Gun control laws in Mass. are poised to become more strict

Gun control laws in Mass. are poised to become more strict

A lone Smith &Wesson pistol was on sale in North Attlebor. Massachusetts lawmakers are on course to strengthen the state’s already strict gun control laws by giving courts the authority to strip weapons from risky individuals who have been identified by their families as a danger to themselves or others. The state House of Representatives is poised Wednesday to pass a bill that would allow family members, roommates, and current and former romantic partners to petition a court to take away a gun owner’s weapons. Those firearms would be confiscated for a year if the court finds the person poses a risk. The legislation is moving forward amid a drumbeat of mass shootings nationally and little movement on gun control in Congress. Eight states have already enacted so-called “red flag” laws, though all differ in their specifics. In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker and the Senate president haven’t weighed in on the granular legislative language, but both support the concept of the bill. And advocates say the House bill will save lives. “It’s about empowering family members who know their loved ones best to identify someone who is in crisis, about to kill themselves or hurt someone else, to a court,” said Representative Marjorie C. Decker, the lead sponsor of the bill. But opponents say it’s a gun grab disguised as substantive public safety legislation. The bill will “allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process,” the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association […]

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