Gun control bill heads to the Senate

The Mass. House passed the bill 111-37

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State lawmakers are debating tougher gun control laws. Whether you own a gun shop or like to shoot guns, if the deal on the table passes, everyone will notice a difference.

For years, Massachusetts has debated toughening its gun control laws, but now it’s looking like it might happen. The state’s House of Representatives passed a bill that now heads to the Senate.

Something one Chicopee resident is OK with. “I think the government should be more involved with the guns and the safety of the citizens, absolutely so the stricter gun laws, I’m totally for them,” said Chicopee’s Michelle Payne.

The bill would require the state to fully comply with a national instant background check system.

One change considered would give licensed gun dealers access to your criminal history before selling you a gun. Right now Guns Inc customers do have to go through a back-ground check but the store doesn’t have access to your criminal history yet.

Dealers like Guns Inc in West Springfield call the FBI and their customers are either denied or allowed to buy a gun, but the store never knows why, the bill being debated would let them have access to specifics.

Springfield’s Vincenzo Manzi isn’t sure that will make a difference. “The only way you can stop them is if we just eliminate all the guns from everybody, but we live in a democracy, how can you do that, you know? People enjoy guns, I enjoy guns, I have been shooting since I was a little kid,” Manzi said.

The bill that now heads to the Senate is a watered-down version of a previous bill that included extra restrictions for legal gun-owners like Manzi.

The current bill would also require schools have at least one resource officer and two-way communication devices with police and fire personnel in case of an emergency.

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