According to Healey, the new, broader definition of “copy” and “duplicate” assault weapons is necessary because gun manufacturers were exploiting the previous, looser definition to classify weapons with mainly-cosmetic changes as “state-compliant.” Yet for all the space she had to discuss this “pressing” issue, she failed to name a single incident in which a gun manufacturer was found guilty of doing so:
“That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.
The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a ‘copy’ or ‘duplicate’ of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a ‘copy’ or ‘duplicate,’ and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.
We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.”
Source: Boston Globe