Baker Signs Legislation to Strengthen Gun Laws in MA

Thursday, July 05, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team

Baker Signs Legislation to Strengthen Gun Laws in MA
Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation strengthening the gun laws in Massachusetts.

The bill titled “An Act Relative to Firearms,” will allow household members, or others in close relationships, and local law enforcement to file an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) petition with the court to remove firearms from dangerous individuals.

“Massachusetts’ gun laws are a model for the nation, and creating an additional pathway to keep guns away from people unfit to possess them will make our laws even stronger. This law creates a responsible way to help prevent gun deaths and suicides while protecting individuals’ second amendment rights,” said Baker.

The Legislation

The bill allows household members, or others in close relationships, and local law enforcement to file an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) petition with the court to remove firearms from dangerous individuals.

Once an ERPO petition is filed, a hearing must be held within ten days, and if the court finds that an individual poses a risk to themselves or others, the court can order the immediate surrender of all weapons and the individual’s firearm license.

An ERPO can last up to one year.

Senate President Harriette Chandler added, “This common-sense legislation gives family members the tools they need to help loved ones, and to prevent suicide and gun deaths. Massachusetts’ nation-leading gun safety laws are made stronger by this bill. I appreciate the hard work of the advocates who fought for this, especially the thousands of young adults who spoke up about this issue.”

The bill preserves the right of local police departments to continue to revoke or suspend firearm licenses based on a lack of suitability.

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