Handgun Ownership: In order to understand Mitt Romney’s actions here, it is necessary to give a little background information about Massachusetts gun control laws: In 1998, Massachusetts established a list of “safety” criteria for handguns sold in the state. The criteria were designed to disqualify most handguns. The Roster is the list of those few makes and models which have passed the testing requirements.
Mitt Romney created two exemptions: One for handguns already licensed in the state prior to October 21, 1998, and one for “match-grade” pistols (high-dollar handguns purpose-built for shooting competitions).
The 1998 exemption is significant when one understand the “preban effect”: Some gun laws are written with an effective date, where firearms sold after the date are subject to the law, while those sold before the date are “grandfathered”. Since there is a limited supply of grandfathered items, the sale price of those items skyrockets.
The net effect of Mitt Romney’s exemptions was this: In Massachusetts, a person now has three options for legally owning a handgun: 1) an expensive pre-1998 handgun; 2) an expensive “safety-approved” handgun; 3) an expensive match-grade handgun.
Much more at the link. Including how his "We worked this out with the support of gun owners, And It Was Good" line is a load of crap.
Update: from Jay G in comments:
Mitt Romney had nothing to do with the 1998 Gun control Act in MA.
That was Paul Cellucci.
Mitt Romney signed the 2004 Assault Weapons Ban in MA.
Completely different animal, but same sentiment. I can own a 17 year old magazine that holds 11+ rounds, but not a new one. I can't have a bayonet on my new AR-15, but if I find one made before Sept. 1994 it's fine.
Romney sucks on 2A issues, but he can't be saddled with the 1998 GCA.