criminals.

      It mandates serialization of all firearm parts and magazines. Possession of an unserialized magazaine will be a crime. Magazines are not serialized, neither are most of the parts they want to force serialization on. Your shotgun barrel is now a “ghost gun”. Gun owners are made into criminals overnight.

      It makes it illegal to modify your gun without notifying the government. Gun owners are made into criminals.

      It bans concealed carry in sensitive areas. Sensitive areas = the entire state. Gun owners are made into criminals.

      It bans hunting on private property. Gun owners are made into criminals.

      Even though it effectively bans concealed carry it still requires gun owners to pay for expensive “active shooter training”. (Poor) gun owners are made into criminals.

      If you support this bill, you might as well be honest and say you want to make gun ownership a crime.

  6. Dan

    July 16, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Criticize without offering alternatives. Just say no to changes? With all your experience in police work, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE TO HELP PROTECT US ALL?

    • John

      July 18, 2023 at 5:08 pm

      He said he wants tougher sentences for violent criminals !! Enforcement of existing laws !!

  7. MortisMaximus

    July 16, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Funny how you people are up in “arms” over gun laws but fail to give a damn about the massive election fraud that made Joe Biden resident of the White House. Not a single shot was fired and America is being lead down the toilet!

  8. Red Green

    July 18, 2023 at 11:22 am

    I am a retired soldier, disabled vetern and “union member” campus police officer. I have served my country and former homee state with pride and dedication. I departed the Peoples Republiꓘ of Massachusetts several years ago when I retired, for the Free State of New Hampshire. Healy, Day, Linsky, Mariano are Progressive Totalitarians. The Democratic Party has gone way far left. (I used to campaign for and contribute to some good and fair minded Democratic local candidates as a government employee union member. I stopped, since I saw the tragectory of the DNC and Socialist aligned in the subversion of the DNC from within.) They embrace Collectivist Totalitarian via deception and sneaky control techniques, so one day you will wake up and know that you now live in their Socaialist Dystopia. HD4420 is every other bad idea for gun control from across the country since the Bruen Decision of the Supreme Court and every other insane bill that Natick Democrat David Linsky ever came up with Massachusetts. Gun Control is not about reducing crime, it is about controlling people. The cradle of liberty is now the cradle of Totalitarianism. Maura Healey seems to want to out do every other Progressive Totalitarian State in the country with their legislative tantrums since last year’s Supreme Court Decision. She is a Radical, who never should have been elected to any state office.The Second Amendment, along with the First Amendment was designed to help up be vigilant against such want to be tyrants. I was taught in Constitutional Law that the first eight Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights were individual rights and the ninth and tenth were states rights. These subverters of the law are now maintaining gun control are states rights. They call this tactic and technique of subversion. “Law Warfare”. These are the tactics and techniques of Professional Social Revolutionary Cadre, moving past the incipient phase of Cultural Marxist Revolution. There desise for a Utopian Egalitarian “Better World”, always ends up in Dystopian World. P.S.: Please take the time and read this 147 page nightmare or at least a summary of it. It is a real eye opener!

  9. michael kovacevich

    August 12, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    i believe most of these proposed changes would help curb further gun violence and illegal activity. Ghost guns in particular. I also see no reason why anyone needs an AR-15 assault rifle. if you can’t protect your home with a shotgun then an At-15 won’t help you much either. i support this bill. i am proud that Ma could be the most restrictive gun state.

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