At the recent Special Town Meeting members of Westford Pro 2A, lawful firearms owners and sportsmen and women voted overwhelmingly NOT to approve Article 9. The vote was nowhere close to the 2/3’s majority needed. From the day this process started many months ago Westford Pro 2A stated that, even though we believe the Chief of Police already has the authority (via MGL Ch 140 Sec 122 and 122B, which states, “The chief of police… may… grant a license to any person… to sell, rent or lease firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns, or to be in business as a gunsmith…”) to require a 500-foot setback between firearms businesses and a safety plan, we would support those 2 items, but not more.
Instead, between the Select Board refusing to allow comment almost every time this issue was discussed, and their undue influence on other elected Boards, lawful firearms owners and sportsmen were systematically ignored, and in some cases outright vilified. The result was a proposal we could never support, and actively worked to defeat.
Lawful firearms owners, sportsmen, sportswomen, and the local clubs have been pillars of this community longer than virtually anyone alive at these hearings. Our support for this community seen through our actions includes:
- Providing free training facilities for our local police force and the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SWAT).
- Donating tens of thousands of dollars in local scholarships over the Town’s history.
- Maintaining open space and conservation with privately funded managed forests and maintained fire department access to protect residents.
- Offering Free Children’s Fishing Derby’s open to all regardless of race, creed, color or economic means.
- Being a Perennial Supporter of the Apple Blossom Parade and Festival.
- Sponsoring, both economically and with private facilities a local Cub Scout Pack, and
- Providing firearms safety training to thousands of residents
Despite our contributions to the town and our efforts to demonstrate good faith, our voters collectively feel that they are constantly being challenged by the government of Westford to defend their constitutional liberties from attempts to restrict these rights. These challenges have been wholly without merit and have been based on irrational fears and ignorance deliberately perpetuated about the issues surrounding firearms.
We urge you as policy makers to exert prudent and honest judgement in your review of public policy with regard to the private ownership of firearms, and to be respectful and mindful of our liberties. It is your sworn obligation to uphold the provisions of the US Constitution, which includes the second amendment and to protect any citizen, who is lawfully exercising their rights under it, from unreasonable and unnecessary harassment from those who seek to either restrict or abolish that right. We support the Chief of Police, and the Town of Westford and will continue to provide the support listed above. But, if the Elected Town officials continue to not listen to a large swath of the voting public, we will continue to oppose those efforts through every lawful means possible.
And so Westford Pro 2A calls on all the Boards to work with us, not against us, and to not oppress the longest standing and most law abiding members of this community.
WESTFORD PRO 2A