HomeUSAMassachusetts Dems Face Pushback from Black Gun Owners

Massachusetts Dems Face Pushback from Black Gun Owners

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Black gun owners are helping to shape the gun debate in Massachusetts, with Boston-area legislators expressing surprise and maybe a little frustration over the fact that many of their constituents are telling them to back down from their efforts to add more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. 

Bostonians, who have long faced tough hurdles to secure gun licenses compared to suburban peers, are pressing state lawmakers to ease those restrictions as new gun reform legislation advances on Beacon Hill this season.

And, increasingly, the calls on behalf of expanding Second Amendment rights are coming from men and women of color who live in Dorchester and Mattapan.

State Rep. Russell Holmes, who represents parts of both neighborhoods, says he is paying attention to their calls.

“It’s a legal right they are asking for and I need to open my eyes to the fact that folks in my community feel their Second Amendment rights are being infringed upon,” said Holmes, who said he’s approached everywhere – even at church – about expanding gun rights.

His colleague in the Fifth Suffolk district, Rep. Chris Worrell, said he’s been fielding similar calls from constituents in other parts of Dorchester and Roxbury that he represents.

“Am I a gun person? No,” said Worrell. “I’m not a gun guy and don’t own a gun but there are a lot of people here in the neighborhood who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights and obtain a license and have not been able to.”

On today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co, newly-elected GOP committeewoman Dr. Elizabeth Hinds-Ferrick and Massachusetts firearms instructor Nolan Howard declared that it’s getting harder for Democrats to ignore the pro-2A sentiment coming from a growing number of their constituents.

“Everyone’s seeing what’s going on around them. We’ve got immigrants coming in, and they’re taking care of them instead of us, and a lot of people are feeling a little uneasy and thinking it’s time to go get their license,” Howard revealed, adding that he does see something of a generation split on the issue. 

“A lot of the older generation doesn’t like it, including in my family, but I forced my sister to make my class. I told her ‘hey, just get the license. You don’t even need to get a gun right now, just get a license. God forbid something happens, you won’t have to wait. You can just go to an FFL, wait for the background check, and there you go.” 

Dr. Hinds-Ferrick is among the growing number of Bostonians who are applying for her LTC, which is required to both possess a gun in the home and carry in public. 

“My oldest son signed up the whole family,” she shared. “We all went to the course on a Sunday. It’s time for all of us to be responsible gun owners and get our license so we can protect ourselves and exercise our Second Amendment rights.” 

 Hinds-Ferrick is hoping to use the Second Amendment as a means of Republican outreach to people of color, but both she and Nolan said they’d be thrilled to see Democrats embrace the right to keep and bear arms. They just don’t see it happening anytime soon. 

“If you look at what’s happening in Congress and around the country,” Hinds-Ferrick said, “they’re blaming the gun and not the person that is using the gun. The gun is an inanimate object, but they’re trying to change the law to away our Second Amendment rights.” 

Meanwhile, Hinds-Ferrick, Howard, and other Second Amendment supporters are trying to change the political environment in Massachusetts, and thanks to their efforts, Democrats are starting to feel the heat from their constituents. 

For lawmakers like Holmes, the incoming calls are ones he cannot ignore.

“It’s an unusual request for me,” Holmes admits. “I’m saying, ‘When did this happen in the Black community because I have gun violence all up and down Blue Hill Avenue in my district.’ But these are friends and regular, real people, not crazy gun enthusiasts but real people that I know who say this is something they want to do…I’m not happy about it but I have to open my eyes to it.”

It remains to be seen if Holmes and other Democratic lawmakers will actually listen to what their constituents are saying. A conference committee is still working behind closed doors to craft a compromise gun control bill, and we have no idea when they’ll have a draft that will be released to the public or what the bill will look like when it finally emerges from the committee room. 

Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Hinds-Ferrick and Nolan Howard in the video window below. I’m thrilled they could both join the show today, and I’m encouraged by their activism and outreach in one of the most hostile environments for our Second Amendment rights. Massachusetts has a long way to go before it’s even close to truly recognizing the fundamental importance of our right to keep and bear arms, but Howard and Hinds-Ferrick are helping to move the needle in the right direction. 

Read the full article here

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