Mass. Lawmakers Approve 'Red Flag' Gun Bill

Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others.

The so-called "red flag" bill was given final approval by the Massachusetts House and Senate on Thursday.

The measure would let a relative or someone else with close ties to a legal gun owner petition a court for a 12-month extreme risk protection order if the person was exhibiting dangerous or unstable behavior.

A person subject to such an order could appeal the decision.

The bill would also create a licensing procedure for stun guns in Massachusetts after the state's highest court ruled that a blanket ban on the devices was unconstitutional.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has indicated he's leaning toward signing the bill.

But at least one Mass. lawmaker isn't happy with the bill. Rep. Joseph McKenna says he can't get behind the bill 100 percent, because it may not address other safety issues and it needs to be more than just a gun control bill.

He says someone too unstable to have a gun may be unstable in other areas.

"Whether that's limiting the ability to drive an 18-wheeler or a school bus or to practice medicine or to do other things that could potentially cause harm," he said. "Take some serious steps to protect the public at large."

McKenna says for the next legislative session, he'd be interested in authoring a law that would provide help for people deemed too dangerous to have a gun.

Information from the Associated Press and WBUR reporter Quincy Walters was used in this report. 


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