Mass. House passes bill to strip guns from people seen as a danger

Mass. House passes bill to strip guns from people seen as a danger

Invoking the memories of school shooting victims, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would give judges the power to strip weapons from individuals flagged as a danger to themselves or others. The legislation, approved 139 to 14, would allow family members, roommates, current and former romantic partners, and police officials to petition a court to take away a gun owner’s weapons for a year. A version of the bill is poised to become law over the vociferous objections of the National Rifle Association and local gun owners. The state Senate, controlled by Democrats, and Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, have expressed support for such “red flag” legislation, even though they haven’t weighed in on the specific wording in the House bill. Advocates of the legislation spoke with emotion about doing everything possible to save lives. “We want our children to come home from elementary school. We want our children to come home from high school. We want them to come home from a university. We, as adults, want to come home from a concert alive. We want to come home from a nightclub alive,” Representative Marjorie C. Decker, the lead sponsor of the bill, told her colleagues from the floor of the House. “There are moments in people’s lives where they do need to be separated from their guns and their ammunition,” she said. But the NRA decried the bill as a gun grab. It would “allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless […]

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