Massachusetts has one of the tightest gun control regimes in the country and is once again taking on the National Rifle Association to pass a “red flag law” which would make it easier to confiscate firearms from someone considered to be a danger to themselves or others, but the pro-gun group remains steadfast in its support of legislation that would affirm Second Amendment rights, WBUR reports.
The “red flag” bill would allow a court to temporarily prohibit someone from possessing or buying a gun if they are believed to be an “extreme risk” of suicide or violence to others. Seven states already have similar laws, and more than 20 others are considering them following the mass shooting in February at a high school in Florida where a gunman killed 17 with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
In Massachusetts, buyers have to apply for a permit before purchasing a gun. Each applicant must provide character references from two people, complete a four-hour gun safety course, pass a background check, complete a one-on-one interview with a specially designated police officer at the local police department and undergo fingerprinting. Police also have to search department records and incident reports for red flags.
The state also banned assault weapons in 2004, and a U.S. District judge in April dismissed a lawsuit brought on by the NRA that challenged the 20-year-old ban.
“Like all law-abiding Massachusetts gun owners, the NRA was extremely disappointed that the court upheld Massachusetts’s ban on many of the most popular firearms in America. Even more disturbing was Judge Young’s assessment that the ‘AR-15’s present day popularity is not constitutionally material’ and that ‘Justice Scalia would be proud’ of this ruling,” the NRA wrote after the ruling.
“It's a complete and total stripping away of constitutional rights," Michael Hammond, legislative council with Gun Owners of America, told WBUR.
"We're very concerned that some very conservative states somehow think that sending SWAT teams to people's homes as a result of a Kafkaesque procedure is somehow a consensus proposal," he added.
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