Massachusetts Joins Wave Of States Passing ‘Red Flag’ Gun Laws After Parkland

Massachusetts Joins Wave Of States Passing ‘Red Flag’ Gun Laws After Parkland

A new Massachusetts law allows police, family members and dating partners to request that firearms be temporarily taken from people who appear to be at risk of harming themselves or others. Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) signature of H. 4760 on Tuesday makes Massachusetts the 12th state with a so-called red flag law, and the seventh to enact this sort of legislation since the February mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The law takes effect in 45 days. Baker said earlier he would sign the bill, citing the support of the state’s police chiefs . The Massachusetts process for seeking an order for extreme-risk protection looks a lot like it does in other states that have red flag laws. Once a petition is filed against a gun owner, a judge must hold a hearing within 10 days to determine if that person poses a valid risk. If so, the judge will order the person to surrender all firearms and stay away from guns for 12 months. The subject must turn over firearms ID cards and permits, and will be entered into a federal database barring them from purchasing guns elsewhere. The Massachusetts law also allows emergency extreme-risk protection orders that can be approved without notice to the gun owner. Under this process, firearms are immediately removed for up to 10 days ahead of a hearing, where a judge decides whether to extend the order for a full year. Red flag laws have emerged as the most popular […]

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