WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill to combat gun violence on Wednesday. The law aims to curb gun violence, but some argue tighter restrictions will only strip Americans of their rights.
Andrew Plourd of West Springfield told 22News, “Some people support our constitutional right, and some think it should be taken away. I, for one, support it.”
It’s written in our constitution, but some say it’s destroyed as many lives as it’s saved. And now, the right to bear arms is becoming more difficult in the Commonwealth.
Janet Sullivan of Westfield told 22News, “Massachusetts has very strict laws. My husband is a gun collector, my children grew up with guns. Having a gun doesn’t make you a killer, it doesn’t make you do things”
Proponents of the law hope it will keep guns out of dangerous hands by requiring courts to give mental health and substance abuse information to the criminal justice system.
Plourd also said, “I was talking to somebody earlier who brought up a good point of what if someone has depression, they can’t get a gun and now they can’t protect themselves?”
It’s a difficult question to answer. Police chiefs now have the final say, and can deny an applicant who seems unfit to own a firearm. The law also eliminates any distinction between Class A and Class B licenses to carry. This means that every firearm identification card now falls under one category.
Anne Carrano of Amherst told 22News she thinks the provisions are necessary. The tighter the security, the safer she feels.
Carrano told 22News, “And they should have someone right at the door, you know, security guards, somebody; just check everyone, because you never know.”
Nationwide, states are setting new restrictions, in hopes of eliminating mass shootings.
The new law also enhances sentences for illegal gun sales and gun related deaths, and disqualifies those with a felony from getting a license.