The recent Deval Patrick gun bill angered the largest group of gun supporters in Massachusetts and they “blasted” the governor for allegedly not inviting them to the “historic” signing of the new gun reform legislation, according to an Aug. 13 Boston Magazine report.
Members of the Gun Owners Action League claim they were a “key force” in ensuring that the new bill, which is being hailed as one of the most comprehensive set of gun laws in the country, was fair and balanced for both gun owners and those who oppose the use of firearms.
Jim Wallace, executive director of GOAL, said the bill was the first in the nation where both gun control and gun-rights advocates came together to agree.
“So much for celebrating the historic nature of this bill,” said Wallace. “We worked tirelessly on this bill and were instrumental in getting it passed—and he can’t invite us to the bill signing ceremony? “
The sweeping new measure, effective immediately, is the first of its kind in the country. The bill signed Wednesday toughens penalties for some offenses involving weapons, creates a digital portal for background checks in real time from the sale of private arms, and calls for the creation of a firearms trafficking unit within the state police.
It also allows police chiefs to ask a court to refuse firearms ID cards, which are needed to buy rifles or shotguns, to people they deem inappropriate.
The bill also directs Massachusetts to join the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which requires the State to convey information about substance abuse or mental health for federal use based on police data to review applications for firearms.
“Our communities and our families are safer when irresponsible gun sales and use are reduced,” Patrick said in a statement. “This legislation moves us in that direction.”