Michael D. Yacino of East Douglas, Massachusetts is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Awardee for June.
In presenting the Award to Mike in Massachusetts, Alan M. Gottlieb, CCRKBA Chairman, noted that Yacino, â€œthrough his loyal, untiring and outstanding commitment to the individual Second Amendment civil right is a genuine living beacon. For his courage and steadfastness as well as for his many other outstanding qualities, he absolutely is most deserving of this Award.â€
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1942, Mike since 1977 has been Executive Director and Legislative Agent of the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL).
Each year, he drafts, files and monitors legislation on behalf of Massachusetts gun owners. He determines which of the 9000 bills filed each year would affect gun owners, and prepares testimony on these for legislative committees recommending either passage or defeat. He works with individual legislators to answer their questions. He is responsible for implementing programs and policies as authorized by GOALâ€™s Board of Directors, and for directing the organizationâ€™s office and personnel. He hosts GOALâ€™s weekly radio program, The GOAL Line.
Yacino recently lashed out at the Massachusetts Attorney General, Thomas Reilly, after Reilly announced his office will begin using its consumer protection authority to enforce the most comprehensive handgun control â€œsafetyâ€ regulations in the nation, banning the sale of cheap handguns and requiring all handguns sold in the state to have safety devices supposedly to keep children from firing them.
â€œGun owners across the state,â€ said Yacino, â€œare demanding to know why state government is involving them in an internal turf war between state agencies. Consumers have a right to expect a single set of clear standards from their government, but thatâ€™s not what gun owners are getting with announcements from the Attorney Generalâ€™s office.
â€œCurrently, firearm manufacturers have to comply with strict federal and state regulations. Retail firearm dealers in Massachusetts must have both a state and a federal license to sell guns. The state legislature passed a strict law in 1998 that created testing standards and delegated the regulatory oversight to the Executive Office of Public Safety. That office has indicated that regulations have been drafted, with the assistance of the Gun Control Advisory Board, and expect to have a public hearingâ€¦
â€œThe Attorney General and his predecessor have failed to demonstrate any causal relationship between these restrictions on the manufacture of firearms and reduced firearm accidents. They have failed to show the cause and effect of politically designed handguns and reductions in crime.
â€œThe truth is that firearm accidents are the lowest since 1903, despite the fact that the population and number of guns have increased more than four-fold. The accidents have been decreasing strictly due to educational programs sponsored by groups such as the Gun Owners Action League.â€
A 1962 graduate of the Wentworth Institute with an Associate Degree in civil engineering who served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1962-1965, Mike for the past 20 years has been Treasurer of the Gun Ownersâ€™ Political Action Committee. He helps determine, with others, which candidates deserve support, and oversees mailings to concerned citizens in a candidateâ€™s district.
For the past 20 years he also has been Treasurer of the Massachusetts Sportsmenâ€™s Junior Conservation Camp, Inc. Heâ€™s responsible for overseeing all financial aspects of this two-week camp for children aged 14-17, and for ensuring that the program gets proper support from related government agencies.
Since 1977, he has been publisher of THE MESSAGE, and is responsible for the content of this 28-page monthly news magazine. The Outdoor Message Cooperative, Inc., of which he is Treasurer, publishes the periodical. Organized sportsmen and women throughout New England cooperate in the joint venture.
Since 1990, Mike, a founding member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit, tax-exempt Goal Foundation, Inc., has been the groupâ€™s Secretary/Treasurer. Heâ€™s been responsible for overseeing the financial well-being of the corporation whose main purpose is the education and training of the public in the safe use and handling of firearms, providing public information and sanctioning the organized competitive shooting sports in Massachusetts.
Mike also has been Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Governorâ€™s Alliance Against Drugs, Inc., Treasurer and then Chairman of the Massachusetts Neighborhood Crime Watch Commission, Director of the National Rifle Association, President of the Northeastern States Council of Sportsmen, and Founder of the Blackstone Valley Junior Sportsmen.
A court-qualified expert on firearms legislative history who is licensed by the federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to buy and sell firearms, rifles, shotguns and ammunition, Mike is a member of the Notaries Public in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association, a Certified NRA Firearms Instructor able to teach basic rifle, basic pistol, basic shotgun and Home Firearms Responsibility and Practical Firearms Programs, a Century Member of the Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the Ruger Collectors Association and Massachusetts Arms Collectors.