BOSTON (WWLP) – Since the summer, the House has been working to pass gun reform legislation.
Gun legislation finally made it to the floor Wednesday for debate, the first significant piece of gun legislation since 2018. This piece of gun legislation has been controversial from the start. However, legislative leaders generally do not bring bills to the floor unless the bill is going to pass.
A redrafted version of the bill was released earlier this month but major provisions stayed the same. Those provisions dealt with stemming illegal firearm flow, protecting communities from gun violence, and ensuring that Massachusetts laws remain in compliance with the Bruen Decision.
Gun violence prevention advocates are firmly behind the bill. “Basically what we are trying to do here is to curb the gun violence, in cities like Springfield, Massachusetts, and the inner cities that are being impacted by the illegal sale of guns and unauthorized use of guns, and we must do something, it’s our moral obligation to do something,” said Representative Carlos González of Springfield.
However, the bill does also have strong opposition. All eight Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee voted against advancing the bill Tuesday. “We don’t need to do too much, because we have some of the strictest gun laws. We have some of the lowest crime rates and gun violations in the country. I don’t think we need to tweak, especially as extreme as this is, going forward, I think we’re good in Massachusetts for preventing, I think we just need to keep the criminals locked up, that’s what we need to do,” said Representative Kelly W. Pease of Westfield.
The bill will crack down on ghost guns and also update the state’s red flag laws. Now, the Senate has already announced they are working on their own piece of gun legislation, if that passes, it’s likely that a conference committee would then have to be appointed.