The legislation would for the first time give local police chiefs the ability to deny a license for rifles or shotguns based on suitability standards and extend federal restrictions for firearm acquisition to the state level. It would also require background checks for all private gun sales and require Massachusetts to join a national instant criminal background database that would include pertinent mental health information.
The long-awaited bill mirrors recommendations of a task force established by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat, after the December 2012 school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.
‘NOT A KNEEJERK REACTION’
“This is not a kneejerk reaction to Newtown,” said John Rosenthal, head of the Massachusetts-based group Stop Handgun Violence "
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