Massachusetts House lawmakers approved a sweeping bill Wednesday designed to tighten the state's gun laws.
The bill, which passed on a 112-38 vote, would strengthen local police chiefs' discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed for the purchase of rifles or shotguns, much like the discretion they currently have over issuing licenses to carry concealed weapons.
The bill would require police chiefs to give written reasons for denying gun licenses, however. Their decisions would have to be based on public safety and could be appealed in court.
In opening remarks on the bill, Public Safety Committee Co-chairman Rep. Harold Naughton, D-Clinton, predicted its passage would “make the streets of this Commonwealth safer and will protect the rights of our lawful gun owners.”