In the months after the school shooting in New­town, Conn., some 40 gun con­trol bills were filed in Mass­a­chu­setts. Many expected a crack­down that would have gone fur­ther and faster than other states. Instead, a spe­cial com­mis­sion spent a year care­fully crafting an omnibus bill that DeLeo, who is con­sid­ered a con­ser­v­a­tive Demo­crat in Mass­a­chu­setts, calls “reasonable.”

The Mass­a­chu­setts bill requires state offi­cials to do better at reporting infor­ma­tion to the fed­eral back­ground check data­base, so anyone found by a court to be men­tally ill can’t get a gun, as fed­eral law requires. But the leg­is­la­tion also gives more dis­cre­tion to police chiefs to deny licenses for shot­guns and rifles.

Jack McDe­vitt, a dean at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity who chaired the spe­cial com­mis­sion, says local law enforce­ment offi­cials need that leeway.

Read the article at NPR →