Gov. Deval Patrick says he agrees with police chiefs and gun safety activists who support giving the chiefs discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns.
But Patrick did not say whether he would sign a pending gun bill if it reached his desk without the provision, which was approved in the House but removed from the Senate version.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and Evans' predecessor, Ed Davis, were among those who came to the Statehouse on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to include discretion for chiefs in granting FID cards for rifles and shotguns.
Patrick on Wednesday said he sided with the chiefs and hoped the final negotiated version of the bill, now before a six-member conference committee, would be closer to the version passed by the House.