BOSTON (WHDH) – Massachusetts lawmakers say they are trying to add more measures to the state’s already strict gun regulations after a gunman killed seven people in a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
In 2018, officials passed the Extreme Risk Protection Order, which allows a judge to confiscate guns from someone in a crisis after family members or police file a request with the court.
“There’s a lot of checks and balances in Massachusetts right now, be it the permitting process, the Extreme Risk Protection Order, the various other injunction processes that really limit a person’s ability to do what happened in Illinois,” State Rep said David Linksy, who added he is proposing legislation that would ban ghost weapons and close loopholes in the state’s ban on assault weapons. “I hope we can get that on the governor’s desk, and we always have confidence that Massachusetts remains the safest state in the continental United States as far as gun prevention goes.”
But Ruth Zakarin, the executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, said public awareness is also important. The Extreme Risk Protection Act has hardly been applied since it came into force, she said.
“A law is only as helpful as the number of people who know about it – so we’re concerned that without a widespread campaign, there are families and people who could benefit from the protection but may not know it’s available to them.” is available,” said Zakarin. “We also want to ensure that medical providers and mental health providers are very aware so they can advise their populations on how to access these orders.”
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