Credit: Thad Holmes via NPR

Hundreds Pack State House Gun Control Hearing

June 3, 2014

Massachusetts House Speaker Bob Deleo’s sweeping gun bill drew opposition from both sides of the issue Tuesday. 

The largest auditorium in the State House was packed with hundreds of people: both gun control supporters and opponents.

Representative George Peterson, a Grafton Republican and gun rights supporter, objected to a section in the bill that would give more discretion to police chiefs to deny licenses for shotguns and rifles:

“The chiefs, albeit a lot of them do a good job in licensing and reviewing the information, a lot just refuse to issue gun licenses because they don’t want their constituents to have firearms," Peterson said at the hearing. "Now that’s their personal opinion but that’s not the opinion of the Second Amendment and the Constitution.”

Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral testified for the Patrick Administration. She said the bill should go farther by limiting gun sales to one gun per month per buyer:

“In order to prevent future tragedies we must act to prevent someone from stockpiling weapons for trafficking,” she said.

But Speaker Deleo rejected the more dramatic proposals – like one gun per month – preferring more incremental changes to existing gun laws

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