A Second Amendment “civil rights” activist spoke to the Jamaica Plain Republicans this week to criticize gun ownership laws in Massachusetts.
Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owner’s Action League (GOAL), the official state firearms association in Massachusetts, spent an hour with the JP Republicans at Doyle’s Café on Monday. Gun control and safety were discussed in-depth during Wallace’s presentation, with focus on recent bills around the country and the state and how some JP politicians are fighting back.
“Second Amendment rights help you not be a victim,” Wallace said to the audience of 15, adding that Massachusetts laws make that difficult.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.
One bill under discussion is a Massachusetts version of the Florida “stand your ground” law. The bill, currently pending before the state Senate Judiciary Committee, would expand the right to use deadly force in self-defense outside one’s home.
City Councilor Felix Arroyo, a JP resident, and City Councilor Tito Jackson, representing Egleston Square, proposed a resolution earlier this month asking state lawmakers to defeat the proposal. The resolution passed unanimously. The bill, S. 661, authored state Sen. Stephen Brewer, has not yet been voted on.
Florida’s “stand your ground” law has come under fire recently, as it is being used as the justification in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. The killer, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, stated that he shot Martin in self-defense, as defined by Florida’s “stand your ground” law. Martin was unarmed at the time.
There was plenty of criticism and questions about Massachusetts’ tight legal restrictions on gun ownership from Wallace and the audience. Also discussed at the meeting was a bungled federal sting program, “Fast and Furious,” which provided guns to Mexican drug cartels.
The talk was videotaped and will be available at the JP Republicans’ Facebook page, facebook.com/JPGOP.