‘Extreme risk’ gun bill passes Massachusetts House

'Extreme risk' gun bill passes Massachusetts House

BOSTON — A proposal allowing for the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others was overwhelmingly approved on Wednesday by lawmakers in Massachusetts. Several other U.S. states have approved or are weighing so-called "red flag" gun bills in response to a spate of recent mass shootings, including deadly school shootings in Florida and Texas. "We’re showing the nation that you can respect the Constitution and still enact commonsense gun legislation," said Rep. Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge Democrat and chief sponsor of the Massachusetts bill. The measure, approved by the Democratic-controlled House on a 139-14 vote, would allow a relative or someone else close to a legal gun owner to petition a court to issue an extreme risk protection order if they believed the person was exhibiting dangerous or unstable behavior, and were at risk of using a firearm to kill themselves or others. If such an emergency order was issued, the individual would be prohibited from owning or purchasing firearms for one year. Approval of the bill was applauded by gun safety advocates, but sharply criticized by the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association. The bill was vague, poorly drafted and duplicates procedures that already allow local police chiefs to remove firearms from people who they consider dangerous, said the group’s executive director, Jim Wallace, in a statement. "It’s a constitutional nightmare," Wallace said. "This is a bait and switch to the public who thought they […]

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‘Extreme risk’ gun bill passes Massachusetts House

‘Extreme risk’ gun bill passes Massachusetts House

BOSTON (AP) — A proposal allowing for the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others was overwhelmingly approved on Wednesday by lawmakers in Massachusetts. Several other U.S. states have approved or are weighing so-called “red flag” gun bills in response to a spate of recent mass shootings, including deadly school shootings in Florida and Texas. “We’re showing the nation that you can respect the Constitution and still enact commonsense gun legislation,” said Rep. Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge Democrat and chief sponsor of the Massachusetts bill. The measure, approved by the Democratic-controlled House on a 139-14 vote, would allow a relative or someone else close to a legal gun owner to petition a court to issue an extreme risk protection order if they believed the person was exhibiting dangerous or unstable behavior, and were at risk of using a firearm to kill themselves or others. If such an emergency order was issued, the individual would be prohibited from owning or purchasing firearms for one year. Approval of the bill was applauded by gun safety advocates, but sharply criticized by the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association. The bill was vague, poorly drafted and duplicates procedures that already allow local police chiefs to remove firearms from people who they consider dangerous, said the group’s executive director, Jim Wallace, in a statement. “It’s a constitutional nightmare,” Wallace said. “This is a bait and switch to the public who thought […]

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