BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts House lawmakers have approved a sweeping bill designed to tighten the state's gun laws.
The bill passed on a 112-38 vote Wednesday.
The bill would strengthen local police chiefs' discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed for the purchase of rifles or shotguns, much like they currently have over licenses to carry concealed weapons.
Police chiefs would have to give written reasons for denying gun licenses based on public safety concerns. Those denials could be appealed in court.
The bill would also create a web-based portal within the state Executive Office of Public Safety to allow for real-time background checks for private gun sales.
It would also stiffen penalties for some gun-based crimes and create a firearms trafficking unit within the State Police.
The bill now heads to the Massachusetts Senate.
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