House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo unveiled a pro­posal Tuesday for the most com­pre­hen­sive changes to Mass­a­chu­setts gun laws in 16 years, saying that the state cannot wait for fed­eral action to curb gun violence.

Under the bill, local police would be given expanded dis­cre­tion to con­sider a person’s “suit­ability” to own a gun, the state would join a national data­base for crim­inal and mental-​​health back­ground checks, and all pri­vate sales of firearms would be con­ducted in the pres­ence of a licensed dealer.

The pro­posal fol­lowed dozens of hear­ings and meet­ings held by law­makers around the state, com­ple­mented by a sep­a­rate study from a gun vio­lence task force led by Jack McDe­vitt, asso­ciate dean of research at North­eastern University’s Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Humanities.

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