Mass governor inks firearm seizure law over howls from gun rights advocates
By Chris Eger
Baker signed the proposal into law this week before a crowd of lawmakers and representatives from gun control organizations. (Photo: Massachusetts Governor’s office)
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a so-called “red flag” bill into law on Tuesday to allow the temporary seizure of firearms from those thought to be at risk to themselves or others.
The proposal, H.4539, was popular with state lawmakers in the Democrat-heavy legislature despite calls from some that it was both cruel and dangerous. The new law allows current and former romantic partners, family, roommates, and police to seek an extreme risk protection order, suspending someone’s gun rights and firearm license for up to a year.
“Massachusetts’ gun laws are a model for the nation, and creating an additional pathway to keep guns away from people unfit to possess them will make our laws even stronger,” said Baker. “This law creates a responsible way to help prevent gun deaths and suicides while protecting individuals’ second amendment rights.”
The ERPO law allows family members or law enforcement to ask the courts to remove access to guns, ammunition, firearm ID cards, or licenses to carry a firearm from an individual thought to be at risk. Once issued, the order would be transmitted