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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.

PREDATOR January 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM
If you truly wanted to protect us......you would keep criminals you convict in prison. I know of atleast one police officer who would still be here protecting us. This has nothing to do with safety.
SalemCat January 24, 2013 at 07:04 PM
You can own any firearm you want. You just need to store it here at the Police Station. We will post "Visiting Hours".
PREDATOR January 24, 2013 at 07:08 PM
That's a good one. Goes along with the fact that cops carry guns to protect themselves and not you or I. That is why I carry a gun.....most cops are just too heavy.
Charles Caliri January 24, 2013 at 08:19 PM
A requirement for liability insurance and a 25% tax is akin to the poll tax which was found unconstitution becasue it kept the poor from voting. These measures would affect the less well to do and infringe on their right to bear arms. The research shows that none of these measure would do anything to curb vilence or school shootings. I agree with the above, keep criminal in prison and the dangerouly mentally ill in hospitals. CharlieN
SDK January 25, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Apparently, none of the above commentators know how much it costs the state to keep criminals in prison and the mentally ill in hospitals. It is also very difficult to lock an adult away in a mental institution -- as it should be. The relatives of gun owners who go on shooting sprees are generally not visibly crazy before they start killing people. We can lock up every odd teenage boy and pay for that with taxes. Or we can ask people like Nancy Lanza to store her weapons safely. I vote for personal responsibility here. Your gun -- your choice -- your cost. Not mine. These guns are for fun. They are for shooting things up on weekends. That's fine -- but it's just a hobby. I fail to see the problem with storing your Bushmaster in the exact location that you actually shoot it. It's hard to accidentally kill someone by voting. If guns are not dangerous (only people) then your insurance rates will reflect this. On the other hand, if you are a dangerous gun owner, with a history of substance abuse, violence, poor decision making, or if you plan to store your gun on the kitchen table where anyone can borrow it, your insurance rates might force you to change your behavior. Seems exactly right to me. Adam Lanza was just another child of a law-abiding gun owner -- until the day he went crazy. Since no one can control for that, we need you to take more responsibility to help prevent the possible misuse of your firearms. Thanks for your support.

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