Boston, MA – On Tuesday, July 3rd, Governor Charlie Baker of MA officially signed the “Red Flag” gun bill, allowing it to now become a law. The law enables both police officers and anyone close to a gun owner to request removal of a firearm from said owner in the event that this person is viewed as a danger to others or to themselves. The removal can last for a year, and the person accused has the right to appeal the ruling. Other details of the law include a mandatory license for stun guns. This act makes Massachusetts the twelfth state to have a Red Flag Law in place, and the seventh to do so after the Parkland school shooting which occurred this past February.
Gracie Thompson, a high school student at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin school, explained how she had been especially preoccupied with advocating for change since the shooting in Parkland, Florida, “We’ve been kind of in the back of our minds scared of what could happen.” Governor Baker, a Republican, affirmed that he believes the law will make Massachusetts a leading area in gun safety. He viewed the law as a just balance between constitutional rights and civilian safety protections, stating, “This law creates a responsible way to help prevent gun deaths and suicides while protecting individuals’ second amendment rights.”
Those who supported the Red Flag Bill tend to agree. Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, a Democrat, firmly believes that this new law will usher a new era of safety into the Bay State. He explained, “It is our goal not merely to be the safest state in our own country. We believe Massachusetts should stand with the safest places in the world.” Those in opposition, however, believe that the law will not provide as much security as it claims. Gun right activist, Jim Wallace, expressed concern that the details of the law do not adequately address the issues behind gun violence. He argued, “If you are really trying to identify the next monster who will attack our children, why would you simply take their legal gun away and set them free?”
The Red Flag Law will become effective in 45 days.