SAF Seeks Injunction Against Mass. Handgun Sales Regulations

Law Shield applauds the groups seeking an injunction against Massachusetts regulations that prevent the commercial sale of certain semiautomatic handguns.

The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc., two commercial dealers and six private citizens, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to stop enforcement of a regulation requiring a “load indicator” on a semiautomatic handgun.

In the lawsuit, the gun groups assert that the regulation is “unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous” because the language does not define what this device is, or what it is intended to do.

“We’re asking the court to put a stop to what we believe is arbitrary enforcement of the regulation, because it deems that 3rd- and 4th-Generation Glock pistols lack an ‘effective load indicator’ device,” said SAF Founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “How can anyone design something when there is no description, or explanation of exactly what such a device is supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it?”

SAF General Counsel Miko Tempski, who is also a Glock factory certified armorer, added, “Our individual plaintiffs want to buy Glock pistols, and our retail plaintiffs would be delighted to sell the firearms, but the regulation is being enforced by Attorney General Martha Coakley with no real foundation, because there are no specifics about the device in the regulation. Essentially, it appears the enforcement is pretty much on a whim.

“If the interpretation of the regulation is unclear to the AG’s office and to experts,” Tempski added, “no reasonable person in Massachusetts can know which guns are allowed.”

Adding to the difficulties, according to the lawsuit, is the fact that the 3rd- and 4th-Generation Glock pistols at the center of the dispute have an extractor-based load indicator that reveals at a glance whether there is a cartridge in the chamber. This is virtually identical to extractor-based load indicators on competing pistols from other manufacturers, all of which are legal in Massachusetts.

“We’re hopeful that we can get this resolved rather quickly because the way the regulation is currently being enforced makes absolutely no sense at all,” Gottlieb said.