BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s bill is meant to target criminals, but opponents say lawful gun owners will feel most of the impact.
“The bill as its written will have no effect on people who currently legally own their guns. But this bill is designed to get after criminals and to take guns out of the hands from people who really shouldn’t have them,” argues State Representative David Linsky (D-Natick).
The bill would close gun law loopholes by requiring a licensed dealer’s involvement in private gun sales. Police chiefs would have more freedom to deny firearm I.D.’s for shotguns and rifles. There will also be tougher penalties for the improper storage of a gun, guns used in a crime, and the illegal sale of firearms.
Opponents say the bill only makes it that much tougher for law-abiding gun owners and that the House Speaker’s bill does not reduce gun violence at all.
“I want to see some meat in a bill and have it actually achieve what it’s set out to do. The only thing contained in this bill is geared toward removing the amount of lawful gun owners in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that’s all it’s going to do,” said State Representative Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick).
The House Speaker announced the bill in May. No votes have been taken yet in either the House or the Senate.
The deadline for legislative action is July 31. Republicans say they will push to change the bill or stop it from becoming law all together.