‘Red flag’ gun bill clears Senate

'Red flag' gun bill clears Senate

State House News Service BOSTON — Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature have now signed off on bills that would create a new judicial process designed to temporarily take guns away from dangerous individuals. The bill (H 4539), which the Senate approved on a voice vote Thursday, would allow family or household members to petition the courts for an extreme risk protection order in cases where someone poses a threat to themselves or others. The judge’s order would suspend someone’s license to carry firearms and require that individual to temporarily surrender "firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition." Under the Senate’s bill, police would also provide information about mental health, crisis intervention and counseling services to both the person who requested the order and the subject of it. The so-called "red flag" bill gained momentum amid deadly school shootings. While opponents warned it infringes on gun rights, supporters said its passage is needed to safeguard lives. Rep. Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge Democrat who sponsored the original version of the bill, said she was "elated" it had passed both branches. "I see this becoming law," she said. "I think the differences will be easily worked out." Decker and Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem joined gun violence prevention activists in Senate President Harriette Chandler’s office to celebrate the vote. As supporters entered the room, they stopped to pat Decker on the shoulder, hug her, or extend thanks and congratulations. Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, prior to the vote, urged colleagues to consider […]

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