Local reps back ‘Red Flag’ gun bill

Local reps back 'Red Flag' gun bill

The Massachusetts Statehouse. (AP file photo) ATTLEBORO — Local state representatives voted for a bill that allows for a court order to take away the guns of those found to pose “extreme risk” to themselves or others. The so-called “Red Flag” bill passed the House 139-14 Wednesday with the support of all five local representatives, although Republicans were initially reluctant to back it. Democratic supporters said the bill was necessary following multiple school shootings in which the killer had previously shown signs of being a danger. 300×250 image ad If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, the law would allow family members to get a court order to take away guns from those demonstrating behavior that indicates they might shoot themselves or others. State Rep. Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, said several amendments that were attached to the bill made it more acceptable. “We were able to get amendments to make it better. It’s not perfect by any means whatsoever,” she said. One key change, she said, is that a provision allowing guns to be taken away for a year was reduced to up to a year, leaving the possibility of the owner getting the guns back sooner. State Rep. Jim Hawkins, D-Attleboro, also supported the bill and spoke more favorably about it. He said it should help prevent suicides. “Suicide by gun is all too common and this bill gives the immediate family the ability to act quickly if a person is spiraling out of control,” […]

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