Industry Counters Massachusetts AG’s “Enforcement Notice”

By Jade Moldé, SI Editor

In September, four federally-licensed firearms retailers in Massachusetts and the NSSF filed action in Massachusetts Federal Court to challenge the constitutionality of Attorney General Maura Healey’s “Enforcement Notice” sent to dealers and manufacturers in the Commonwealth. The notice warned that the attorney general’s office would step-up enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban, including a crackdown on the sale of “copycat” weapons.

The lawsuit states Healey’s office overstepped its legal authority and deprived retailers their due process protections guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The action seeks declaratory relief, which will clarify the notice’s status, and a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement, which will negate the effects of the notice.

The retailers filing the suit are Pullman Arms Inc. of Worcester; Guns and Gear LLC of Agawam; Paper City Firearms of Holyoke; and Grr Gear of Orange.

“Attorney General Maura Healey’s actions were unconstitutional. Firearms retailers in Massachusetts cannot determine the meaning or scope of the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior VP and general counsel. “Because criminal penalties can result due to Attorney General Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

The lawsuit stems from Healey’s July 20 “Enforcement Notice on Prohibited Assault Weapons.” It warned firearm manufacturers and dealers against the sale of prohibited firearms and defined “copy” or “duplicate” firearms under the state’s assault weapons ban — changing the long-understood definition of Massachusetts’ so-called “assault weapons.”

Under this notice, all semi-automatic firearms — including .22-caliber rifles used by the Boy Scouts and other youth shooting programs — would be banned. Firearms marketed as “state compliant” or “Massachusetts compliant” could still be deemed “unlawful.”

This anti-gun/industry attack prompted a widespread response. For example, Springfield, Mass.-based Smith & Wesson donated $500,000 to NSSF’s #GUNVOTE campaign in August — the largest donation the campaign has received.

S&W CEO James Debney said the donation was made on behalf of company employees and “especially the law-abiding firearm owners of Massachusetts, who have so recently been denied their fundamental rights through arbitrary government action that threatens to turn lawful gun owners and dealers into criminals.”

NSSF insists the enforcement notice represents an unlawful overstep of power by the attorney general.

“If the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice is understood as applying to all semi-auto firearms, it violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to keep and bear arms because it bans the manufacture, sale and possession of a broad range of firearms in common use by the citizens of Massachusetts,” Keane said. “Unfortunately, Attorney General Healy’s unconstitutional action has left us no other option than to seek relief from the courts.”

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Leupold Awards Engineering Scholarships

Leupold & Stevens Inc. has awarded its first two Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP) scholarships, aimed at helping engineering students gain real-world experience working alongside engineers and designers.

Dwight Ransom, a mechanical engineering student, and Gabriel Dudley, an electrical engineering student — both from Oregon State University — were the first two scholarships recipients.

MECOP is a joint intern program among Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University and the University of Portland. The program unites engineering students with manufacturers to provide the highest-quality intern experience possible.

“As an American manufacturer, we feel it’s critically important to foster the education of the next generation of U.S. engineers. With this first-ever Leupold scholarship, we hope to help Dwight and Gabriel on their journeys as the next generation of American engineers,” said Bruce Pettet, president and CEO of Leupold & Stevens Inc.

All MECOP interns work in six-month paid positions at Leupold alongside the optic manufacturer’s engineers. This hands-on learning experience allows the students to see how engineering theory is put into practice, which better prepares them for a fulfilling career after college.



Otis Updates Brand

Otis Technology has a new corporate logo, the first major update to its brand mark in 20 years. The logo redesign is meant to better position Otis’ image as an American designer and manufacturer of innovative firearm maintenance products.

“Our previous logo was designed in 1995, and has only varied slightly over the past 20 years. We thought it was time to start fresh with a new, clean look that better depicts our business today,” said Leonard Puzzuoli, CEO of Otis Technology.

Otis’ new logo is an improved representation of the company and the essential customer-focused portion of its mission statement: “To continually assess our customers’ needs and adapt our organization to meet these requirements.”

Over the past several years, Otis has elevated its portfolio with innovative products such as the Ripcord, B.O.N.E. Tool and Defender series. With the introduction of the chemical line, Otis is furthering its expansion beyond Breech-to-Muzzle compact gun-cleaning systems. Additional innovation, from both a new product and a packaging standpoint, remains at the forefront of the company’s strategy.



Streamlight Wins Two Telly Awards

Streamlight Inc. has earned Silver and Bronze Telly Awards at the 37th Annual Telly Awards for their commercial titled “Adventures.” Streamlight’s winning commercial was chosen from more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Produced in partnership with Streamlight’s creative agency, the Signal Factory of Tulsa, Okla., the 30-second television spot won the Silver Telly, the highest honor, for Videography/Cinematography, and the Bronze Telly in the Sports/Sporting Goods/Games category.

“We are proud to be recognized by the Telly Awards for our ‘Adventures’ commercial, which highlights popular Streamlight products like the Double Clutch USB headlamp and the Siege lantern in a variety of outdoor sports settings. The message of the spot is that whatever your outdoor adventure, whether it’s mountain biking, white water rafting, hunting or fishing, Streamlight has a product to suit your needs,” said Michael F. Dineen, Streamlight VP of sales and marketing.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 to honor outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, as well as video and film productions, online commercials and video and films.


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