To the Editor:
The Barnstable County League represents more than 10,000 sportsmen and sportswomen of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket County.
Our membership strongly opposes S.2572, a bill to sensibly address firearm violence through effective reform. In announcing the bill, Senate sponsors stated that the bill “makes the commonwealth’s residents even safer without infringing on the rights of lawful gun owners.”
The proposed measures are a direct attack on our constitutional right to bear arms. While the intention may be to address concerns about gun violence, the current approach does little to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms, and instead disproportionately affects law-abiding citizens. It is essential to acknowledge that hasty decisions and ill-considered legislation may have unintended consequences that undermine the very fabric of our democracy.
S.2572 was submitted on Thursday, Jan. 25, without a single public hearing. The deadline for amendments was Monday, Jan. 29, giving senators fewer than two business days to write and submit amendments. The entire 35-page bill is scheduled for a vote on Thursday, Feb. 1, five business days after the bill was filed.
The use of every conceivable trick in the book to expedite the floor vote is not only deceptive, but also a disheartening display of political dishonesty. Circumventing proper legislative processes to expedite the bill further accentuates the growing disconnect between our legislators and their constituents. At a time when trust in political representatives is low, the expedited approach to push S.2572 to a vote raises serious questions about the commitment to democratic values and the representation of the people’s will. By sidestepping proper processes and limiting opportunities for public review and debate, legislators risk further eroding the already fragile trust between the government and its citizens.
The citizens of our great state deserve a thorough and open discussion on any legislation that could significantly impact our fundamental rights, especially one as crucial as the Second Amendment.
Michael J. Veloza, president
Barnstable County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs