The Associated Press

Gov. Patrick Signs Bill Updating Gun Laws

Flanked by state officials, including House Speaker Robert DeLeo, left, Gov. Deval Patrick signs gun legislation into law Wednesday at the State House. (State House News Service)

Flanked by state officials, including House Speaker Robert DeLeo, left, Gov. Deval Patrick signs gun legislation into law Wednesday at the State House. (State House News Service)

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday signed a sweeping overhaul of Massachusetts’ gun laws, a measure he said will help curb gun violence, protect families and build safer communities.

The new law stiffens penalties for some gun-based crimes, creates a Web-based portal within the state Executive Office of Public Safety to allow for real-time background checks in private gun sales and calls for the creation of a firearms trafficking unit within the state police.

It also gives local police chiefs the right to go to court to try to deny firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns to people they feel are unsuitable to have access to the weapons.

Police chiefs currently have the right to deny “licenses to carry” to individuals they feel are unsuitable to carry handguns. The new law retains that authority, but would require police chiefs to give written reasons for any applications they choose to deny. Their decisions would have to be based on public safety and could be appealed in court.

Patrick signed the bill at a ceremony at the Statehouse.

“Our communities and our families are safer when irresponsible gun sales and use are reduced,” he said.

Another part of the law mandates Massachusetts join the National Instant Background Check System, which requires the state to transmit information about substance abuse or mental health commitments to a federal database that police can use to review firearms applications.

Patrick has praised the measure, despite the fact that lawmakers failed to include his proposal that would have limited individuals to the purchase of no more than one gun per month.

The new law also increases the penalty for carrying a firearm on school grounds; increases the punishment for being armed with a firearm while carjacking; creates penalties for transporting firearms into the state for criminal activity or unlawful distribution; establishes penalties for gun dealers who fail to report a lost or stolen weapon and mandates that an individual whose license to carry firearms has been revoked, suspended or denied must surrender all guns in their possession.

Work on the bill began last year after the 2012 mass school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Massachusetts already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

Other portions of the legislation are designed to improve security for students and teachers.

The new law requires schools have access to two-way communication devices with police and fire departments and mandates school districts provide two hours of suicide awareness and prevention training to school personnel every three years.

The law takes effect immediately.

Patrick also signed into law Wednesday an economic development bill and a $2.2 billion, four-year environmental bond bill.

Among the dozens of spending projects in the environmental bond law is $100 million for the dredging of Boston and New Bedford harbors and another $100 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation for the design, construction and preservation of forests, parks, harbor islands and other recreational facilities.

The law also is intended to help pave the way for construction of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, the first facility in the nation designed to help build, assemble, and deploy of offshore wind energy projects.

Earlier:

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  • fun bobby

    This is a disgrace. I am truly disgusted to live in MA today.

    “It also gives local police chiefs the right to go to court to try to deny firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns to individuals they feel are unsuitable to have access to the weapons.”
    Well of course because the feelings of local unelected bureaucrats are more important than constitutionally guaranteed civil rights.
    Studies have shown a $10 voter ID is racist and discriminatory. How many poor and people of color can afford $100 for a permit $50 for a class and $3000 to fight their police chief in court? Hey Deval why would you sign a law that expands an unconstitutional power that is already notorious for being used against black people to deny them their basic civil rights?

    • Argle_Bargle

      Don’t look now, but @funbobby just discovered class awareness.

      Standing by to see how it applies to anyone other than Deval Patrick…

      • PaulD

        Gun control has always been about class. Take a look at the Reconstruction Era south. Take a look at Boston and NYC where it’s technically possible to get a concealed carry permit, but look further at who actually has one.

        • Argle_Bargle

          @funbobby it’s a joy to see der volk mit flaggen trip over class awareness, then recoil in horror and confusion.

          The ways that class awareness highlights just how hosed are average people in America, goes far beyond who gets an LTC. Gun ownership is quite peripheral to the brutalities of class in America, so it’s natural to wonder if someone who can do the gun math, so to speak, can also do imperialist, military, or corporate math. #OccupyGlock #BoycottTheMilitary #ThereAreNineOtherAmendments

          • PaulD

            So you’re saying nobody should complain about this because there are all these other things to complain about? Makes sense.

            Regarding the 9 other amendments, the government isn’t creating statutory fees and burdens as prior restraints on them. That’s not to say that they are applied evenly to everyone regardless of class or race.

          • Argle_Bargle

            I didn’t say that. You did. The criticism was about coherence in what some choose to complain about.

            That said, the limited licensing of television and radio stations isn’t a barrier to free speech? The mountain of money one must raise to compete for public office isn’t a de facto fee? The emptying of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments by the Supreme Court isn’t a statutory burden?

            Without these taken into account it makes the argument about gunz hard to sustain, and begs the question what the motivation really is.

          • PaulD

            Court decisions aren’t statute. This is civics 101. We’re also talking about state level politics but feel free to list which SCOTUS decisions do what you say to the 1st 4th and 5th.

            Raising money to buy advertising isn’t a government fee just as having to buy a gun from a manufacturer isn’t a government fee.

            A person can publish all he or she wants for free and can broadcast over airwaves, on a limited basis, for free (there’s also broadcasting on the internet, which is close to free.

            Short of your high power broadcast example, none are fees and the broadcast one is easily substituted with other technologies.

            Why the need to misspell words in idiotic manners and what, exactly, do you think the real motivation is?

            For the record, I support both the NRA and the ACLU (even though the latter is disingenuous when it comes to the topic at hand).

          • Argle_Bargle

            Nice try, but the origins of ‘statute’ lead us to ‘law’ or ‘decree,’ regardless of the source. Your willfulness on the renegade, corporate SCOTUS makes this even more funny.

            Beyond that, I’m seeing excuses. Gun ownership has not protected the Bill of Rights (including the 2nd, which in political economy is about as useful as the 3rd) or, more importantly, our standard of living. Thus my surprise to find a class angle tacked on to ballistic boilerplate. @funbobby’s two posts speak for themselves.

          • PaulD

            Nice try but a statute is specifically defined as written law from a legislative or regulatory body, separate from case law. You also made an assertion regarding SCOTUS decisions but refuse to cite them.

            So, in summary, you pick and choose which of the innumerates rights in the BoR you choose to support, yet take someone else to task for what you feel is supporting a different set. You’re also saying that, if in your view, a right hasn’t protected us, it should be gotten rid of. Well, Cruikshank did state that the 2nd Amendment *is* a limit on the government. Further, the right to own a gun has protected people’s lives. Regarding it actually protecting citizens from a government, look up the Battle of Athens.

            You’re quite will to sling ad homonyms but, at the same time, deflect points of argument. Lame.

          • Argle_Bargle

            ‘Etymology’ is the study of word origins, and if you shut Fox News long enough you’ll find that my description of ‘statute’ is correct: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=statute

            Yes, and please cite one example where gun ownership has prevented the fire sale on everyone’s rights political and economic. Screaming “Freeeeeeeedom!” does not count.

            Going back to @funbobby’s original point, do your responses mean you won’t advocate gun ownership for self-protection in Ferguson, Missouri? #BOOM #PunFirstAskQuestionsLater #Checkmate

          • PaulD

            I’ll go with what Black’s Law Dictionary says the word means. In 13th century France, the word may have had a different meaning. In 2014 US legal language, the word’s meaning does not include court decisions.

            I already cited an example but yes, people in Ferguson should absolutely be able to protect themselves, with guns if necessary. Pay attention instead of slinging more ad homonyms and declaring yourself victor.

            Also, you’re obviously unfamiliar with the technology used here as Disqus doesn’t cross reference hashtags. This isn’t Facebook or Twitter.

            Finally, why not come clean instead of using all the deflection. You want guns banned. Is that right? Just be honest and say it.

          • Argle_Bargle

            Denial and dirty diapers do not an argument make. Blindness to irony is a problem as well. You can no more change linguistic history (a common tactic of the fascist) than you can answer my question: please cite one example where gun ownership has prevented the fire sale on everyone’s rights political and economic. Fondling handguns en masse does not count.

            A $10,000 fee could be imposed for an LTC and it would make you and @funbobby no wiser as to a worthy target for your anger. If you can’t do the math on that, you’re beyond help. #Magna-A-La-Carta #The99%MinusTwo #Smith&Wesson&Clueless

          • PaulD

            #churl

          • Argle_Bargle

            “History is immaterial” is the teabagger motto. Between tunnel-vision defiance and libertarian parsing, it’s no wonder you refuse to acknowledge that owning a gun has not helped preserve other rights, even gun ownership itself.

            Here’s a thought experiment that the framers didn’t fail: try sequestering the 1st, 4th, or 5th (as you’ve done with the 2nd) and see how idiotic that sounds. Yes, that’s a thing because the Bill of Rights was enacted as one (actually, the renamed Articles 3-12, but close enough for the pedantic). And Teabaggers may never again read a pun as good as ‘Magna a la Carta.’

            That brings us full circle: the outrage expressed at Deval Patrick (which excluded both houses of the legislature, BTW) claimed that class was an important factor. When confronted with class being central to far more egregious offenses against the public, and which the right in question has been powerless to address, there has been no coherent response, only insistence. Once again, I can’t help you with that.

          • PaulD

            I didn’t ignore your pun, even if I didn’t directly address it, because it wasn’t funny. There, you’re effort has been acknowledge. And I did acknowledge it previously stating you’re doing the same thing you claim fun bobby is, and that’s picking and choosing which amendments of the BoR to support. You clearly don’t support the 2nd. “Magna a la Carta!!!!” It’s nice to pick and choose isn’t it?

            Have I said I don’t support the rest? Has fun bobby stated that? The answer is no to both. You’re projecting. I’ve never sequestered any of the rights and, to the contrary, stated I support the ACLU (who does, unfortunately, sequester them as you state). The framers included the 2nd in with the other 9 for a reason. It’s an insurance policy. A lot of people have insurance policies they never use. Does that mean they should just drop them? No.

            Speaking of history, the NRA was formed shortly after the Civil War and one of the things it did was to help freed slaves to arm themselves.

            You’ve come up with an argument with no standing and you keep going with it. You claim others have picked specific rights to support and that’s wrong, yet you clearly do the same by scrunching your face and wishing the 2nd didn’t exist, and search for some example of it actually doing what it’s supposed to. I did actually provide one if you read my posts (Battle of Athens), but here’s another: http://livefreelivenatural.com/new-indiana-law-allows-citizens-shoot-police-officers/. That law wouldn’t work unless the citizens have guns. I’ll assume you live in MA though so didn’t realize this, due to your myopic view of the rest of the country.

            Finally, no more idiotic hash tags?

          • Argle_Bargle

            Here’s my final offer: I never said or demonstrated that I didn’t support the 2nd Amendment, but raised an obvious issue about it that you’re fumbling yet again: please, for the love of Winchester and Browning, give me one example of the 2nd Amendment proving out as “an insurance policy.” I would like clear cause and effect involving American civilian use of firearms curbing official overreach in the aid of common peoples’ rights. You may choose any historical period. #GoodLuck #CheckYourWork #FireWhenReadyGridley

          • PaulD

            You’ve got quite the opinion of yourself that you have any ability to give a final offer.

            Go study the history of why the 2nd Amendment is there as well as the relevant SCOTUS decisions (to be nice, those are Cruikshank, Miller, Heller and McDonald).

            A natural right doesn’t get rescinded for lack of use.

            #CheckYourAssumptions #NoQualifiersNecessary

          • Argle_Bargle

            That’s an admission you don’t have an example to cite? Not a single one? There has to be one, right? Somewhere?

            The punch line is that there is one, sorta, but you’ll never find it. Even if you did, it would choke you to admit it.

            Aaaand that’s a wrap.

          • PaulD

            You’re a myopic child. “I know something you don’t! neener neener”.

            It’s an admission that I simply don’t care if there is because, and you’re too thick to figure this out, it doesn’t enter into the equation, but you’ll continue to deflect away from the fact that that the common law precedent doesn’t care either. You’ll also deflect away from the fact that, on a micro level, firearms protect people’s rights on a daily basis in this country (which is what Heller spoke to).

            And once again, I did cite an example and you’ll find it if read everything I wrote, you twit. I know another example that speaks to exactly what Fun Bobby was talking about but the specific minority in this case was a different one.

          • Argle_Bargle

            You still have offered no example of the sort that would shut me up. I’ve served up a golden opportunity for you to teach me a lesson, but you have none to offer.

            Instead, you have retreated to the lesser excuse of ‘protection on a micro level,’ which is not what you originally contended. And we’d all like to see the NRA flog their miserable cult with “Pry it from my cold, dead hands on a micro level.”

            I was so willing to let this go, but now with the name-calling. Snide and jokes aside, it may now be time to admit that you need to re-think your position.

          • fun bobby

            so because you are a hypocrite you think everyone else is?

          • fun bobby

            yeah they do, and they don’t suggest anything you projected onto them. Have you ever read the declaration of independence?

          • fun bobby

            thank you, I was hoping he was transparent and apparently he was. I think he is projecting his internal conflict on to me, seems to happen a lot.

          • PaulD

            It seems typical of gun control people. They fear their own lack of self control and project that upon others. It seems they also project their own racism based on his Ferguson comment.

          • fun bobby

            gun control always has been about race and class. the people who post on the net all seem to have something else, none of them actually put their money where their mouth is and join these anti liberty organizations- all talk

          • fun bobby

            what seems more hypocritical is putting people down for supporting civil liberties. sounds to me like you have some conflict because you want to be for liberty but you don’t seem to want gun rights as well which are not peripheral but in fact central to liberty.

          • fun bobby

            Why have you convinced yourself that I am unaware of those things or that it would make sense to mention them on an article about how the governor is denying poor people their civil rights? what if I agreed with you but you were just being a jerk off?

      • fun bobby

        I am not sure what you are trying to imply with your rude comment, how about you spell it out for me?

  • fun bobby

    I doubt deval, since he is a carpetbagger from Chicago, has any family members here but I hope they never find themselves living in MA and in a situation where they need to purchase a firearm because of course now that the police have the power to lawfully discriminate its going to be real tough for any black people to get permits now.

  • Mean Girl

    I enjoy seeing the gun nuts whine

    • PaulD

      So you’re saying that constitutionally guaranteed rights should be subject to popularity polls.

      • Mean Girl

        Slave ownership was once a “constitutionally guaranteed right”

        Then it became “unpopular”

        • PaulD

          Can you point me to the part to the Constitution that explicitly guaranteed that right?

          It’s also ironic that you’re bringing this up in the context of limiting a freedom.

          • Mean Girl

            Is your Google broken again? That must be rough.

            Freedom? Yes, freedom from being shot.

          • PaulD

            Brilliant. You should become a district court judge. You’ve got the same ability to reason as this one: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/08/court-rules-maryland-s-ban-on-assault-rifles-high-capacity-magazines-is-legal-106026.html

            In summary, “as a judge I’m going to rule that something which constitutes 50% of sales for a type of object isn’t in common use, because I said so”.

          • Mean Girl

            So your Google isn’t broken, you are just too lazy to inform yourself. Ok.

          • PaulD

            I don’t have to google it because I’ve already read the Constitution many times. As originally ratified, it said nothing about slavery.

            If you’re informed otherwise, you’re wrong.

          • Mean Girl

            Ha ha. Go rub your gun.

          • fun bobby

            sure as long as he is white and lives in the right town, if he is a minority or woman then perhaps he is unsuitable, only an unelected bureaucrat can decide for sure. would you like your local cop to decide if you can vote or not?

          • Mean Girl

            Spare me your gun nut “logic” and concern trolling.

          • fun bobby

            you seem to be nutty about guns, willing to overlook obvious racism and discrimination to feed your irrational fear of black people with legal guns

          • Mean Girl

            Yawn. More concern trolling.

          • fun bobby

            that phrase is meaningless to me

          • Mean Girl

            Why am I not surprised.

          • fun bobby

            you tell me

          • Mean Girl

            Because concern trolls are too stupid or too dishonest to admit that that is what they are doing.

            Which is it with you?

          • fun bobby

            you tell me, are you saying you are a “concern trolls”?

          • Mean Girl

            Ha ha. So you are off your “concern for black people” shtick now? Been rubbing your gun?

          • fun bobby

            why would I not be concerned for black people? why aren’t you? no black friends? I’ll be rubbing my gun from about 10-1130

          • Mean Girl

            Ha ha. Good for you.

          • PaulD

            Logic like your inability to read the Constitution?

            Fallacy trolling.

        • fun bobby

          and here you are applauding a law ostensibly written to deny black people and other minorities their civil rights. so I guess for you racism and discrimination are still “popular”

          • Mean Girl

            more gun nut “logic” an concern trolling from you? O Canada.

          • fun bobby

            c’mon its not “gun nuts” this law is aimed at its poor and black people. we already have guns

          • Mean Girl

            Still concern trolling?

    • fun bobby

      rolling our laws back to the jim crow era is hardly “updating”

      • Mean Girl

        Ha ha. Love the concern trolling. Never grow old.

        • fun bobby

          racial gender and class discrimination is hilarious right?

          • Mean Girl

            Still more concern trolling.

          • fun bobby

            if you don’t think black people and women ought to have the same rights as white men you have a right to say that, why not be more candid?

          • Mean Girl

            Still doing your “concern” trolling, eh?

            (ha ha)

          • fun bobby

            as long as you are still making up lies, or until I get bored

          • Mean Girl

            Ha ha. Well, you have certainly bored me with your pablum trolling.

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