Lawmakers in a Democrat-controlled state passed a major gun law, with the House speaker saying it came after the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling.
The Massachusetts state House of Representatives approved a sweeping gun law that aims at restricting more firearms and cracking down on AR-15-style rifles—after a unanimous coalition of police chiefs in the state publicly opposed it.
The measure, which passed in a 120–38 vote on Oct. 18, prohibits people from carrying firearms into other people’s homes without their consent. It also would force major gun components to have serial numbers, which would be registered with the state of Massachusetts, while also expanding the state’s “red flag” law that allows a judge to suspend the firearms license of someone who is considered a risk to harming others.
The legislation advanced in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in 2022 that Americans have the Second Amendment-enshrined right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, according to Democrats in Massachusetts, a state that has long had stringent gun laws.
“The Supreme Court’s Bruen decision nullified existing components of our gun laws, threatening the safety of the Commonwealth’s residents. With the passage of this legislation, the House has once again displayed an unwavering commitment to ensuring that Massachusetts remains one of the safest states in the country,” state House Speaker Ronald Mariano, a Democrat, said in a recent statement about the measure and the landmark high court decision.
The proposal would create new laws that bar firing guns at or near homes and outlaw carrying firearms while intoxicated. It would also prohibit carrying firearms in schools, polling places, and government buildings.
The bill expands the state’s ban on certain types of rifles, prohibiting new purchases of AR-15-style firearms. It would also ban someone from turning a legal firearm into an automatic weapon.
The proposal includes an enhanced system to track firearms used in crimes to help curb the flow of illegal guns into the state. It would also modernize the existing firearm registration system while increasing the availability of firearm data for academic and policy use, lawmakers said.