After making last-minute changes to mollify angry gun owners, the Massachusetts House tonight approved wide-ranging legislation aimed at tightening state gun laws, already considered among the strictest in the nation.
Remarkably, the bill drew praise from gun-control advocates as well as from the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, which remained officially neutral, but called the legislation â€śa great victory for the Second Amendment.â€ť
Under the main provisions of the bill, the state would join a national database for criminal and mental-health background checks, require schools to develop plans to address studentsâ€™ mental health needs, and give police discretion to deny a permit for a rifle or shotgun if an applicant is deemed unsuitable.
Here’s more, from the Boston Herald:
The bill would require police chiefs to give written reasons for denying gun licenses, however. Their decisions would have to be based on public safety and could be appealed in court.
[ . . . ]
Jim Wallace, head of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, said the group supports the changes in the bill related to gun owners, particularly the requirement that police chiefs state in writing their reasons for denying licenses.
“Now the burden is on the chief to prove us unsuitable rather than us proving ourselves suitable and that’s a big difference in court,” Wallace said.
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