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Linsky Files Gun Violence Legislation; Eldridge Supports Passing Stronger Legislation

The bill looks to close loopholes in existing state laws, require mental health background checks, strengthen gun storage requirements and require liability insurance for gun owners.

The following is a press release sent by the office of state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick.   

State Rep. David P. Linsky announced today that he has filed “An Act to Reduce Gun Violence and to Protect the Citizens of the Commonwealth,” comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation aimed at closing loopholes in existing state laws,  requiring mental health background checks, strengthening gun storage requirements, and requiring liability insurance for gun owners.

“This bill is a comprehensive effort to reduce all types of gun violence – murders, intentional shootings, accidental shootings and suicides.  There is not one solution to reducing gun violence – we can’t eliminate it – but there are a lot of common-sense steps that we can take to significantly reduce the everyday tragedy of gun violence and deaths,” said Linsky.

Following a series of tragedies, Linsky invited members of the House and Senate to discuss how gun violence could be reduced in the Commonwealth. Over 150 members and staff attended the meeting, representing a wide array of viewpoints including gun owners, former members of the military, nurses, parents, hunters, and former teachers.  

“I have spoken with hundreds of people over the past few weeks in developing this legislation – victims, police officers, criminologists, physicians, and yes - gun owners and sportsmen,” stated Linsky. “There are a lot of good ideas out there. We should all have one goal – reducing gun violence and trying to keep more tragedies from happening.”

State Sen. Jamie Eldridge added, "I do support passing stronger gun safety legislation and I’m reviewing the different bills that were filed last week. I am still reviewing it so I don’t have a position on it, but I do think legislative action needs to be taken this session to reduce gun violence."

Provisions in the bill include:

·         Having one standard of the issuance of all gun licenses, giving local police chiefs the ability to evaluate all aspects of an application for a gun license.

·         Requires proof of liability insurance for possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.

·         Requires that all large capacity weapons and grandfathered assault weapons must be stored at gun clubs or target ranges.

·         Requires live shooting as part of the curriculum for a basic firearms safety course; this is not a current requirement.

·         Requires all applicants for gun licenses and FID cards to sign a waiver of mental health records for review to be destroyed after decision.

·         Imposes 25% sales tax on ammunition, firearms, shotguns, and rifles; dedicates funds towards firearms licensing, police training, mental health services, and victim’s services.

·         Brings Massachusetts into compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

·         Limits gun buyers to one firearm purchase per month. 

“Every day in America, 83 people are killed by gun violence.  Many are children. We need to stop this madness. All of the data shows that you are many more times likely to shoot yourself or someone in your family than you will ever use a gun in self-defense,” further commented Linsky. “It is time for the American people to tell their Legislators that the NRA and the gun manufacturers do not speak for them – even most gun owners believe that we need tighter restrictions on gun ownership. The overwhelming majority of Americans want these measures enacted.”

Linsky served as Chairman of House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight during the 2011-2012 legislative session, and was an Assistant District in Middlesex County for 14 years prior to becoming a State Representative. Since first being elected to the House in 1999 he has been an advocate for effective gun violence prevention and gun safety laws.  He represents Natick, Millis and Sherborn in the House.

arnold January 25, 2013 at 03:04 AM
The proposed mental health record waiver is reasonable and rational as is the live fire requirement. The idea of adding a 25% tax on ammo does nothing to diminish gun violence, its just another TAX. Adding further restrictions on the law abiding gun owners because criminals use guns is just foolish. When will the current MANDATORY one year imprisonment for possession of a firearm without the required permit actually be enforced? The only people who would observe any new laws are the law abiding - there are existing laws against murder, rape, mayhem etc., etc., they haven't eliminated violations, and making more gun laws are not going to stop mental misfits, gangs and criminals from acquiring or using them. Here is how one young black female views gun control: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn7bkncf1_E&feature=youtu.be
Rocco Giuliano January 26, 2013 at 05:59 PM
"The proposed mental health record waiver is reasonable" Letting cops go on a fishing expedition through mental health records would create a massive disincentive for getting help. The result would be fewer people seeking treatment and an increase in **untreated** mental health issues.

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