On July 17, the Massachusetts Senate passed a “sweeping overhaul of the state’s gun laws,” but not until after senators removed the aspects of the bill worrisome to law-abiding gun owners.
According to The Washington Times, a measure contained in the bill when it passed the house “gave local police chiefs more discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns.”
Had this requirement stayed intact, it would have effectively allowed local police chiefs to determine who they did or didn’t believe had the right to exercise Second Amendment rights—it would have turned the exercise of those rights into a privilege.
But the Senate removed that aspect of the bill before passing it, leaving a bill in a place that the National Rifle Association’s government affairs director John Hohenwarter said, “[Is] in much better shape than it was when it came over from the house.”
Stop Handgun Violence’s John Rosenthal described the gutted Senate bill as “not worth the paper it’s printed on.” He said the extra degrees of control police chiefs would have acquired was key to the whole bill. He said removing it from the bill was a “vote against police chiefs” and a vote “for the special interest gun lobby and people will die as a result.”
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