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Machine Gun Shooting By Juveniles Illegal in MA?

Peter Hamm, of the Brady Campaign, in the comments suggested it was so, and quoted this section of law.  That section would appear to make furnishing a machine gun to anyone under 21 years of age criminal.  The law makes exceptions for rifles and shotguns, but not for machine guns.

I’ll be honest, I’m not an expert on Massachusetts gun laws.  They are monsterously complicated.  But I will try to find out from an expert whether there’s an exception that’s being overlooked, or whether the definition of “furnish” is something the courts already define.  I’ll be honest, I don’t know.

I do find it odd, though, that some lawmaker would suggest that anyone 18 to 21 weren’t mature enough to handle an automatic weapon, when most of the automatic weapons in use today are wielded by those 18 to 21 when in military service.

UPDATE: Article here.  One other note:

On Monday, Bizilj told The Boston Globe he was about 10 feet behind his son and reaching for his camera when the weapon fired. He said his family avoided larger weapons, but he let his son try the Uzi because it’s a small weapon with little recoil. The family did not return messages for comment Tuesday.

Bizilj is pretty clearly not all that familiar with firearms or Newton’s laws of motion.  A bigger machine gun would have actually been better, because recoil is not a function of the size of the gun.  A Micro Uzi has far more recoil than belt fed heavy machine gun because the Uzi has less mass to absorb the equal and opposite reaction of the bullet being fired out of the barrel.  I believe the boy’s father can probably get away with pleading ignorance, but there are a lot of questions the instructor needs to answer.

UPDATE: Asking an attorney who’s familiar with Massachusetts firearms law, this section could be a real problem for people who run the shoot if the District Attorney tries to proceed with charges.  The law is the law, and if you’re going to run something like a machine gun shoot, you need to know what it is, in intimate detail.

3 Responses to “Machine Gun Shooting By Juveniles Illegal in MA?”

  1. Matt says:

    One good commenter over at Jeff Soyer’s pointed out that the father likely got all his knowledge about how the gun was “supposed” to behave from TV and movies. A guy in a movie ripping off a burst and the gun never rises. A lot of people believe that stuff and are quite shocked when the shoot the real thing.

    And thanks to gun control, fewer and fewer people get the exposure to the reality of firearms versus the manufactured fantasy and such skewed ignorance can help lead to tragedies like this.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Matt,

    This is true, but people unfamiliar with firearms were encouraged to come to the shoot.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. SayUncle » Machine guns and juveniles - [...] Looks like letting a child handle a machine gun may be a crime in Massachusetts. [...]
  2. SayUncle » What the mean by reasonable gun laws - [...] it is apparently already illegal for those under 21 to fire machine guns in Massachusetts. So, let’s make it…
  3. Snowflakes in Hell » Blog Archive » The Globe’s Editorial - [...] would actually be an improvement over current Massachusetts law, which seems to ban automatics for anyone under 21.  The…
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