Saturday, June 9, 2018

Massachusetts police chiefs back 'red flag' firearms access bill


The bill (H 3610), which is pending before the House Ways and Means Committee, would allow a family member, roommate or law enforcement official to petition the court to bar someone from owning a firearm if their gun ownership presents a "significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others."
"It's just an extra tool in the toolbox, where you have family members and others that are close to individuals that know them best, and if they feel they're in some sort of crisis and they'd like to take some action to help safeguard both their safety and the safety of others, it's just another method for families to be able to go out and take some steps without having to have the law enforcement involved directly at that point, either," Wojnar told the News Service.
Current law, passed in 2014, grants Massachusetts police chiefs the power to revoke gun licenses. At the time of that law's passage, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said it "empowers police chiefs to use their judgment and common sense to identify people who – by virtue of mental illness, addiction, or a history of violence – have shown that they cannot be trusted with a lethal weapon."
Wojnar said the bill takes that idea and "kind of expands it out," allowing action to be taken wherever a person is now living or staying, and by those likely to know them best.

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House Speaker Robert DeLeo told reporters Monday afternoon that members of his staff had a "good conversation" with the chiefs association.
"I'd advise you to stay tuned on that," he said, later adding, "I think there is a strong interest now in terms of taking, shall I say, that extra step forward."

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