Gun bill backers, critics heading to Statehouse

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BOSTON (AP) - Supporters and opponents of tighter gun control measures are converging on the Statehouse for a public hearing.

Tuesday's hearing will look at a wide-ranging bill filed by House leaders intended to strengthen Massachusetts' already-tough gun laws while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners.

The legislation would for the first time give local police chiefs the ability to deny a license for rifles or shotguns based on suitability standards and extend federal restrictions for firearm acquisition to the state level.

It would also require background checks for all private gun sales.

Supporters are planning to rally before the hearing to press lawmakers to adopt the bill.

The Gun Owners' Action League said the bill fails to end the stigmatization of lawful gun owners or give law enforcement the tools they need to prosecute criminals.


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