Know Your Facts

FACT: FBI data for 2011 shows that 323 murders were committed with rifles of any kind. In comparison, 496 murders were committed with hammers/clubs and 1694 were committed with knives. (

FACT: A study published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy concluded that nations with stringent gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those who do not. (Kates DB, Mauser G, volume 30, number 2, pp 649-694).

FACT: U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia vs. Heller and McDonald vs. City of Chicago affirmed that individuals have an enforceable right to possess firearms – including handguns – for self defense and that right is protected against infringement by states and municipalities, as well as the federal government. (Peterson D, Appellate Courts Weigh-In on Right to Carry, JURIST-Sidebar, January 2013). It is estimated that the cost to the City of Chicago will be $3 Million Dollars in legal fees and awards to the plaintiff.

FACT: An assault weapon is not an assault rifle. Prior to 1989 the term “assault weapon” did not exist in firearms lexicon. It is a political term coined by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of assault rifles.

The M16 is a military service rifle and also an assault rifle that is capable of automatically firing 800 rounds/minute each time the trigger is pulled. The M-16 and other fully automatic firearms are also called machine guns. In 1986, the Federal government banned civilians from purchasing newly manufactured machine guns

M-16 Assault Weapon (Automatic)

The Armalite Rifle (AR-15) is a semi-automatic rifle and fires one round each time the trigger is pulled. Proposed bans on these guns is solely based on cosmetic features that are similar in appearance to those on assault rifles such as: collapsible stocks, flash hiders, and pistol grips.

AR-15 Sporting Rifle (Semi-automatic)

FACT: The AR-15 is chambered in .223 caliber. Compared to rifles used for hunting such as .243, .270, .300, .30-30, .30-06, .308, etc, the AR-15 is much less powerful than these others. This rifle is used by small game hunters, competitors, and makes an excellent home defense weapon.

FACT: Following the expiration of the so-called assault weapons ban in 2004, the Department of Justice concluded that “the ban’s effect on gun violence is likely to be small at best and too small to reliably measure”.

FACT: Limiting Magazine Capacities: As an example of the futility of regulating magazine capacities, Eric Harris – Columbine HS 1999 was undeterred by 10 round magazine capacity laws. Harris simply brought more (13) with him and fired 96 rounds before killing himself.
Seung-Hui Choi – Virginia Tech 2007 carried multiple magazines in his backpack as part of a carefully planned massacre. He used 17 magazines and fired approximately 170 rounds from 2 handguns before killing himself.


  • Increasing laws that only affect law-abiding gun owners does nothing to address life and property safety issues. In fact, these added laws create a more dangerous environment for all citizens.
  • The adage: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” will never be truer.
  • The proposed Westford weapons ban does NOTHING to address and ensure the safety of our children, teachers, and schools.
  • This proposal by Robert Jeffries and the Board of Selectmen represents a blatant attack on the civil rights of the town’s residents and licensed gun owners who ironically are among the most law-abiding citizens in the community, having been vetted by local and state police as well as the FBI.
  • This measure must be soundly defeated and a committee of all affected parties must be formed to study and act on the real issues to create a safer community in our town.
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts already has an assault weapons ban and limits magazines to 10 round capacities.

The current environment of budget shortfalls in Westford makes Article 30 a frivolous waste of taxpayer time and money. Money that could be better spent actually making our town a better place to live.