Firearms

The Second Amendment seems simple on the surface:  "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."  Yet it has produced ongoing debate over the power of local, state and national governments to regulate, limit and in some cases ban the ownership of personal firearms.  Gun-control advocates cite the reference to a "well regulate militia" to mean the blanket right does not extend to individual citizens.  On the other side groups like the National Rifle Association have argued prohibits most government controls.  Many regulations of weapons have passed court muster including registration, purchase waiting periods, criminal background checks and tight controls on automatic and assault weapons, in general courts have sided with pro-gun arguments on ownership.  Washington, D.C., for example, in an attempt to reduce its crime rate tried in 1975 to ban ownership of handguns not registered by 1977.  An appeals court overturned the ban, and in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the ban violated a Second Amendment right to gun ownership.

 

Massachusetts (change)

 
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Offices & Officials

Governor: Deval Patrick
Lieutenant Governor: Tim Murray
Attorney General: Martha Coakley
Secretary of State: Bill Galvin