New legislation filed to review gun-free zones

The legislation was filed on the group’s behalf by Rep. John Velis of Westfield

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that it filed new legislation to address the dangers of gun-free zones. The group’s executive director, Jim Wallace, says gun-free zones have become “no-defense” zones, and therefore have become targets for terrorists and murders.

The legislation was filed on the group’s behalf by Rep. John Velis of Westfield.

A gun-free zone is an area in which a law-abiding citizen is not allowed to have a gun in self-defense. Some of these areas include schools, churches, and hospitals, and even military recruiting centers.

This legislative request comes after the recent home-grown terrorist attacks in Tennessee, where 4 marines were killed in a marine-navy facility, where they were not permitted to carry guns in self-defense.

Rep. Velis says that filing this legislation to re-analyze our current gun laws in MA can create better ways to protect the public. Velis told 22News he’s “specifically concerned with the military recruiting offices because terrorist groups … are targeting American service members.”

“I believe in self-defense, and I feel that it should be okay in a lot of those areas,” says Deborah Bell of Chicopee.

Under the legislation, a commission would review the current state policy concerning areas where people are prohibited from carrying weapons for self-defense. The commission would identify unsafe areas and make recommendations to increase safety.

“I think we should leave the laws the way they are and just hire more policemen to cover everything,” says Art Usher of West Springfield. “They know what they’re doing. You can’t start letting everyone carry a gun, it’d be like the old wild west.”

Filing this legislation is the first step to having a commission review current state policies regarding facilities, properties, and areas where lawful citizens are not allowed to carry guns for self-defense.

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