One of a series of scheduled public hearings was held in Springfield, Massachusetts on August 2, 2013. In a 500-capacity room, the New England News estimated half of the audience was from Smith & Wesson – all wearing white t-shirts with the company logo.
More than 60 bills on gun issues were filed by state legislators in the past year. Proposals include 7-round magazine limit, purchase of one firearm per month, background checks at gun shows, taxes for private firearms transfers (including between family members), and new types of gun crimes. Additional proposals call for a study of whether GPS locators should be installed in guns.
The public is permitted to testify at these hearings. Among those testifying in Springfield was Smith & Wesson CEO James Debney, whose remarks on economic impact included reference to 1,600 Smith & Wesson employees with an annual payroll of $77 million. Debney also described Smith & Wesson as “…an industry leader that is committed to safety,” selling through FFLs and including a lock with each firearm.
That Massachusetts legislators are conducting a series of public hearings about bills and other ideas is a strong contrast to the process of rapid legislation adopted in New York and Connecticut. In both of those states, lawsuits have been filed to request the courts overturn the legislation for failing to follow routine bill publication process in favor of a governor’s emergency declaration. Materials relating to these lawsuits are available in the Orchid Advisors on-line research materials on the page for each state.