House Set To Strike “Good Reason” Section Of Gun Carry Law

BOSTON (State House News Service) — When they weigh in on a borrowing bill to fund technology improvements in the judiciary, representatives will also be asked to vote Thursday on amending the state law governing licenses to carry firearms, which was affected by a recent Supreme Court decision.

Judiciary Committee Co-chair Rep. Mike Day filed an amendment to the bond bill (H 5046) that he said represents an agreement among top House and Senate Democrats on a near-term response to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case ruling, which called out a "good reason" section of Massachusetts law.

The case revolved around New York's requirement that applicants demonstrate "proper cause" to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, which the high court said was unconstitutional. Massachusetts was not part of the case, but the Supreme Court singled out a "good reason" provision of a Massachusetts gun law as an analogue to the unconstitutional New York requirement.

On July 1, Attorney General Maura Healey and Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy issued guidance stipulating that "it remains unlawful to carry a firearm in Massachusetts without a license" and that two criteria for a license to carry a firearm other than the "good reason" provision remain in full effect.

Day's amendment (#13) would remove "the inquiry that the Bruen case said we could no longer make," he told reporters.

"We're taking that piece out that says, 'Why do you need the firearm?'" said Day (D-Stoneham). "We're clarifying who is a prohibited person. If you're subject to a restraining order, you're not allowed to have a firearm. Those types of things, those cleanup pieces, are what we're addressing."

The amendment is emerging without a public hearing and being inserted into a bill that was just unveiled Wednesday.

House Speaker Ron Mariano announced Thursday morning that the House and Senate would "expedite legislation needed to come into compliance with the Bruen decision while proactively safeguarding existing components of our gun laws from future challenges."

Mariano also tasked Day with working on an "omnibus gun safety bill" to take up in the 2023-2024 session, whose scope the speaker said will "be determined next session."

"I'm not going to get into this laundry list of things that we're going to attack, but obviously, there's still things like ghost guns out there that we want to address that haven't been addressed," Mariano said. "There's plenty to do."

Senate President Karen Spilka said in a statement that her chamber will "review the House's final proposal and act expeditiously to get a bill to Governor Baker by the end of this session, and continue our efforts to strengthen our effective gun laws next session." - Chris Lisinski/SHNS | 7/21/22 3:35 PM

Listen to WBZ NewsRadio live:

Follow WBZ NewsRadio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iHeartmedia App

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content