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Court upholds state's ban on certain Glock pistols

A federal appeals court said today that a pro-gun group had no legal standing to sue the state Attorney General's office for banning Glock handguns that did not provide clear indications there were bullets in their chambers, but that even if the group did have standing, the ban is still constitutional.

The Second Amendment Foundation, Inc., sued over the ban - and the state law used to enact it, saying the language used to apply the ban was so vague it violated its members' rights to due process.

But the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston - in a decision written by retired US Supreme Court Justice David Souter - said the group itself doesn't sell handguns and that it failed to provide evidence that any of its members were specifically banned from selling or buying the specific Glock models. Without any direct show of harm, there's no standing to sue, the court ruled.

Still, the court took up the group's contention that the ban was too vague to pass due-process muster, and ruled it was not.

[T]he dealers, who were informed that the AG took the position that the Glocks violated the regulation, take aim at the phrase "plainly indicates" in the definition of load indicator: "a device which plainly indicates that a cartridge is in the firing chamber." But this definition provides anyone of ordinary intelligence fair notice that what is required is a readily perceptible signal that a loaded gun is loaded. Indeed, the phrase "plainly indicates" offers just as much notice as others we have upheld against vagueness challenges. ... And it is equally clear that the AG was on firm ground in concluding that the Glocks at issue violate the regulation. The record contains photographs of their load indicators in both the "loaded" and "unloaded" positions, and the differences, far from being "plain," are discernable only to the careful and discriminating eye.

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Comments

Sounds reasonable enough.

But I will say that while I don't so much object to the ruling or to requiring load indicators on pistols, I do object to the way the law on load indicators is presented (not here, elsewhere) as a part of some "safety" initiative.

Rule 0 of guns is that they're loaded until you have personally verified that they are not. A load indicator is nice, but every gun nut I've met would get you banned from the range if you use the presence of a load indicator as a substitute for Rule 0.

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The issue is the AG now has been granted by the court the power to ban anything via vague regulation and have no obligation to provide clear standards or a response what is or is not compliant beyond "because I said so!".

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I'm guessing not, because the second half basically deals with that question.

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Glock themselves, dealerships, and gunsmiths have asked in writing the "why" from the AG's office in order to know how to make them compliant and essentially by the AG's office "because we said so".

Dozens of other firearms use the same form of LCI as Glock and are on the EOPS for sale in the state without any ire raised by the AG. This is a case of the AG disliking everyday people from owning what is likely the most common handgun in the United States and in the holsters of 90% of police departments in MA. If it wasn't a simple case of discrimination the AG would state why the size, location, color, texture, etc. isn't compliant compared to ALL THE OTHERS EXACTLY LIKE IT WHICH ARE COMPLIANT!

The AG can pull the same stunt with cars, appliances, pretty much anything now with this case law to back it up. Expect to see more cases where the AG games "standing" to prevent challenges to her arbitrary and capricious decrees in court.

This was never the intent of the Consumer Protection Laws. But ever AG since Riley has gleefully usurped the legislature's authority to regulate whatever the heck they want for personal pleasure.

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Guns are dangerous. Mishandling of loaded guns kills people. Lots of people, including people who thought they were unloaded.

That's like asking "why do the used cars that I sell have to have working seatbelts and functioning emissions systems".

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You can make that statement about every piece of legislation that doesn't spell itself out to the twentieth decimal place. On the other hand, legislation that is spelled out to such specificity is ripe for gaming and lawyering around. Democracy is not a fire-and-forget sort of thing (pun intended). Thought and judgement must be actively exercised and applied to make the whole thing work.

You just have to be careful how you vote, not vote for people who don't have proper trigger discipline (pun intended, again) in terms of reading the law, and do your share of advocacy and campaigning for your position, which can (and should) include ranting and trolling on the forums. Most people are actually reasonable enough to have a conversation with past their trolling.

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With this ruling and continued abuse of Consumer Protection powers, the AG could issue a new regulation requiring that every car sold by a dealer in Mass have a satisfactory collision avoidance system and provide no details as to what, in their view, constitutes a satisfactory collision avoidance system. The AG could then arbitrarily pick a make of car they don't want people driving, Kia for instance, issue an edict that Kias do not provide a satisfactory collision avoidance system and notify all car dealers in the state that they will be subject to enforcement action if they sell another Kia vehicle. Finally, the AG could refuse to provide Kia with any guidance on how they could modify their vehicles so they meet the AG's standard and become eligible for sale in Mass.

Do you get it now?

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And my point is that the courts won't fix that. Voting for a better AG might, though. So would voting for, and campaigning for state reps who aren't content to let the AG shake down a company that probably failed to pay a bribe or something and dress it up, quite legitimately, as within their purview.

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A better fix is getting the legislature to do its job and stop allowing the AG to legislate by regulatory fiat.

I am shocked action wasn't taken to reform the consumer protection powers after the e-cigarette and fantasy sports power grab. That's big money being dictated without legislative oversight.

Even the recent fix for mail order wine is the result of regulatory overreach needing to be curtailed. You'd think the governor and speaker would have an issue with stuff like this clubbing local businesses without recourse.

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This is horrible jurisprudence. Essentially one person is the inscrutable and unchallengeable arbiter of what may or may not be sold in the Commonwealth, "Because I'm the Mommy/Daddy and I said so." Governments that operate according to the rule of law are not supposed to work that way.

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Essentially one person is the inscrutable and unchallengeable arbiter

I don't think you understand how Circuit Courts of Appeals work. Do you also think that one person decides Supreme Court cases?

Maybe you should dial back the hysteria.

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You don't understand legal precedent. The court just affirmed the AG as the inscrutable and unchallengeable arbiter of what can be sold in MA. That's a big deal with serious repercussions.

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The AG has that authority only under a specific Massachusetts law. If the legislature should change that law, she would no longer have that authority. Don't like the law? Work to convince the legislature to change it. Stranger things have happened, although I suspect in the current climate, in this specific state, you're not going to have much success.

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Is any careless dickhead can go buy a gun.

Want fewer dead toddlers? Make guns more careless dickhead proof.

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MA already has safe storage laws.

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Because their car tells them that they have five miles left?

Same problem of reliance on an indicator of a thing versus the thing itself.

On the other hand, some people are really bad at figuring out if a gun is loaded or not (chambered bullets and such), and that leads to a couple of hundred of gun deaths per year, nationally.

I was pretty much taught from toddlerhood to automatically assume that any firearm was loaded, and handle it accordingly. My parents taught me this, as did the Navy, as a matter of building default safety habits.

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believe what they read out of the first paper they fling with a Google search on a given topic ;-?

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Then no PD in the Commonwealth should have them as issued duty guns either.

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They shouldn't.

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The 2nd Amendment of the U. S. Constitution does not guarantee the rights of individuals to bear arms. Only law-enforcement people, people who are serving in our military, and security personnel are guaranteed the right to guns.

This does not apply to hunting rifles, but I think that banning of assault rifles would be a good start in a better direction, as would requiring gun manufacturers to at least implement tamper-proof locks on firearms to prevent tampering and unauthorized use of a gun in the event that it's either lost or stolen. The NRA and the Gun Lobby, unfortunately, won't even let lawmakers press for such simple measures as that, or even more extensive and intensive background checks, either. Equally, if not more unfortunate, is that various lawmakers/politicians have never even had the gumption to stand up to the bullying tactics of the NRA and the Gun Lobby, which is also a huge part of the problem.

What's equally disgusting is the fact that so many people deliberately misinterpret the original meaning of the U. S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment and twist it for their own beliefs.

It's true that, in many, if not all the European countries, cops carry the night-sticks, rather than guns, unlike here in the United States. As a society and culture, the United States has long depended upon and revolved around firearms, and it's finally come home to roost; we're seeing the net results, which have been rather tragic, bloody, and horrific, to boot.

I'll also add that the fact that so many dangerous and unstable people (the Orlando shooter, the VA Tech shooter, James Earl Ray, to name afew) have had such easy access to firearms is also a huge problem, as well.

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The amendment before it applies to individuals. The amendments after it apply to individuals. What's with all these people this month claiming that the 2nd Amendment never used to apply to individuals?

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They don't like guns, so they pretend that the 2nd Amendment doesn't mean what it says an quibble over the comma and capitalization.

I honestly heard some gun grabber on NPR the other day say that the 2nd Amendment only started applying to individuals and handguns after Heller vs DC.

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"This does not apply to hunting rifles, but I think that banning of assault rifles would be a good start in a better direction"

How does one differentiate between a "hunting rifle" and an "assault rifle"?

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But that would make plausible deniability much harder to claim, which I'm sure the patrolmen's unions wouldn't like.

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Guns have been taken care of, now can we please take care of the goons?

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Just curious, because even presumably "responsible and stable" individual gun owners can and will turn into "goons" when firearms are present.

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Replace "guns" with "cars" and you might have a point given car-violence appearing on Uhub every other day.

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Make gun owners carry liability insurance. If their gun injures someone, their insurance pays for some of the damage, just like auto insurance. If they don't have enough insurance, they are responsible for the uncovered damage.

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But will it really do what you're really getting at? How many "gun injuries" per year are honest accidents and how many are intentional crimes?

Here's a somewhat relevant fact: criminals don't get insurance. Or sometimes even licenses to start with. I could be talking about cars. I could be talking about guns.

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How many "gun injuries" per year are honest accidents and how many are intentional crimes?

Bowing to NRA pressure, Congress has made it illegal for NIH, CDC, or any other agency to gather data on gun violence.

As for your "criminals don't get insurance" point, make gun owners responsible for any use of their guns. If they report the gun stolen before it's used in a crime, they're off the hook. Otherwise, they are fully responsible for any consequences of the thing being used. This might make pickings slimmer for burglars used to finding unsecured firearms, and reduce instances of children shooting their friends and family, as well as idiocy like that police chief helping a child kill himself with an Uzi.

Gun enthusiasts are entirely too casual about the things, and the NRA-directed absence of responsibility is to blame.

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Gun enthusiasts are entirely too casual about the things, and the NRA-directed absence of responsibility is to blame.

You obviously haven't met any.

And BTW, in Mass, and in other states, I'm sure, you are, in fact, responsible for reporting any and all transfer of your guns whether by sale or change or residence. And it is illegal to fail to report a stolen firearm.

I know this because I am in the process of applying for an LTC and am studiously reading up on the relevant statutes so I can--gasp!--be a gun owner and be on the correct side of the law at the same time.

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as well as idiocy like that police chief helping a child kill himself with an Uzi.

Agreed. Both the chief and the dad should have gotten time for that.

As for the health services "gathering data": it's BS. It's a naked attempt to get a doctor in his white coat with the flag in the background to say "guns are bad." It's cynical and should continue to be banned.

It's law enforcement's job to gather stats like that.

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Healthcare.

Healthcare providers have a vested interest in injury reduction, and have every right to gather and analyze that information.

Law enforcement can't even manage to gather statistical information on its own practices and activities which it does have an interest in.

When it comes to accidental injuries, law enforcement IS NOT the only entity with important reasons to gather data. This is particularly the case where no illegal act has occurred. Healthcare providers and the government entities chartered to SAVE LIVES have an overwhelming interest.

Such painfully selective dimwitted semantic "arguments" lead to truly stupid public policy.

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Let's say you wanted to measure the following quantity:

number of voluntarily-inflicted firearms injuries / number of total firearms injuries.

Please explain (in simple words so dimwits like me can understand) how it is that you as the hypthetical medical researcher cannot arrive at this number right now. How exactly is it that the CDC's restriction on researching the relationship between "gun ownership and gun violence" (no weasel words in there, no sir!) prevent you from counting up all the numerator from police logs in a given area and the denominator from a poll of hospitals in the same area?

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"Law Enforcement" is not equipped to do surveillance. Too many agencies and too many jurisdictions, no national coordination or oversight. This is evident in the simple fact that "law enforcement" can't even collect, compile, and produce the most basic statistics on how many officers are killed on duty and how each year, and how many people are shot by police each year.

The CDC is equipped to do surveillance and does so on an ongoing and regular basis. Every injury or death comes through an agency, hospital, or in contact with a professional who is already involved with the CDC.

You pretend to be smart, but you are horrifying naive of the logistics involved and willfully blind to reality if you think "law enforcement" has the capacity to even collect and aggregate basic statistics. We know that they simply do not - even when it involves their own activities. The CDC, meanwhile, produces accurate and complete surveillance data year in and year out on most important public health issues - when they are not outright banned from doing so.

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Here's what your supposedly tongue-tied CDC managed to come up with despite the best efforts of the vast right-wing conspiracy:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf

Look at Table 10 on Page 41 of the PDF.
Deaths by accidental discharge of firearms: 505
Death by homicide with firearms: 11,208
Death by suicide with firearms: 21,175
Death by discharge of firearms, undetermined intent: 281

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No, you're thinking of the bans on doctors asking patients about whether they have guns at home (and giving advice about safe storage).

Perruptor's referring to "the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee vot[ing] to reject an amendment . . . that would have allowed the . . . (CDC) to study the relationship between gun ownership and gun violence" - from the link s/he gave. No doctor/patient relationship involved, just people collecting & analyzing stats.

But does someone who thinks "F you" is a good post header really care about facts?

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and still thinks the CDC pursuing research into "gun ownership and gun violence" is at best mission creep (gunshot wounds aren't contagious, as far as I know) and at worst both agenda-driven research aimed at reaching a politically-palatable conclusion and the usurpation of a nonpartisan, impartial, scientific organization's credibility to push an agenda.

That is to say, the anti-gun lobby is pushing it and the whole thing stinks.

And incidentally, I do think doctors should ask and give advice about safe storage.

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You know who would be in "the anti gun lobby"? All of us who choose not to own machines designed and built for the sole purpose of ending life. Of course, there isn't any anti-gun lobby, there's just a whole lot of people who are sick of reading about senseless massacres and dead children offered up on the altar of your stupid hobby.

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Only a large number of people (at least ~1/3 of US population) who are sick of reading about how certain busybodies with little understanding of the facts but plenty of emotionalism and arrogance want to take away everyone's legal rights because a small number of criminals engage in violent behavior.

1. It's collective punishment
2. You wouldn't dream of taking away everyone's right to speech or due process or whatever else is in the Bill of Rights because someone abuses it. So what makes guns so special besides the propaganda you've been spoonfed your whole life about how guns are automatically bad?

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It's called the National Rifle Association, and it spends millions of dollars every year to prevent any sane firearms policy from becoming law. It turns out I was wrong about there not being anti-gun lobby organizations. There are some. Their influence is dwarfed by that of the NRA, GOAL, and similar groups.

1. Restricting access to deadly weapons is not punishment. You are not confined, or injured, or caused pain by having to meet conditions to own deadly weapons. You are, at worst, inconvenienced in your pursuit of your hobby. Lax restrictions on firearms cause actual injury and death to thousands of innocent people every year. For you, I guess that's a small price to pay so that gun-fetishists can continue to indulge themselves in their perverted hobby.

2. Everyone's right to free speech &c is already limited, as are most other Constitutional rights. So what makes guns so special besides the propaganda you've been spoonfed about how guns are sacred relics?

Either you are ignorant of the facts of the things you're talking about, or you're choosing to ignore the facts so you can keep throwing up your opinions as if they are facts. Whatever. I'm all done trying to correct your foolish arguments.

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Nowhere in this thread did I object to reasonable restrictions and licensing requirements. In fact the first post on this topic is me being OK with the same ruling that GOAL doesn't like.

I did, object to calling it "safety" for the reasons I described in that very post, and which even Swirly sort of accidentally agreed with lower down, and I do object to blanket bans for all because of the misbehavior of a few. That is the textbook definition of a collective punishment and I am all on board with the NRA, GOAL, and whomever else that fights that fight.

Next, you think the Anti-gun lobby is small? The editorial page of the Globe, at least half of the sneaky editorializing on NPR and WGBH, the New York Times, and all the rest of the big media that's not Fox News or the WSJ doesn't count? You have more friends than you like to admit.

Additionally, I did assume that you would agree that fundamental civil right like speech and due process are inviolable, not merely nice to have. Perhaps that's why my argument failed. If one fundamental right may be restricted "for safety reasons," then the rest can be, too. Sad.

It's a good thing that those restrictions on free speech you linked to all follow the "other man's nose" rule. That's a good rule for guns, and we already have it: owning a gun is legal, carrying a loaded gun is legal with licensing, but shooting it at people isn't. Imagine that!

And just to turn the screws some more, I don't fetishize guns, I fetishize freedom and responsibility. So should you.

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Oh... I'm sorry, I didn't realize you needed a gun to get to work every day. My bad! Then there are us non-gun owning, tax-paying citizens who do need a car to commute to work every day so we can pay bills, pay taxes, put food on the table, pay the mortgage, etc. Stop wasting money on pretend macho toys and stop spouting fraidy-cat right wing nonsense.

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This:

Replace "guns" with "cars" and you might have a point given car-violence appearing on Uhub every other day.

is an NRA-propogated non-sequitur. Sure, people do get into car accidents, and car fires do sometimes occur, but one must bear in mind that cars are designed and built for transportation. Guns, on the other hand, are weapons of war that're designed and built to kill other human beings, which they do.

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And we the people have the right to own weapons of war distinctly because they can kill other human beings that would take away your liberty and your safety. What exactly do you think the 2A is about? Hunting?

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We know 500 or so geniuses shoot someone accidentally every year. Another 10,000 shoot someone on purpose. An additional 20,000 shoot themselves on purpose, often in a moment of despair and a convenient gun is a convenient out.

How many people shoot someone in self defense?

It's not zero, but it's an exceptionally low number.

Is it worth the carnage?

And BTW the second amendment doesn't offer you the right to own a gun. It offers you the right to bear arms. In the day that meant swords knives spears and a muzzle loader. We are not arguing over whether gun control is constitutional. It is. We are only arguing over where to draw the lines.

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The second guarantees the right to own bearable firearms useful to a military unit, that means small arms, it meant military grade small arms in the 1700s as well.

500 accidents in a country with 300 million guns? Sounds like we are doing OK on that front, tho there is always room for improvement.

Self defense? Per the CDC "up to 2.5 million incidents, suggesting that self-defense can be an important crime deterrent (Kleck and Gertz, 1995). Some studies on the association between self-defensive gun use and injury or loss to the victim have found less loss and injury when a firearm is used (Kleck, 2001b)."

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There should be some correlation between display of firearms, shots fired injuries and deaths.

Far more people are likely killed by their own guns than people killed in self defense. (Not including law enforcement).

Anyone stupid enough to argue they need a gun for self defense probably isn't intelligent/informed/responsible enough to own one. If you safely store a gun -locked and unloaded -the odds you'll fight off an armed assailant in the middle of the night are remote.

Guns are fine for target shhoting and hunting. Having one in the home is a massive health risk.

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The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. My home defense firearm has an empty pipe and a loaded magazine in the well in a nightstand lock box that can be opened and ready to engage a threat quite rapidly. Combined with an alarm system and a layered defense retrieving a firearm is quite possible.

When not asleep said firearm is on my hip.

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Or someone else's.

Far more likely than you'll ever shoot a legitimate bad guy.

Guns, alarm system and "layered" defense (what is that anyway)?

Do you live in Boston or a bunker in Iraq?

My opinion - which will never happen - you can own a million guns, and a tank and a mortar and bunker busters if you want. Like a propane tank though - you can't store it in your home. It has to be kept in a licensed and properly controlled facility (private or public). I'm not against guns - I just don't think you should be able to keep them in your home.

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lol.

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We know 500 or so geniuses shoot someone accidentally every year. Another 10,000 shoot someone on purpose. An additional 20,000 shoot themselves on purpose, often in a moment of despair and a convenient gun is a convenient out.

How many people shoot someone in self defense?

It's not zero, but it's an exceptionally low number.

Is it worth the carnage?

And BTW the second amendment doesn't offer you the right to own a gun. It offers you the right to bear arms. In the day that meant swords knives spears and a muzzle loader. We are not arguing over whether gun control is constitutional. It is. We are only arguing over where to draw the lines.

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Or something like that. The other 43 times, the "bad guy" shoots preemptively, or the "good guy" fumbles the weapon or has it grabbed away, etc.

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There are roughly 100,000 gunshot injuries each year. 30,000 end in deaths (about 10,000 murders and 20,000 suicides).

Excluding suicides, you are saying that 1800 people are shot by someone in self-defense? Assuming about 1 in 8 die (excluding the suicides - the ratio for all shootings). So that means 225 people successfully kill someone in self-defense - and I'm assuming that excludes law enforcement.

So you are saying that 225 people a year successfully kill a "bad guy", yet another poster points out that 500 people a year accidentally kill themselves. Yeah - I think this whole "self-defense" argument and having 300 million guns floating around the country makes lots of sense -

:- /=/ snark squared

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I take it the AG will be leading the charge to remove glocks from police hands?

Pro tip: buy new frames on gunbroker and have them shipped to a MA FFL, perfectly legal to make the transfer and than just buy an upper on gunbroker and you have a new glock in MA.

Glocks are NOT banned in MA, simply the dealer transfer of a completed firearm. Easy enough to get around it. New frame shipped to FFL new slide shipped to your home.

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Or am I thinking about about something else?

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4 a year when selling face to face, no limit on buying or selling through an FFL. Keep in mind you cannot sell your new glock to another person via FFL, must be transferred on a FA-10 on the web portal.

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but I think I'll start with baby steps.

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You can also just buy Glocks that were made before the AG ban went into affect. There are a handful of Gen3s out there that are FFL transferable, but they are old and likely former cop guns.

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are typically "carried much, shot little." They can look kinda ugly due to holster wear but aren't usually shot except once a year when the officer needs to qualify at the range with their duty sidearm. A used police trade-in therefore might look beat but has very few rounds through the barrel and very little wear to the moving parts.

If you want one as a carry or home-defense gun, or to use in various kinds of practical-shooting competitions, and don't care what it looks like, a used police trade-in is usually a pretty good buy.

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Indeed, I have 2 ex cop glocks myself. Only potential issue with cop guns is getting the NYPD trigger. Those things are awful.

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